Day 50: Pisco Sour Time

Tue. 2nd October 2012

The Kiss at MirafloresAfter yesterday’s rescheduled bus trip to Museo Larco, instead of the old town which was closed off for the meeting of the Presidents of South America, we are disappointed that we do not have time this morning to see the Historical Centre of Lima. Instead we opt for a walk to see the sea – from the top of the cliff – not the 300 odd steps to the beach. A walk along the Malecon took us to Parque del Amor in which there is this enormous statue called The Kiss.

Today’s briefing notes for our trip say that we take a four hour journey on  public bus to Pisco and then private van to hotel. We expected a short walk to catch a bus similar to the street ones with open windows for air conditioning and and that we would be sharing it with the locals.

We were therefore surprised when our backpacks are taken from us and piled onto a minibus for a 15 minute trip right into (one of?) Lima’s main bus station. As our bus was not ready for us we were shown into the VIP Perubus lounge to wait and the 16 of us almost filled the small room.

The bus is like the premier-class bus in Mexico and It was a bit surreal watching the Reece Witherspoon film, Just Like Heaven in English with Spanish subtitles (for the one or two Peruvians on the bus), whilst the very different and varied scenery whizzed past.

Entrance to ParacasOnce out of town the scenery became more desolate and massive sand dunes in a dull grey. At one point there were very long huts with straw roofs, many empty. One was full of poor chickens crammed in battery reared style.

Every so often there are oasis areas, lush green and normally around tourist restaurants. We finally arrive in Pisco and transfer into a van for 25 min transfer south to Paracas, which is a small coastal town with a harbour. We then have 10 minutes to dump bags in our room and have a quick trip to the loo before the guide takes us on a walk to Harbour – it is all go. Is this to be the way of the whole trip?

Posing on the beachWe soon find out which or our travelling companions are the beer drinkers and chill with them in a beachfront bar and devour all the chilled Crystal beers in the place.

Sunset over Paracas beachAt supper we study the menu which is all in Spanish which is a challenge. Being on the coast we had to try seafood. My risotto was full of squid, prawns and other fish. Back in UK would have only had a quarter of the quantity of fish. Very tasty.

Apparently, the national cocktail is the Pisco Sour – so we felt that, as part of our mission to understand the local culture, we had to try them. It turns out that they are muh like a Margherita but a bit sweeter. I could have had more so I hope they have them in Cusco too.

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