Can This Continue?

Stuff happens, doesn’t it? Regular readers of our blog know that we often – if not often then frequently, experience misadventures when we travel. I like to see how things start since that is usually a good indication of how things are going to go. On our drive down to the coast we ran into VERY slow traffic between Chilliwack and Abbotsford. Slow as in stop and go. Slow as in at least 5 pickup trucks going off the highway and through the grass divider which divides the highway and the road which runs parallel to it. “Great, just great” I thought. It took us about 20 minutes to go what should have taken about 3 minutes. And then I see a LONG single lane of traffic on the parallel road. It’s the Abbotsford Tulip Festival and all those trucks that went off the highway are stuck in it with nothing to do but wait. Plus it leads to a stop sign so it wasn’t going anywhere fast. Things are looking up

When we reach Lynne and Martin’s we head off to the John B for dinner – our flight to Lima doesn’t leave until 11:20. We order our drinks and the server asks if we know the time. 5:58 we say – “Good, you’re just inside the happy hour which ends at 6pm and the computer then locks me out”. Another win.

The plane leaves on time, arrives in Mexico City on time, we easily make our connection which leaves on time and arrives on time. Our checked bags all show up and are among the first few off the belt. Can this continue?

By the time we arrive at the hotel we are wasted. Terry and I have been awake for about 34 hours (less the few hours Terry got sleeping 😴 πŸ’€ 😴 on the plane.

Very cool hotel.

Our rooms aren’t quite ready so the fellow on the desks treats us to Pisco Sours, Peru’s national drink. Ingredients: 1 oz Lemon Juice, 1 Egg white, 1 1/2 oz Pisco, 3/4 oz Simple syrup. Now it doesn’t look like two would kill you, but you sure get happy (Ken, think walking home from Duke’s Bar happy). Two nights we had one each and one night two each. There’ll be no repeat of that for sure!

The next day was exploring day. We went for a walk up to John F. Kennedy park, where we ran into this rather loquacious fellow who was bent on providing us with much information.

The most interesting piece of information was that at one time it was overrun with mice and was nicknamed Mouse Park. Someone, showing great initiative but a singular lack of foresight, brought in a few cats. Yes, now it is Cats Park for obvious reasons.

After lunch we were picked up for a 3 hour tour (Cue Gilligan’s Island theme). The first stop was at a large Incan ruin where our guide provided us with some interesting information and then we drove off, leaving us slightly aghast and wondering why we didn’t get to go in. From there it was off to the main square to see government buildings, the church and the chocolate factory. The most interesting was the chocolate factory where we were given a short but uniformative talk on how to make chocolate. The interesting part was we were then give the opportunity to taste Pisco, the 40% alcohol made from grapes. (Shades of Baiju in Jiaxing). There didn’t seem to be a limit to how much you tasted – they even encouraged us to try more. There were many flavour. Pisco with – ginger, orange, coffee, milk chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, maccino, mango and three or four more I can’t remember. They were very very good.

The four intrepid travellers with a new friend outside the Presidential Palace. Hey if you had a gun pointing at your head you’d separate yourself from the crowd too!

I mentioned earlier the 3 hour tour (Cue Gilligan’s Island theme again). Our guide Janet was able to effectively keep talking for the entire time. If we asked a question she was happy to answer and then continued with her very clearly rehearsed talk. Delightful.

On the way to visiting the old cathedral (redundant perhaps) (ABC Tour Dave and Joan), we spied a long line – maybe 150 – 200 people lined up outside a very official looking building (somehow I have deleted the photo – please picture the scene in your own mind). They were lined up to pick up their monthly pay check as independent contractors to the government. You know the expression “A picture is as good as 1000 words… well this is the proof.

When we arrived at the cathedral, although generally interesting, the most compelling was the sight of two restorers diligently working away square by square.

The floor was also an amazing work of art.

Then, after experiencing the worst traffic we have ever seen it was back to the hotel where Christhian (not a misspelling) made us drink the two – 2 – Pisco Sours and recommend a local Peruvian style restaurant- Isolina’s. We have experienced many styles of restaurants but this was unique. There was a large group of people at the next table and when I admired one of the dishes the invited me to sit down and try it. It is difficult to see actually, but this is a 6+ pork chop “roast” in an amazing sauce with fantastic potatoes underneath.

This is rice with beef, eggs and a fried banana. It was also amazing- but too much since we left almost 1/8th of it!

My new friends.

It turned out they are guides for G Adventures from all over South America in town for a conference. Very friendly group. That’s the CEO with the G tee shirt.

Terry enjoys herself wherever she goes and whatever she does.

All in all a very wonderful evening and great day in Lima.

Tomorrow a last day in Lima and a first day in Cusco.

The Shoe Blog

Cusco Sorry, but even in the capital of a wonderful country, shoes don’t appear to be “out there”. You will just have to wait.

And yes, the good luck of our start continues. Knock on wood.

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