Welcome, dear traveler, to my futile attempt of starting this blog post with something original. Ah, who am I kidding, I’m not nearly motivated enough to do that.
This weeks post will be like the original ski trip, meaning it will have more then one part and will likely never be finished (sorry). Below one can find the list of, “potential” blog posts, which will become links once their respective precis has been written.
Peru Trip: Sacred Valley -> Part 1, Part 2
Peru Trip: Machu Pichu Vichu Mcbichu
Peru Trip: Cusco
Twas, the first day of spring break, and all through the house there was absolutely no-one as they had already left to catch a plane flight. Today our family was heading to LAX to get on a LATAM, which stands for something, I don’t know, Airlines flight to Lima, Peru. My father had been planning this trip for a long time, but the rest of us were pretty much unaware of what exactly we were going to be doing.
After a few hours in the hellhole that is LA traffic, we arrived at LAX and went to check in.
Shortly thereafter we went through security and arrived into the terminal. Our gate was luckily very close to the pseudo-mall inside of LAX, and we decided to go get some lunch as well as some snacks to last us the seven hour plane flight. I don’t have pictures of this, but at this point, is anyone really surprised.
After some eating, redditing, and reading, we boarded our international flight. Now, it was nothing special, but at least the television was in working order so I could entertain myself without having to watch all 22 episodes of the office I downloaded a night prior.
For the next 7 hours I sat in extreme boredom, watching movies, TV, and listening to music, which would likely be a field day for someone else, but surprisingly not for me. I can’t really explain it, but I feel that in the environment of a plane you dont really get the full enjoyment out of whatever you’re watching, as I rewatched a lot of movies that I love and they didn’t really have the same, “Umph,” that they usually have.
After we landed in Lima, we had a minor heart attack at the baggage claim because after waiting twenty minutes, our bags had not arrived, and while this was actually due to the fact that it was 12 AM in peru and they had one baggage claim worker on shift, My entire family still had PTSD from our spain trip where we had to wear the same outfits for 5 days. Eventually we were reunited with our luggage and made our way to the front of the airport, where we met with our energetic guide, Carlo, who helped us carry our bags to the van which would whisk us away to our hotel, the Belmond Miraflores Park. On the car ride there Carlo did not fail once to keep us entertained, explaining the interesting history of Lima and Peru as a whole. One of the most interesting things he told us was why every chinese restaurant in Peru was called Chifa. As it turns out, during the 1900’s thousands of chinese immigrants were brought into Peru in order to get cheap labor, just like in America, however once their work was done, the government lacked the money to pay them, and instead gave all the chinese immigrants a chunk of land in Lima, Peru, becoming the only real Chinatown located outside the United States. In order to make up for the falsely promised cash, the Chinese would set up tables outside their homes and yell a phrase that basically meant, “come and eat,” to attract customers. This phrase was misinterpreted by the peruvian population as, “Chifa,” and the name has been going ever since.
Halfway through our drive we passed a huge stone sign, which I assume has some significance due to its size, but I honestly have no idea.
Very shortly afterwards we arrived at our hotel, and I was blown away from its size and decor.
Being tired enough as is, the kids and the adults separated and we all went to our respective rooms to sleep in. However before going to bed I couldn’t help but notice how freaking crazy the shower in My sister and I’s room was.
After standing in awe, I felt myself passing out, and decided it was best to call it a night.
I woke up at around 9:30 and crawled out of bed to go to breakfast.
The breakfast area at the Belmond Miraflores Park was located on the top floor of the building and offered spacious views of the city of Lima, with a pool close by. Not like there was much to see, as, due to Peru’s weird climates, Lima is perpetually gray and cloudy.
Despite the nice relaxing decor, the food at this Belmond was horrendous. It seems that the decor applies to the food as well, as while it looks appetizing, it is completely inedible.
I wouldn’t even classify this monstrosity as a waffle, as it was so dense that I felt like I was eating a cake! There was no real taste besides that of dough, and their maple syrup tasted like high fructose corn syrup!
After that upset, I returned to my room to enjoy the hotels glorious wifi before we left for our lunch.
Now, the place we were going to lunch was very special, so special in fact that we had to get our reservations 60 days ahead. We were going to Maido (まいど) a nikkei restaurant offering japanese-peruvian fusion, and is the 11th best restaurant in the entire world. We arrived at the restaurant for our 12:30 reservation and I was almost immediately blown away by their decor.
And unlike the hotel, it seemed that the food here would be just as amazing as the decor.
We decided to go for the chef’s menu, because when you’re at a top 50 restaurant you let the chef do his magic.
Another cool thing about Maido is their offerings when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks. I decided to get their herbal lemonade (the green drink below) and it was really refreshing.
While I was busy taking photos of our drinks and exploring the restaurant, our courses began to arrive.
Course 1/12: Titled, “snacks” this course featured three small bite sized delicacies that I would likel3 never put near my mouth unless they were at a restaurant such as this. I dont really want to know what was in them, but they were delicious regardless.
Course 2/13: Titled, “Poda Ceviche,” this course was nothing crazy, just your standard ceviche, definitely drawing its influence from the peru side of things, but flavorful nonetheless.
Now it’s here, that things start to get interesting. Course 3/13: Titled, “Dim Sum,”featuring a cacao shell, filled with cream, squid, and sea snail. Not the kinda thing you would expect to see really anywhere, but like everything else, it was pulled off perfectly.
Course 4/13: Titled, “Choripan,” or as I like to call it, “what kinda trickery is this?” As you can already see it gives the illusion of being a normal hotdog topped with some onions and tomatoes, but it time for the maido signature clapback. It’s not any hotdog, it’s a fish and octopus hotdog… So yah, not really my favorite.
Course 5/13: Titled, “Nigiri,” or more commonly known as, “something that is actual recognizable.” This was really good, as is all well made nigri, and featured scallop and toro (fatty tuna) nigiri. One may notice that there is only one nigiri in the photo and that’s because the toro one had a freaking ponzu injected egg on top of it and I ate that far before any rational thinking about how I should likely take a photo took hold.
Course 6/13: “Lapas Ceviche,” or, “freaking black magic.” This was one of the best courses of the night and featured a pretty standard ceviche, but with one twist, liquid nitrogen frozen hot-sauce. See those yellow nuggets, yah, that’s actually frozen hot-sauce.
Course 7/13: “Gindara Misoyaki,” nothing really special. Just some miso marinated cod, which while not bad, it didn’t really blow any minds.
Course 8/13: “Catacaos De Camarones,” a tamale wrapped around some shrimp in some sauce. Yah thats all I’ve got to say Course 9/13: “Cassava Soba,” or exactly what it sounds and looks like. You dip some noodles in a broth, yah… . It was really good with quite a strong taste.
Courses 12 & 13: Titled, “Reef,” and, ‘Mussel,” these two courses had me thinking, wait, are we sure this isn’t just the world 11th best dessert place. The design of these two dishes was fantastic with me being pleasantly surprised by how well it looked and tasted. Everything in these two images was edible (well except the bowl and plate, of course), and I mean everything. the mussel shell? Chocolate. The coral? Sugar.
Oh, and for anyone wondering where courses 10 & 11 went, shhhhhhhhh.
We took a step outside the restaurant and were immediately met by this woman, whose name I have totally forgotten, who was going to take us on a tour around Lima. She showed us the city’s various districts, but the main piece de resistance was Lima’s Plaza Mayor where we were able to see building inspired by various european nations, Spain most prominently.
After that tour we returned to the hotel and my parents went off for a walk around the city while I decided to remain in my room. Well many of you are likely horrified by the fact that I didn’t take every opportunity possible to experience peru, I always feel the need, regardless of the location to find some time in a day to just unwind in complete social isolation.
A few hours later we headed out to dinner, to a nice restaurant along the beach called Cala.
It offered some really nice peruvian dishes, and I decided on the lomo saltado, which is basically just peruvian stir fry, and is something that is good regardless of where you are in peru. I also decided to get a tuna roll to start, which is really weird, but the seafood was really fresh at cala so just went for it.
The food was really good, especially my mother’s appetizer, which I likely ate a little bit more then should would like of. However both my mother and father complained about the food the second we got out to restaurant, which surprised me, but it likely because they had compared it in their minds to Maido.
We returned to the hotel and tucked into bed, getting a good night of sleep to prepare for tomorrow’s travel day as we made our way to the sacred valley.