A Travellerspoint blog

Mercado Numero Uno

The foods of Lima

overcast 70 °F

A 5 minute walk from the center of Miraflores is Surquillo District, home to Mercado Numero Uno.

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A world full of colors, sounds, smells and tastes, this is one of the most famous markets in Lima due its variety of vendors:

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Sarah made nice with this mother and daughter owned produce stand:

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And this poor butcher was clearly overwhelmed by all the hullaballoo (nevermind the lack of refrigeration or the weird meat juice):

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And speaking of butchers, several people have asked about the strange meats here and if we have tried them.

We tried alpaca, which along with llama were the preferred meats of the Incan tribes.

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The texture is like a pork chop, but it tastes a little gamey.

Another Peruvian staple is Anticucho or grilled cow heart. This dates back to the 16th century when the dish was recorded as a favorite by many Spanish Conquistadors.

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The texture is like a rubbery over cooked steak. It tastes like a rubbery over cooked steak. Notice the large corn kernels and the yellow potatoes! We regularly enjoy many of the 3800 hundred types of multi colored potatoes they grow in Peru as they are integrated into almost every meal when we eat out.

We have also tried ceviche, tacu tacu, guinea pig, and some delicious local fruits like cherimoya, which looks like an artichoke, but tastes like cotton candy:

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We've also tried golden berries or aguaymantos, which have the texture of a cherry tomato, but the tart taste of cranberries:

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And what would the food post be without a quick homage to Peruvian IPA? Nathan found the only artisanal brew pub in the city, aptly named The Barbarian!

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Cheers to a wonderful week, everyone! And a Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Posted by wintermaasz 15:57 Archived in Peru Comments (1)

JFK, Cats, and 400 Year Old Olive Trees

Lima's Parks and Recreation

overcast 68 °F

With almost 10 million residents, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area in Peru, and the second largest city in South America. For such a bustling place the city does it's best to tackle the smog problem with a remarkable number of parks and green spaces.

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Our favorite park is the the Bosque de Olivar which is steps from our front door.

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Olivar's resident turtle, Juan Carlos:

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El Olivar dates back to 1560 when Antonio de Rivera brought the first olive plants from Sevilla, Spain.

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Many did not survive the journey, but once planted in Lima the trees thrived.

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Majority of the trees in the park today are about 400 years old.

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Parque El Olivar was declared a Peruvian National Monument in 1959. Sarah runs here daily, and we often take breakfast to one of the benches or stroll in the evenings after dinner.

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We also frequently walk down through central Lima to Miraflores and pass through these types of gems all along the way:

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Miraflores is a more artsy neighborhood that hugs the beach and it's parks are loaded with funky art and gorgeous views:

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Just past a Miraflores is the equally bohemian Barranco district:

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On the urban side of Miraflores is Kennedy Park or Cat Park, which is a perfectly manicured green space with dozens of well cared for cats for any passerby to pet or cuddle as they traverse the city.

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And these are not just all well framed shots, even the freeways are done up like parks:

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We leave you with this tiny art in our neighbor's courtyard that warms our hearts.

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All our love from Lima.

Posted by wintermaasz 18:39 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Black Sand Beaches

The Other West Coast

semi-overcast 70 °F

We'd be lying if we said we didn't miss Rio de Janeiro. We understand that everything coming out of Brazil looks like a mess right now -- the political turmoil, the zika virus, the Olympics debacle -- but we really felt at home on our slice of Copacabana beach.

So, naturally, one of our first trips out and about when we got to Lima was to the Peruvian Beach:

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We walked from our apartment in the San Isidro neighborhood southwest to the Miraflores/Barranco seafront and down this lovely path to the water:

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Little did we know that this was one of the precious sunny days we've had since we arrived, as the weather is typically overcast and gray.

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The sand here in Lima is black and mostly rocky, which makes a delightfully soothing sound when the surf rolls in and out:

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The waves are pretty impressive,

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and there are several people surfing in thick wetsuits,

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and parasailing along the cliffs above.

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As it begins to feel more and more like winter is on its way down here in the southern hemisphere, we hope you are all enjoying the emergence of summer stateside.

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As always, lots of love from Lima.

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Posted by wintermaasz 15:58 Archived in Peru Comments (1)

Here, There, Everywhere

California, Chile, Argentina, and now Peru

overcast 70 °F

Buenos Dias from Lima, Peru!

We have been on a break from blogging while we spent a few weeks on solo adventures, but we are back this week with plenty of photos to make up for lost time.

Nathan and his friend Randy rented a car and spent two weeks driving across Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, seeing some truly varied landscapes and breathtaking views along the way.

Hiking Osorno Volcano outside of Puerto Varas, considered one of the most dangerous and active volcanoes in Chile in the past 500 years:

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Exploring Alerce Andino National Park, where we saw the oldest tree in Chile - a Patagonian Cypress that fist sprouted over 3,600 years ago:

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Visiting Ojos del Caburga outside of Pucon, where dozens of waterfalls converge from all sides into a blue lagoon:

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Trekking in the Los Lagos Region of Huerquehue National Park, with views of Villarrica Volcano, which just erupted in 2015 and was still smoking and giving off a red glow that we could see at night from our front porch!

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Some of the highlights as we drove over the Andes from Chile to Argentina:

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Views from the top of Cerro Catedral, where we ended up creating our own trail to the top of the mountain when we found the official trail closed for the season:

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Exploring the Alerce Glacier, perched 3,000 feet above the canyon floor and feeding the river with dozens of waterfalls at Mount Tronador in Nahuel Huapi National Park::

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Meanwhile, Sarah travelled all the way back to California to sing her childhood best friend down the aisle. It was wonderful to experience the crazy Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo with my folks, and dance the night away with several lifelong friends in celebration of Lauren and Mark!

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I also spent some time at home for my nephew Johnny's first holy communion and some good ol' family bonding:

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After all of the excitement, we met up in Lima, Peru, for the next stage of our adventure. We haven't done a lot of sight seeing in Lima yet, but we did have a wonderful visit from our dear friend, Rae, and her dad, Dave:

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We enjoyed a delightful dinner overlooking the Huaca Pucllana Pryamid, an active archeological site in the center of the Miraflores neighborhood:

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We plan to share more of our favorite spots around the city in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Posted by wintermaasz 20:27 Archived in Peru Tagged california chile argentina patagonia Comments (3)

Sugarloaf Mountain and Arcos de Lapa

Chapter 11: Cable Cars by Land and Air

sunny 95 °F

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Sugarloaf Mountain, or Pão de Açúcar, is a symbol of Rio de Janeiro and one of the city's most visited attractions.

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The name Sugarloaf was coined in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the heyday of sugar cane trade in Brazil, when blocks of sugar were placed in conical molds made of clay to be transported on ships.

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We heard the best way to avoid the crowds is to go at sunset, after the tour groups have left, and we were well rewarded!

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Sugarloaf Mountain is actually two separate mountains, so the journey started with the cable car ride up to Morro da Urca at 722 feet. At the first stop, there are shops and bars along with dozens of places to sit and enjoy the view.

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The second cable car goes up even higher, to 1299 feet, the peak of Pão de Açúcar. The top is breathtaking and breezy, and offers the best panoramic views of Guanbara Bay and the southern beaches of Rio.

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We stayed at the top for most of the sunset.

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When we returned to the first peak, we were overwhelmed by the view of Rio at night.

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On our way down we stopped to check out the older cable cars that used to run until the 1960s.

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The cable car from the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker, was also on display. Nathan knew all about the villainous henchman Jaws fighting 007 on the cable cars, but I had to do my research post facto:

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Our final tourist outing was to check out the Arcos de Lapa or the Carioca Aqueduct. Built in the 1700's to bring fresh water from the Carioca river to the population of the city, the perfectly symmetrical arches are a tribute to colonial architecture and engineering.

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The structure was adapted in 1896 to serve as a tram line: the Bondinho de Santa Teresa.

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It is the oldest tramway in South America that is till in use.

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The bondinho transports passengers between downtown Rio and the hilly Santa Teresa neighborhood. We stayed in this area during Carnival, but the tram was closed due to the holiday, so we took advantage of the return trip to stop at one of our favorite spots for lunch.

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We spent our final evening walking our favorite stretch of the boardwalk and enjoying the company of our local friends. It has been a phenomenal trip and we are grateful to have called Rio home for the last three months. We will be on hiatus for the next few weeks, but we will be back soon for the next leg of our trip: Peru.

So long, Rio. You were a wonderful home to both of us, and you will be definitely missed!

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Posted by wintermaasz 15:06 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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