Yesterday was our first full day in Peru and with it came the expected highs and lows of travel.
The highs; being somewhere new, walking and exploring. The lows: being somewhere new, walking and exploring. We walked a total of eight miles. Sofia and Oscar were troopers and walked without (too many) complaints. The ice cream and pastry stops helped.
After checking out our new neighborhood and the local stores followed by a delicious lunch at the Larcomar with views of the Pacific Ocean, we piled the luggage into two taxis and waited and waited in the lobby of our apartment building for the rental agency to let us in. When we were finally let in, we couldn’t believe the view from the 15th floor. It is spectacular.
We unpacked, connected to the WiFi, checked out the TV channels and tried to relax as we watched the sunset through the foggy mist. Spirits were dragging and people were tired but we had to eat so we went back out and walked some more through the dark streets of Miraflores. The restaurants were empty (little did we realize it was because it was early for a Saturday night, only 8pm!) and no one could agree on what to eat. We circled through streets we had walked earlier in the day. The excitement of being somewhere new had been replaced by that awful feeling of being somewhere new when you are tired and hungry and it’s dark outside.
And then we walked by the Rafael Restaurant, considered to be one of the best restaurants in Lima (and one of the 50 best in Latin America.) It was recently included in the New York Times article, “36 hours in Lima” and is incredibly difficult to get into. So of course Sean said, “Let’s go in.” There was some doubt expressed (those doubtful will remain nameless) but we went in and were given a surprised look when we told them in very poor Spanish that we did not have a reservation but would like a table for four. The maitre d’ looked at his book and told us that if the party booked for the next table of four did not show up in 15 minutes we could have their table.
So, we sat at the bar and I had my first Pisco sour (more on that later). Before I could take a second sip we were shown to our table and had one of the most delicious meals of our lives. We had local scallops in the shell with the coral still attached, river shrimp croquettes, pacific grouper with a black citric butter, Indian fish curry, Lomo Saltado and for the resident vegetarian a delicious Pizza Margherita with basil pesto. The room was cozy and beautiful, humming with the kind of buzz that makes you feel like you landed in exactly the right place. Our waiter, Joan was so welcoming and accommodating we felt like regulars.
This time, we made a reservation for my parents’ visit before we left!