Up, up, and away

Reed boats in the Uros

Reed boats in the Uros

Cuzco is *&”£ing freezing at this time of year. Puno is !?*$ing freezinger. And the night I spent on the island of Amantaní in Lake Titicaca was possibly the ***%%$!!”ing freezingest night of my life. This has really helped to put the winter in Lima in perspective. As my colleagues shivered and snivelled this week in school, bundled up in coats and scarves, I ran gaily about in my cardigan feeling fine in the 14 – 17° weather. Although even I have to admit that however mild that sounds for the middle of winter, the humidity does make it feel colder, and the neverending cloud cover makes for a gloomy, relentless few months, as described by the Associated Press in this article on Lima’s coldest winter in 30 years. More

Ups and downs

Cabezas clavas

Cabezas clavas

Holiday time is finally here. The long, dark tea-time of the term is over and it’s the May half-term break. Having been so notably lax at booking holidays on time in the past, we booked our bus tickets and even a nice place to stay almost a month in advance, for once, and decided our destination this time would be the mountain city of Huaraz, home of Perú’s highest mountain (Huascarán, 6700 meters) high in the beautiful cordillera blanca.

The garúa or winter sea fog is starting to set in in Lima, and as with last year’s May break, the search for a last week of sun before the grim, grey winter was an important deciding factor in choosing a destination, More

Something Fishy

For some time I’ve been living in a place which really, really, REALLY values it’s contribution to world cuisine. Unfortunately most of the world does not appear to have taken the bait. I’m quite a foodie, from a place where a fair variety of world cuisine is easy to come by, and I’ve never, ever heard of most of any of Peru’s most famous dishes. Maybe I’m just ignorant. Maybe there isn’t a huge Peruvian community in the UK, or maybe aliens fitted a bizarre filter to my ears and cultural perceptors which meant I just never digested any of this information before. Whatever the reason, now is my opportunity to try it out and disseminate this wonderful bounty upon you, my readers.

So here is what I got up to last week. Ceviche, Peruvian style. More

Mistura

 True Arches of Gold signifying culinary treasures within

It is here again; Mistura, the comestible festival. This 11 days of awesomeness is in its fifth year and is a prominent feature in the Lima cultural calendar. More

You know you’re in Peru when…

The exit sign on the door of the impossibly rickety old bus is in Korean.

Someone has dug a pit of flames and rocks two meters from a childrens’ climbing frame.

The second question every new person asks (after ‘where are you from?’) is, “do you love our food?” Not the country, not the people, not what do you like in general. Straight to the chase.

The temperature hits 15°C and there’s a national panic about protecting the vulnerable from the cold, and articles on how to drive in wet conditions.

A pen full of scruffy guinea-pigs makes you think, “they don’t look very appetising,” rather than, “poor, cute little things.”

Being at the bottom of the table for the world cup qualifiers does not call for pessimistic reviews of where national football has gone wrong, but for good cheer in the face of a possible win against Venezuela.

‘Wanka farma’ is not an unreasonable or laughable name for a pharmacy.

And most of all – you’re surrounded by this kind of national pride and wonderful silliness…Peru, Nebraska

Feathered friends

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