Since Machu Pichu had been on my bucket list for a very long time, it comes as no surprise that I put Peru on my itinerary this summer.
Lima was my first stop and I loved every minute of it. I originally planned on staying for 3 days but ended up staying for 6 days and even then I was hesitant to leave. Something about big cities just makes me happy. In Lima, I stayed with two different couchsurfers – both were pleasant experiences.
One of the things that made my stay in Lima amazing was the varieties of Afro-Peruvian activities. June is the month of Afro-Peruvian heritage in Peru. So I attended various events organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Afro-Peruvian museum. There I met amazing folks from feminists to poets to actors to intellectuals and activists. At the event was a girl I met 4 years ago in Guatemala. We met at a park, went for drinks and said good-byes. We didn’t exchange information so there was no way to keep in touch. So it was a pleasant surprise to see her at the National Museum in Lima. This time, we exchanged contact information.
While I was in Lima, there was an earthquake – nothing devastating. I woke up confused, first I thought the washing machine was in use (washing machine in LA has this strong vibrating effect) but then the trembling was way too strong. Anyways that made it my first earthquake.
After Lima, I went to Chincha Alta. Chincha is an Afro-Peruvian town about 3.5 hours from Lima. The weather was nicer there a
nd the family I stayed with was awesome. The Ballumbrosio family is very famous in Peru – they are Zapateros dancers. The zapateros dancing I was told has roots in the Bantu ethnic group of Congo. I also visited the Hacienda San Jose – I was slightly depressed after my visit. Slaves worked at the hacienda during the slavery era. It wasn’t until a slave rebellion broke out that the slaves were able to free themselves. I was showed the basement of the hacienda where slaves were punished to death and the various instruments that were used to torture the slaves. I left the hacienda with a very bitter taste in my mouth.
My last stop in Peru was in Puno – one of the ugliest cities I’ve ever been to. I think you will be better off at one of the islands. I stayed only one night and crossed the border to Bolivia the next morning. The border crossing was one of the most interesting events I’ve ever experienced. I’ll tell you more about the experience on my next blog on Bolivia.
As for the title of the blog, Pisco is the national drink – I loved the Pisco sour . Chifa is what they call Chinese food and chifa was everywhere. So when next you find yourself in Peru, make sure to try Pisco Sour and eat some chifa.
Adios until next time.