We arrive in Lima at about midnight and get to our hostel – a very shabby place that reeks of bleach with damp sheets that feel dirty. After a 6 hour ride from Paracas and arriving at 11:30pm, we can’t do much about it except pretend that it’s not so bad. For the first time on this trip, I wish we’d brought sleeping bag liners. Daniel is very confused as to why I booked this place but he does a good job not giving me grief about it. I’m kicking myself though, why would I have picked such a crap place?! Turns out that I had booked this place just to lock in something cheap whilst looking for something better, which I found. I had just forgotten to cancel the crappy place and totally forgotten that I booked a better one around the corner. The next morning we move to the much better new place and now we’re ready for Lima.
Lima is the gastronomical capital of South America. There really isn’t much to do in Lima besides eat. I mean, 3 of the world’s top 50 restaurants are in Lima. Unfortunately the restaurants don’t welcome your average backpacker budget and after spending a fair bit on our Amazonian trip and on food generally in Peru, we weren’t in a position to splash out…too much. Our friends, Stef & Joe (check our their awesome blog here) are also in Lima so we catch up with them in Barranco given it’s one of the nicer areas in Lima. After some drinks, we pick Trip Advisor’s number 1 in Lima and head there for dinner. The taxi pulls up outside this beautiful 5 star hotel and we step out in our thongs (flip flops for you all non-Aussies) and llama jumpers, all class guys. We are whole-heartedly welcomed in to the restaurant despite our shabby appearances and are treated with 5 class service and given some delicious freebies (they must have sensed that we wouldn’t be able to afford much). After a fantastic meal, Stef tells us about the water fountain park. It’s nearing 8:30pm and Trip Advisor says it closes so 9 so we race to get a taxi, tell him ‘mas rapido por favor’ and pull up outside the park at 8:45pm. We run to the counter and beg them to let us in. The counter girl rolls her eyes, points at a sign and says ‘it closes at 10’. Phew! We spend the next hour playing around the park like kids before having to sadly say goodbye to our fave couple (but thankfully not for too long).
After getting back from the Amazon, we have one night before heading to Mancora. We book a hostel strategically located within walking distance to Viet – a, you guessed it, Vietnamese restaurant. The owner, Jorge is a Peruvian guy whose family lived in Canada for 20 years and now he’s back to introduce Peru to Vietnamese food. Needless to say, we are stoked to being eating authentic and delicious food. If you’re in Peru, we highly recommend you visit this place! And with my last slurp of phở, we say a sad goodbye to arguably the best Vietnamese restaurant in South America.