Georgene and Barbara
Policia in the Plaza waiting for something to jump off
Our culinary expert explaining over 20 fruits
Having a drink
Lunch at La Picanteria
Family Style Lunch
My Lemonade, Lucille’s Pisco Sour
Fresh Fish, So Tasty
At the JW Marriott
View from the Mall
The Mall, Across from Hotel
View From Hotel Room
JW Marriott Lima
El Chalan Peruvian Restaurant in Miami
It’s always best to arrive in your departure city a day ahead because anything can go wrong with your arrival flight being delayed or cancelled. Aside from that, it gives your body an opportunity to rest and relax before embarking on your big adventure. This tour was departing from Miami and I’m always happy to be in that city.
Georgene, Lucille, Juanita and myself hopped in an Uber and went to El Chalan Peruvian Restaurant our 1 night in Miami. My road dawg, fellow foodie Robbie Bell, had a prior engagement so we were on our own. We received a very warm welcome, had the best mixed seafood appetizer, tried that drink made from boiled purple corn and ordered our own individual main courses. I chose the Lomo Saltado — mmmm yeah, everything was so good.
There are 15 in the group, we all met up at the American Airlines counter and excitement was in the air. It, as a lot of KATTRAX Tours was a reunion of sorts. There was Dr. Alicia Rozario just finishing up her residency – Congrats!!! I hadn’t seen her since 2009 South Africa. Barbara Dorsey, Egypt 2012, Gail Kelly just 2 months ago in Paris, Ron Frazier in Colombia last year, along with son Chris. Michele Mendez and Kim Burroughs from South Africa 2015 and Barcelona. We have Regulars Barbara and Melvin Dean, and newcomers Audrey Richards and Brenda Ray. I’m thankful to be so blessed to always have the best travelers on my tours.
It was almost 9p when we landed in Lima. Our guide was there to meet us with a lit up red and black sign that read KATTRAX Group. Soon we arrived at the gorgeous 5 Star JW MARRIOTT LIMA. Everybody was delighted with their rooms– All with spectacular views of the ocean.
Peru has won the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the last 5 years and yes I was ready to see for myself. Our first morning was spent with a culinary expert, Marisol. We were driven to the Mercado (market). She explained and the group tasted over 20 varieties of fruits from the coast, the mountains and the jungle; even coca leaves from one of the country’s biggest illegal exports. It’s not something they are proud of but it is what it is. We here on our way up to 11,000 ft above sea level to a new Wonder of the World, MACHU PICCHU, the lost city of the Incas; needed that cocoa tea. When you drink it at Sea level it speeds you up but when there is very little oxygen so high up one can get very ill because the brain is not getting any oxygen however, that high up it regulates the oxygen in your blood and the altitude sickness symptoms become lessened. You also must drink at least 3 times the amount of water you normally consume to stay well hydrated.
Lunch was at a new restaurant, LA PICANTERIA, owned by famous Chef, Hector Solis from FIESTA restaurant. We had 2 communal tables and dined exactly like in a traditional “Picanteria”. It was truly a feast.
In the afternoon we had a half day guided tour of Lima visiting the historical center, the Plaza and the San Francisco Monastery. It was a highlight for me. We went down several feet underground to the catacombs (a burial ground until 1808). It gave insight into how religious life was during Spanish colonial times. An extraordinary fact : The monks arranged the remains according to bone types resulting in an amazing display of the burial site. There are over 70,000 bones down there.
In the Cloisters of the Monastery; the beautiful ornate tiles on the walls cost more than gold. Why? Because gold was readily available but those tiles could take 25 years to be created and shipped there from Europe. We had a very full and exciting day. We all look forward to the next episode
Tomorrow: Cusco and The Sacred Valley of the Incas