We needed to return to Lima for our flight on to Chile. We had a few days in the capital and used that time to catch up on laundry and attempt to live more like normal people and less like tourists. This required us to buy groceries, prepare meals and work on lesson plans for the kids home/road school while staying in a well appointed condo unit, a real departure from the dorm style hostel we had secured for our first nights in the city.
While in Lima we also had the great fortune of spending a lovely day with the sister of some old friends in Toronto. We were so happy to have met Maritza and her family as they were charming hosts and demonstrated abundant hospitality by showing us local sites, introducing us to an authentic local restaurant and inviting us to their cozy home for refreshments. We really loved this experience as it was packed with activities we would never have been able to do on our own. The restaurant in particular was a much appreciated reprieve from the tourist dining we had been relying on for the majority of recent meals. The three storey establishment was tucked away in a residential street with a busy car park out front. There was no signboard of any kind describing the bustling eatery found though the large wooden door. The house specials were fresh, local seafood dishes which to our largely terrestrial diets was positively exotic. Maritza’s 30ish youngest son, who had been pressed into translation service by his mother, explained how the food was acquired exclusively from local markets and the packed restaurant was a favourite place for large family gatherings. As it was Sunday, a day preserved in Peru for rest, relaxation and time with extended family, the place was bustling but a great open air space was found for our party of eight diners. Each dish was ordered and patiently explained to us by Maritza’s ever helpful and knowledgeable sons. At that point we had had many meals in Peru but this one was by far our most pleasant dining experience as it included a range savoury new dishes shared with wonderful new friends.