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We finally made it to Peru

Updated: Jan 13


Welcome to Country 65. After a false start to entering Peru last October on our North to South Pole cruise, this attempt was a success, and we were blessed with three days in Lima, the capital of Peru and home to 11 million, as we circumnavigate South America with Oceania Cruises on our 110-day voyage.

Lima is a culinary delight, has over 200,000 restaurants and hosts three of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Peruvian food is world-class, and we can now testify that it is worthy; the two meals we experienced were incredible!

The cruise ships dock in Callao, a Peruvian seaside city and region on the Pacific Ocean in the Lima metropolitan area, approximately 30-45 minutes from the centre.

Significant contrast of life as you explore and discover the different parts of the intense city.

It felt like a city lived on the inside; the vast amount of steel bars, metal doors and walls, including electric fence wires and razor wire protecting the homes, businesses and buildings alone, was confronting, providing a level of understanding of the desperation and crime risk.

As you drive through the different neighbourhoods, you start to see the change, and those pristine neighbourhoods are home to the wealthy.

On day one, we were on the shuttle bus from the ship and delivered to a central point in Lima for passengers to explore the city. Our ship friends invited us to a beautiful restaurant, so we booked an Uber from the Municipal centre.

We were fortunate to pass by the ancient olive grove park and the 18-hole exclusive city golf course. Forty minutes later, we were within the four walls of a magical mansion setting, sipping our first Pisco Sour in Peru (knowing it would also be our last drink in Peru) with a beautiful garden to enjoy lunch at Astrid y Gaston.

Our first taste of Peruvian wine, a very satisfying reserve Chardonnay, and a selection of Appetisers and Mains were ordered. The dishes' presentation was elegant, and the flavours and tastes were delicious!

We enjoyed the afternoon with lovely company, food, and wine in a relaxed and gorgeous atmosphere.

Peru was filled with magical skies each evening; here was the sunset with abundant bird life on our first evening in Lima.

Our next adventure was to explore Lima and experience the city, so we were on an early shuttle to the municipal again to Uber into the historic centre.

Our drive navigated us through the city's hectic traffic to finally deposit us in the heart of Lima, the main square, to stroll around and capture the town's essence and impressive architecture.

It was very safe to wander amongst the locals and the few tourists that were beginning to return. A police presence was felt to make everyone feel comfortable exploring, too.

We admitted defeat after the midday sun beaming down on us and our fair skin. We stumbled upon a restaurant by the ruins, with a bright and colourful backdrop of modest Peruvian homes nestled within the mountain. The restaurant was kind enough to let us enjoy a mid-morning Pisco Sour and google our way to the grand finale lunch in Lima (and Peru) that was focused on the taste of Peru so that we could experience authentic local cuisine.

Our restaurant 'Huaca Pucllana' was recommended by our friends from the day prior, as it overlooked the pre-incan stepped pyramid ruins and provided a great backdrop of the Peru landscape, serving local Peruvian food.

We enjoyed a selection of starters to sample even more unique dishes; we were fortunate the waiter reminded us that one dish was the cow's heart; here, I thought the beef skewers were heart-shaped!! So we quickly reordered to something less scary!

A wonderful afternoon in a majestic setting was to be farewelled with our final favourite cocktail, another Pisco sour, to end our short stay in Peru. Pisco Sours Better in Peru!

We returned to the ship in preparation for our journey to Ecuador, celebrating our 65th country with champagne and a cheese plate on our balcony. We were blessed with pods of dolphins porpoising by the ship's side in the sunset.

Our next adventure is coming soon as we continue our 110-day journey with Oceania Cruises, the circumnavigation of South America.

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