Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ceviche and Ancient Mummies

Remembering what a sunburn feels like is not the most comforting memory in the world. Though it brings back thoughts of beaches and vacations past, it also brings back the instensely horrible feeling of sunset chills (simultaneously freezing and scalding) and a reminder that you do have nerve endings on every square centimeter of your body. ¡Yo es idiota! I did, in fact, give myself the worst sunburn I have had in years today when I fell asleep in the sun, wearing only a bikini and staring into the shimmering pool-reflection of a crystal blue sky. However, to that I attest that 1) I was wearing only a bikini for the first time in over a year, 2) I was sitting by a pool, and 3) there was a crystal blue sky above. Take that, Alaska! Spending the summer freezing my butt off, wearing layers- LAYERS- of clothing every single day of this past "summer", and having the sun shine on my face a maximum of 8 days the entire 5-month period, I willingly accept the curse of my poolside choice. I guess I could have applied sunscreen. And not fallen asleep.

Our first week in Peru has consisted of eating accented by sleep, with a dash of touring. We started in Lima, where we spent a couple of days sleeping more than being awake. The past month (or more?) has been a rush of driving, organizing, seeing friends, and then- OH!- getting married. We were exhausted. I think I took 4 naps during our first two days in Peru. This, of course, was only aided by the fact that I over-ate, some of the first bites of deliciousness on our journey. Every single meal thus far in Peru has been delicious. My Spanish is improving from nothing to minimal, but I continue to randomly pick something off of each menu I am handed.

I have always determined that this is the best way to order in a country you are unfamiliar with, and in turn you learn a new word! I mean, the worst thing that could happen would be to get some ghastly organ on your plate, and even then, you would be none the wiser and eat it anyway! From chicken to seafood, ceviche to chupa, A-MAZ-ING. Perhaps my favorite dish thus far (besides ceviche which is simply the best way to enjoy fish or seafood, if you ask me) has been "chupa de langostinos". Neither Ben nor I had any idea what chupa was, so I went for it (or langostinos for that matter). It was not in our wholly Spain-Spanish language book. Well, it turns out that chupa is a soup involving everything you could possibly imagine. The one I received was a thick broth, perhaps a puree of sweet potato and spicy pepper (it was orangeish) and it´s contents were not limited to: shrimp/crawfish, mozzarella, peas, potatoes, 1/2 cob of white corn, carrots, egg (like in egg drop soup), and peppers. I am probably missing something here, but don´t ask me what. It was spicy, vegetably, and like moving to a different room at a discotec with every bite. At one point I remember saying something like, "I think I just got a piece of mozarella...wait, I think it was GOAT mozzarella!"

And so it has been with most meals, though offerings have changed quite a bit as we have traveled down the coast. We started in Lima and then bussed it down to Paracas, a small town on the coast where we toured the Islas Ballestas, a series of islands that produces something like 1 million tons of guano every year. Yes, there are some poor souls that go to this island twice yearly to "harvest" said guano for use as fertilizer. Talk about a dirty job, Dirty Jobs guy. Nonetheless, we were not allowed off the boat, and instead spent our time gawking at seals, penguins, seabirds and narrowly escaping "guano rain" (actually Ben was fortunate enough to not escape the rain...hehe). The town itself was rather small, so we roamed the streets and more in our spare time. It was here that I had my first Pisco Sour, the national beverage, which was to my taste buds a fantastic margarita. In fact, the drink is something like grape brandy, lime juice, sugar, and egg whites, but margarita with a foamy top it was to me!


Dad Phillips said...

Keep writing so we can enjoy the adventure too!!

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, foooooddd! Sounds like the travels have already been fantastic! Just put a blanket over that crisp skin so you can still enjoy the pool and blue skies.