Saturday, June 19, 2010

We got up at 4am, and left at 4:30 for the international airport. Not surprisingly, we had a quick and easy drive to airport. We hadn't planned on leaving anywhere near this early, but the flight was too good to pass up. For whatever reason, when we were booking flights, the business class tickets cost no more than economy, and the flight was the only direct flight from Rio de Janeiro to Lima. Business class was very nice, and we both slept a good deal of flight. We did wake up in time to watch "The Blind Side," which they were showing on the plane.

We got picked up in Lima, and went down to Miraflores, the "Santa Monica" of Lima. There is a beach, but there is also a cliff right above the beach, like the California incline area in Santa Monica. We went to Larcomar, which is a mall on the cliff overlooking the beach and the ocean. It would have been nice if the sun was out - Lima was once again cloaked in fog - but the view was good anyway. We bought some chocolate at a La Iberica store - it was the same store we saw in Arequipa, where we were far too hot and dehydrated to find chocolate appetizing. For lunch, we went to Astrid y Gaston, which is owned by the same person that owns La Mar in San Francisco. There is a La Mar in Lima as well, and we planned to go to dinner there, but at Astrid y Gaston they told us that La Mar is not open for dinner. It wasn't that big a deal, because Astrid y Gaston was one of the best meals we've ever had. We split a Peruvian sampler appetizer, Crystal had an entree with different preparations of beef, and Justin had a Lomo Saltado.

After lunch, we went to a nearby ruins, Huaca Pucllana. Like many old ruins in Peru, much of it is now gone - only 1/4 of it left. There were a couple large pyramids made out of a ton of mud bricks, which looked a little dull because of the lack of sunlight. There were some Peruvian hairless dogs that were pretty cool. Apparently they live to be almost 20 years old. They were in good shape, and looked like many dogs but for the lack of hair. After leaving the ruins, we went back to Larcomar to hav some drinks at one of the bars overlooking the ocean. They were good, but Justin's drinks (basically a Long Island Iced Tea, but with Pisco and some fruit juice as well) knocked him out. We had dinner at one of the restaurants in Larcomar, and Crystal finally got some empanadas.

Back at the airport, Justin somehow made it through security without passing out, he saved that for the benches near the gate. Our flight was delayed by several hours, and Justin used that time to sober up. Because of the delay on our flight, we got another dinner, this time courtesy of LAN. The flight back to LAX was uneventful (the best kind), as was the drive back from LAX to our house.

All told, this was a good trip. We really liked Uyuni and the altiplano in Bolivia, and will be back there for sure. We're not sure where we'll be off to next, but hopefully we'll have as much fun as we did on this holiday.