My stomach! I don’t know what I ate that decided to completely destroy my insides, but I totally regretted whatever it was. I couldn’t eat or drink anything all morning, which was really sad considering how delicious the food in Peru is.
After sleeping in as much as I could, I met up with the rest of my family to hop on our airport transport. It took about 15 minutes to get to the Cusco airport but almost 45 minutes to get checked in. There were a handful of people being carted around in wheelchairs from rolling / breaking their ankles hiking the Inca Trail! Thankfully, none of us were in that bad of shape, though I slept more on the plane to Lima trying to recover…
The plane ride was short and it didn’t take long for us to drop our bags off at the Hotel Britania and set off in search of lunch. We walked to the Cat Park, the unofficial central park of the Miraflores district in Lima called Parque Kennedy that is home to hundreds of stray cats, and found a very packed, walk-up sandwich place called La Lucha. Trying to stick to neutral flavors for my stomach, I got a deliciously simple chicken sandwich. Ryan ordered a cookies-and-cream milkshake with his meal. I had a sip and, without a single shred of doubt, proclaimed that it was the most delicious milkshake ever made (and it still unrivaled to this day). Usually, I do not indulge in milkshakes, but I made Ryan split his with me. He was not super happy that I took 50% of heaven, so we got another shake to split and took photo documentation of the glorious drink (below). If you go to Lima, you MUST got to La Lucha and try a milk shake!
After we filled up, we headed back to the hotel which hailed a cab for us. Cabbies in Peru can be a bit sketchy, so it is recommended to have your hotel call a trusted service for the area to take and pick you up from where ever you go.
We decided to go to the Larco Museum, home to thousands of piece of ancient ceramics and pieces of South American history. The Larco Museum’s grounds are immaculately kept with amazing flowers covering the building and the adjacent gardens.
The galleries inside were filled with amazing jewelry, warrior outfits, pots and everyday goods, and most importantly, Pachamama and Pachapapa. Pachamama is the embodiment of Mother Earth, protecting over fertility, the mountains and the harvests, and who causes earthquakes. We saw the female and male figures of Pachamama all over Peru. Not only are they adorable, but we also heard a song about them during our first night in Cusco which had been stuck in our heads and sung by at least one of us every day since…
We explored the museum for a few hours and, before we knew it, it was time to meet our cab driver in front of the museum to go back to the hotel. We quickly freshened up for our fancy, last-night-in-Peru / sister’s birthday celebration dinner. We went to a very high-end restaurant and had a 7-course meal filled with drinks, laughter, and reminiscing. While I wish I could tell you what the restaurant was called and describe each immaculate dish and cocktail in detail, I spent about 75% of that dinner in the restroom and only took a small bite of my dishes (minus the seafood or acidic looking ones). Being the foodie I am, this was one of the most tragic meal experiences of my life.. seeing all of this scrumptiousness before me and having my body rebel to the point where I couldn’t stomach anything.
Between the food FOMO, the “we’re leaving tomorrow” depression, and the Montezuma’s revenge (that ended up lasting two weeks after we returned to the USA), sleep that night came quickly and, before we knew it, we were on a plane and the back in the States. Even with a stomach bug, all of the adventure, rich culture, and family bonding made for an absolutely amazing trip to Peru!