One of the things I’ve learned from traveling in Latin America is that Latin Americans are fiercely proud of their heritage and culture. Whenever we are planning our workshops–typically 5 day workshops in country in partnership with the host nation–the hosts always insist that one afternoon is a “cultural day.” That is, they want to have an afternoon, if not an entire day, dedicated to taking their foreign guests around town showing them the capital building, local museums, a typical lunch, etc. This is diametrically opposed to the fly in on a red eye for a 2 hour meeting and leave for the airport after the meeting. I’m sure you can imagine what camp I fall in.
One of my colleagues brought his father and brother, a friend from graduate school and his father. They invited me to join them exploring a little of Lima when we had some free time. In fact, our host country partners will usually bear more of the burden of work in order for us to have time to explore their beloved country. I just love that and really appreciate it.
We grabbed two taxis, our driver was fascinated by the height of my colleagues’ father who is 6’4″–you don’t see too much of that in Peru. We were headed to Museo Larco and then to lunch. The taxi driver was quite the character and kept telling us things we had to try: pisco sour, ceviche, chewing coca leaves if we were going to high altitudes. He told us about the Inti Raymi festival, which is a festival in the month of June for the Incan sun god.
The grounds of Museo Larco are gorgeous, the building itself is white and brick and there are bougainvillea and geranium, among other flowers in bloom everywhere. The building houses tens of thousands of pre-Columbian art and artifacts and gives a really nice history of Peruvian civilization, both pre-Columbian and post.
I will be honest, I’m not one of those people who can spend hours at a museum at the exhibit. I get tired, my back hurts, I get hungry, but worst of all my brain is hyper-stimulated and I need to write. So often when I go to museums, I’ll do a lap or visit one part and then take a break at the museum café for some sustenance and to digest what I have just seen in my journal. Or write out what came to mind, invoked by what I just saw. So I did just that although I didn’t sit in the café, I found a bench among the flowers and wrote.
After everyone had their fill of museuming, the friend who was leading the group asked if we would prefer to walk to lunch or take a cab. The lunch place was 1 mile away. We all opted to walk and we moseyed through a cool neighborhood stopping to admire the architecture and flowers.
Lunch was at Antigua Taberna Queirolo an old cantina (f. 1880!) and pisco distillery. We ordered drinks, I had the maracuyá sour, a passionfruit and pisco cocktail (see photo below). And we ate family style, ordering 2 each of lomo saltado, causa de pollo, steak, and stuffed potatoes.
After we finished lunch and were sufficiently stuffed, we headed over to the distillery to check out the pisco selection.
It was a nice partial day jaunt around Lima before we had to get back to work.