A misunderstanding of the US visa rules meant we needed to exit and re-enter the country to get another 90 days in the States so we could finish our exploration. Countries neighbouring the USA were forbidden, so a trip back to South America was soon devised.
We quickly booked two weeks in Peru, and in that time one of our priorities was to indulge in the cuisine, which is now reckoned to be among the world’s best, as well as to drink as many Pisco sours (a delicious citrus cocktail made with the local grape) as possible. We only managed one in Chile (the two countries fight over who created the cocktail) so we made it our mission to have at least one every day.
Our first destination was Lima, which is particularly renowned for its food, so we headed straight to the upscale Barranco neighbourhood. Here we found a old fashioned joint where we had fresh fish ceviche with sides of corn, sweet potato and avocado, topped with grilled octopus. We washed it all down with Cusquenas. A delicious start.
As well as colonial Barranco, we visited the stunning historical centre and the modern coastal Miraflores suburb in our two days in the capital.
As it was my birthday (35!), and we love beaches, we headed to the north coast to stay in the seaside village of Mancora. We booked a nice hotel with a gorgeous pool and veranda set on the hillside above the beach.
On the big day itself we had a delicious lunch of tiradito, octopus with olive dressing and calamari. Then Becki surprised me with a cake and champagne on our veranda before we headed into town for a seafood BBQ.
Apart from the birthday celebrations, our days were very relaxed and mainly spent around the pool overlooking the ocean, relaxing on the sunloungers and eating seafood. On a few days we managed to break away from the pool with walks down the wide sandy beach and even spotted whales frolicking in the sea. Each day ended with a spectacular sunset accompanied by a Pisco sour.
We were both very sad to leave and go back to proper backpacking with dark rooms and smelly bathrooms!
Next stop: Cuzco and the Sacred Valley