Peruvian encounters

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Chio & Béto

After many days on the road, we crossed the Peruvian border on the 7th November and we arrived in the small seaside city of Cancas. We discovered the Pacific Coast, its warmth and waves. We enjoyed the amazing hospitality from Chio and Béto to recharge our batteries in the fine sandy beach while looking the endless horizon. When I was a kid, I was looking the ocean and my dad always asked me if I could see America. Today, The Peru is under my feet and I am looking for Asia on the line separating the blue of the ocean from the blue of the sky.

Chio and Béto live in a house on stilts. On the ground floor, the sand has replaced the tiles in the kitchen and living room. Next door, the restaurant is overlooking the ocean with a direct access to the beach. The specialities are Ceviche and Tiradito (the Peruvian specialities made from fish and seafood).

We arrived at their home at the sunset (around 6:30pm on the North of Peru), Béto welcomed us with our first Cusceña beer (which we consider as the best Peruvian beer), before to enjoy a delicious “Pollo à la braza”.

The next day, after a lie-on, we went to Mancora, 30kms away towards South from Cancas. We did some food shopping in the covered market to prepare a “French diner” for all the family. At 12:30pm, we went to the French school of the city to pick up Lucas and Isma, the children of Chio and Béto. Here, the school year is from March to December and the kids are at school from 7am to 12:30am. In spite of learning French, the specificity of this school is to give surfing classes. 

Lucas and Isma were proud to go back home by side-car and taunted their classmates when the engine started. But after a few kilometres, both of them fall asleep, with the gentle noise of the wind. After a basking afternoon on the beach, we are cooking a chicken in a salt crust and tarte Tatin. At the time for an aperitif, we shared with the kids a glass of the most famous soda in the country: the Inca Kola. Secretly, they stole the pack of Cheetos we wanted to share and went to eat it in front of the TV. We continued chatting about fishing, cooking and travelling during all the evening. 

When we woke up, the day started by a swim in the sea. During the breakfast, a whale and her baby offered a beautiful show. We were captivated by this unique moment offered during over thirty minutes. We enjoyed the beach for the rest of the day before to share a barbecue in the evening. On the grill, squids and fishes cooked slowly. The next morning, we left this little piece of heaven and headed towards South. 

Oscar & his vineyard

Once crossed Lima, we arrived around four o’clock in Imperial. When we went out of the city, the sat nav showed the little path to take, on the left side of the main road. We went forward a few hundreds metres before to park the sidecars in front of a big wooden portal. Around there is a portico made of iron and on the right-hand side, there is a small mailbox named “Viña de Oscar”. We rang the bell just above and then we waited patiently. Oscar opened widely the door of his house. Behind him, a pretty and welcoming garden just before the entry of the vineyards. 

Once the motorbike parked in the shadow, we took a seat in the garden. Oscar was happy to offer us his favourite cocktail: the Garden Mojito. He made it with the Pisco from his grapevines and the mint growing at the end of his garden. We enjoyed discussing, sometimes in French and sometimes in Spanish ; about France where he worked a few years, wine and the growing of grapevines. Once the Mojito and the Pisco de la Casa tasted, we went to explore the vineyard. For Oscar, producing wine is a pleasure but not a commercial activity. Therefore, there are only a few rows of grapevines behind the garden, on a length of around 600m. Oscar takes care of this parcel on his own to make a few bottles of Pisco and wine for him and his friends. He didn’t wanted to make us taste his wine as he believes French wine is better than his. In Peru, the wine is sweet and similar to Port or an aperitif that we know in Europe. 

 The majority of the grapes produced on the Coast is distiled to make Pisco and only a small part of the grapevine production is used for making sweet red wine. The wine similar to the French wines, do not have many consumers here. Therefore, the production is very low. 

After a tennis table game on an old Cornilleau table and a pizza from the restaurant at the corner, we went to sleep. 

When we woke up, Oscar offered a breakfast with local specialities. Before to say goodbye, he kindly gave us a bottle of Pisco that we will bring with us until we reach Chile. At the end of the morning, the Ural crossed the big wooden portal. Behind us, a little piece of heaven is closing his doors…