Oh, hello there! Yes, it’s me, the girl who hasn’t posted in like a month. Exactly a month actually…I’ve been keeping track.
So why the long silence?
Well, if you’re a regular reader you probably remember that I’m in the process of finishing up my Bachelors of Education (yes, zee girl went back to school last fall) and last month was probably the busiest I had yet experienced.
I just finished up a 4 week practicum teaching Grade 6 and 7 to a wonderful class in Kingston, but that also meant relearning math that I haven’t used in a decade, planning lessons, and catching up on sleep whenever I had a free moment. So zee blog sat quietly and waited… I’m not quite done school yet (only 6 more weeks left, guys!), but at least now it’s a lighter workload.
So where next?
I’m actually in South America at the moment! I’m in the process of completing my third and final teaching practicum and Peru seemed as good a place as any. I have family here, the weather is great this time of year, and have I mentioned that Lima is the destination for foodies?! Yep, I’ve been here 5 days and I’ve been eating like a queen. My days are spent teaching English at a private school in the city, and then in the afternoons I hang out with family and go out for a bit of exploring. Not a bad setup!
First impressions from Lima
Even though I’ve been to Lima many times, my last visit was 6 years ago so in a way it feels like I’m experiencing it afresh. These are a few of my ‘new’ first impressions:
– Food, food, food. This is a city where you come to eat and eat well! It doesn’t matter if I’m eating at my family’s house or going out to a restaurant, every meal so far has been delicious.
– On that note, cow hearts are quite tasty when seasoned right and no, I wasn’t tricked into eating these. Anticuchos are a local delicacy here and the meat is so juicy and flavourful that you’d never know you were eating hearts unless someone told you.
– There’s a lot of cool street art everywhere you look, and I don’t mean graffiti. There are entire buildings covered in really cool murals – this is just a small one I spotted in Miraflores.
– Lima is very green. The streets are lined with beautiful trees, there are parks everywhere, and the city has really made an effort to create spaces where people can hang out and enjoy the outdoors.
– It doesn’t feel as dangerous as people say. Lima gets a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to crime, but I really don’t think it’s as bad as they say. Yes, you do need to be mindful of the neighbourhoods you wander into, you probably don’t want to be flashing the latest gadgets when you go out for a walk, and you should always be aware of your surroundings, but let’s be honest, that applies to a lot of places around the world.
– Business is booming. There are new shopping centres, new restaurants, new boutiques and they are all busy. It’s amazing going out on a Tuesday night and seeing restaurants jam-packed with people.
– Limeños are cat lovers. I haven’t seen this many cats in a city since Istanbul, and they are just as loved and well looked after here. I have watched people pull out cat food from their bags to feed the strays, and I’ve seen little cups of water in the park left behind for the cats to drink out of. These strays also get plenty of attention from locals and tourists who stoop down to pet them.
Snapchat silliness from the Land of the Incas
Llama or alpaca? I can never tell, but I can promise you some fun snaps from Peru.
Sam and I always like to film videos for our YouTube channel when we travel, but it can take us a few weeks to edit and release them. If you want to see what we’re up to in real time, then you can find us on Snapchat as thatbackpacker. We’ll be showing you a lot of food, giving you a glimpse of Lima, and taking you on a few little weekend trips.
And that’s it for now! Just a little check in to say I’m alive and well, and I’ll have more stories from Peru to share soon. 🙂
I studied in Lima 2 years ago and loved it so much! Can’t wait to read about your adventures there. Good luck 🙂
That’s so cool Justyna! Were you there on a language exchange program?
Lima looks like a fantastic place. I’m going there myself soon as a part of my round the world trip, and I have to say that Peru is the place I’m most excited about visiting.
Glad to see you’re doing well. Enjoy your time there 🙂
That’s exciting, Zascha! I hope you have time for a few days in Lima – the food in this city really is out of this world!
Great to see you back in action, Audrey! 🙂 Nice to know about your studies and teaching, and that you are having a great time in Lima. As you said, the food is delicious in Lima, I would love to see some pictures, too! Looking forward for more….:-)
Thank you, Renuka! There will be lots of pictures and food videos in the weeks to come.
Awesome! So glad to see you back on here, have missed your words. That’s so great to hear about the cats! It was heartbreaking in India to see the state of the animals. It’s nice to know somewhere in the world people take care of the strays. And I guess the weather won’t kill them off like in Canada during winter(?).
Keep writing, eating and exploring!!
Thank you, Colleen! I’ve really missed writing and being connected with the travel blogging community. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things once I finish my studies. And yes, it’s so nice seeing the cats being looked after even though they are strays. I actually bought some cat food today so I’m going to head back to the park to feed them this weekend. 🙂
Lima looks so lovely! It’s great you’re getting to spend time with family, do your work experience and travel all at the same time- that’s some great multi-tasking! 🙂
Yes, I’m so glad I was able to combine the two! 🙂
Love that you’re in Peru, it’s on my go to list. Do you like the International School? How many other teachers work there? Is it a paid position? Probably not, huh. So many questions, lol. Would love to see some food I’m missing out on!
Hi Nello, I’m really enjoying my placement at the school. It’s a nice mix of Peruvian and international teachers. It’s not a paid position as this is a practicum for my studies, but I only have a few more weeks to go.
I’m a bit ignorant when it comes to Peruvian cuisine, so I can’t wait to see some food posts and videos! I’m jealous that you’re in the sunshine, but I look forward to reading about your upcoming adventures 🙂
The food is delicious! We just finished filming a video about ceviche today and that video will go up later this week. In the meantime, we do have a few street food / snack videos already up if you’re interested: youtube.com/backpackingtraveltv
Cows hearts, hmmm… Can you tell they are cow hearts when you eat them? I’m not sure I would be brave enough to try it, but I’ll definitely make note of it for my trip down there next year. Enjoy the nice warm weather. It’s still pretty much winter weather up here in the great north!
Good question! I never would have been able to guess they were cow hearts if I hadn’t been told. The meat is really lean and because the heart is a muscle there’s no fat in it. Also, they season the anticuchos with lots of garlic so the meat has a really nice flavour. You should try it if you get the chance!
Love the street art! It always gives an insight of the local artists and the culture! Happy adventures!
Yeah, I’ve come across a lot of interesting pieces. I also think it’s a nice way to brighten up a neighbourhood.
Lima is always a good time can’t go wrong with the oh so many food selections.
Oh yes, the cuisine has been magical! I feel like I’m going to run out of time before I have time to eat everything I want to!
Lima is one of those cities that I’m dying to go to. I’m glad to hear such a rave review of it! I’m pretty much a sucker for cities that have good street art. That, and I love cats. Something tells me I’d really like Lima. Have fun!
I’ve really enjoyed it so far and it’s so nice having so many cats nearby – it reminds me so much of the cat cafes in Korea.
Welcome back! Good luck with your practicum! I really love cats and for that I think Lima is a great city to take care of them. Nice pics!
Thanks it’s nice to be blogging again! There will be lots of Peru posts coming up in the next few weeks. 🙂
I’d forgotten that Kenedy Park is full of cats – great for a little petting therepy after a long day and so strange after all the stray dogs everywhere to just see cats! I loved food in lima too – Mr Sushi near miraflores does all you can eat sushi and drink inka cola on wednesdays, (as of 3 months ago anyway) I highly recommend them
Thanks for the recommendation, Emma! I’m yet to have sushi since I’ve been here, but I’ve been craving it this week so I’ll see if I can hit it up.
I’m interested in finding out about the cuisine in Lima because we didn’t stop there during our 3 1/2 weeks in Peru. I wasn’t very impressed by the food in general in Peru but we were eating cheap
I’ve been loving the food in Lima!!! I’ve had lots of ceviche (raw fish cured in lemon), anticuchos (cow hearts that taste like steak!), and deserts made with tropical fruits. I still have to try chifa which is a fusion between Peruvian and Chinese food, but so far my taste buds have been impressed! 🙂
I was not overly impressed with Lima the first time I went. I really loved other parts of Peru more…maybe I’ll give it another chance!
I’ve heard a few people say they didn’t really click with Lima and I can understand that – it’s a city that’s not for everyone. I find that the more I visit, the more I enjoy it. I’ve also based a lot of my travels here around food. There isn’t a whole lot in terms of attractions, but if you like to eat, it’s a good place to be!
We too didn’t feel Lima was nearly as dangerous as many people made it out to be. Enjoy the rest of your time in Peru!
Yeah, I think it all depends on where you stay and where you visit. I’m now two weeks in and I haven’t felt in danger at any point, but I do still keep my guard up.
LOVED the cat park in the Miraflores area, I made the mistake of bringing a few cans of wet cat food…no joke I had 50 cats at me feet begging for some!
We just bought some cat food to feed the cats in the park this week. Haha, we’ll see how it goes!
Ha ha, yes we were wondering where you’d gotten to. Can’t wait to hear more about Lima. Is there a cooking class in your future?
Ah, yes, just a little break due to school. I’m really looking forward to getting back into blogging and vlogging as soon as I graduate. As for cooking classes, it’s not something I’ve tried in Lima yet, but I’ll see if I have time to sneak one in. I’ve been trying so many new dishes and it would be great to actually learn how to make some of them!!
Peru sounds really great, i’d love to go there! I can’t wait to hear more about the food and see more photos.
Oh, there will be lots of food posts and videos coming up in the next few weeks. We’ve been discovering so many new dishes and trying lots of new restaurants. Lima is a foodie’s paradise!
First off, I just want to say how utterly I am of your bright blue Lima skies! I was there in September which was winter for them which equated to horribly depressing looking ugly gray skies lol.
Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time and being able to have a nice balance of everything (school commitments, familia, and of course touring & eating!). My time in Lima was short and only wish I had more time there. It definitely gets somewhat of a bad and undeserved rap but then again I’m someone who loves the nitty gritty Latin American cities (love Mexico City).
Can’t wait to read more about your time there!
Yes, we’ve really lucked out with the weather! There have been a few overcast days, but for the most part it’s been nice and sunny. It’s nice to be catching the tail end of summer because it’s not unbearably hot anymore. It just feels like my time here is flying by!
Sounds great! Do you teach in Spanish or English?
I’m teaching all my classes in English, but I do have to slip in a little Spanish every once in a while if I’m explaining something that’s a little complex.
THE CATS! TOTALLY! My favorite evening in Lima was spent at a park that was just crawling with kitties. And just like in Istanbul, even though the cats are wild they are not feral because they are loved and petted by everybody. It makes me think of the Mark Twain quote “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction,” just replace “man” with “city” 🙂
That is such a great quote, Jenny! I had never heard that one before. My husband just bought a whole bunch of cat food today so we’re planning on heading back to Parque Kennedy to feed the kitties. They are just so cute!
well done on the studying, would love to visit Lima
Thank you, Rebecca! It’s really nice to be almost done my studies. I’m looking forward to dedicating more time to blogging and vlogging again.
I might be moving to Peru in September for TEFL and this post just got me so excited! Granted, I’ll be based in Cusco most likely but I will definitely plan a getaway to Lima. If you happen to get to Cusco I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Happy travels! 🙂
Hi Sarah, I won’t be visiting Cusco this time around, but I did travel there during my last trip 6 years ago. I really liked it – some may say it’s really touristy, but it also feels so historic at the same time. I imagine there must be quite a few ESL opportunities with mass tourism and the need for locals to pick up the language.
I just started my own website, fillinginthemap.com because of you. The things you do are things I was just dreaming of and now I think I am finally making that into a reality. I am taking a three week trip in August to see if I have what it takes, if I do, you’ll be hearing from me again!
That’s exciting to hear, David! I’m glad I was able to offer a little bit of inspiration. Wishing you a wonderful trip wherever you decide to go! 🙂
So glad you are enjoying your time in Lima! I’ve heard from others that it is a great food city so now I’m even more eager to go and see (taste) for myself! And I would totally try those cow hearts 🙂
Definitely a city for those who love to eat! I’ve been here for 2 weeks and there’s still so much I want to try. Also, I can’t tire of the ceviche – it’s delicious!!
Hope you’re enjoying the very last bit of your teaching practice! Great work on getting to do it in Lima! I know you guys are not planning on teaching right away, so I’m looking forward to hearing about what your next plans will be. I’ve just got 10 weeks left at my current international school post then I’m thinking of taking a break from teaching myself! It’s good to have teaching to come back to in the future if needed/wanted though.
The city looks very vibrant and culturally infused. Great photos.
I’m glad to hear that you love Lima as much as I do. Lima is my second home and its so nice to see that there are travelers like you spending some more time Peru’s capital than just one night :-). I enjoyed watching the photos you took. Thank you for sharing them with us.
So interesting! Lima has always been a place where I want to go but for now it is still something that I will do in the future! I live in England and honestly after the wonderful and sunny vacation I had in Spain I can’t stop thinking that it might be a great idea to move away, at least for a year. Thank you for sharing this post! Have a great time in Peru!