Posted July 6, 2010on:
On Sunday we went to a place called Chosica to visit some relatives of Luis. It is actually a district of Lima called Lurigancho-Chosica and it’s located about 2 hours from where we live in Miraflores (where the ‘X’ is on the map). Lurigancho-Chosica is one of the biggest districts of Lima, however, it is much more rural than the districts closer to the city center.
The weather and climate are very different in Chosica. It is much less humid and there is more sun. Because of the good weather, a lot of people from Lima go to Chosica on the weekends to relax and get away from the city. Chosica is known for its recreation areas. There are a number of parks and camping centers where you can go to relax and have some fun. They have swimming pools, volleyball courts, soccer pitches and games for the kids. In addition, you can rent parrillas (grills) and have a BBQ. You can also camp overnight in tents. We are going to plan another trip to Chosica one weekend for a little R&R.
On this occasion, however, we went with Luis’ mom and sister to visit his aunt and uncle. Well actually, it isn’t really his aunt and uncle, I think it is his mom’s cousin and her husband but Luis calls them his tios (aunt & uncle). They live on the side of a hill and we had to hike up a ways from where the taxi dropped us off. This is a picture of Luis with him mom and sister.
A great thing about the people of Peru is that they are very hospitable. They welcome you into their home with open and arms and always want to feed you a lot of food! We had lunch at the home of tio Elias and tia Dionysia. Gelatina (jello) is eaten a lot here, but rather than being served as a dessert it is often served first, before starting the meal. We started with some pineapple jello. Then we had an entrada of tamal. Tamal is a tradition food of Peru consisting of a mixture of boiled corn with meat or cheese, all wrapped in a banana leaf. It’s usually eaten for breakfast or as an entree with lunch. It’s served with onion sauce – a mixture of onion, yellow pepper, vegetable oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro.
For the plato de fondo (main course) we had Pollo a la Estufa, which is chicken in a sauce with vegetables served, of course, with potato and rice. The food was delicious and we enjoyed it with a some red wine. Here is everyone giving a toast before eating our tamal.
After the meal, tio Elias played some traditional musica criolla on his guitar which was very lovely. Luis’ mom loves this kind of music and Luis’ remembers as a child that this his uncle would always play the guitar in the evenings when he lived with them for a time.
As I mentioned, their house is located on a hill. When you exit the back door you can climb straight up the side of the mountain. After lunch we took a little hike up the cerro (hill). Lima, while subtropical, is actually located in a desert and the hills are pure rock with very little vegetation. This has the unfortunate effect of creating a lot of dust.
The view from the hill was nice, although there was a bit of mist in the air so it wasn’t completely clear. However, it was nice to see the sunshine for a while as it is a very rare occurrence these days in Miraflores!
It was a very enjoyable day and I had the opportunity to see an area of Lima very different from where we live in Miraflores. The lifestyle of the people who live outside the city is more tranquil and there are not a lot of luxuries, but the people seem happy which is really what matters most!