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Eating Love and Sand in Desert Cities of Peru | One for the Road

Eating Love and Sand in Desert Cities of Peru | One for the Road

One For The Road - Sn 2/Ep 7One For The Road - Sn 2/Ep 7

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Jen heads to desert cities in Peru, first falling in love with food and art, then falling into the sand dunes of Huacachina.

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Transcript

- I'm Jen and I'm on a mission to nourish my hungry soul with adventures around the world, one bite at a time. I'm headed to Peru on an incredible journey across desert cities, the jungle, and mountains. you've got to open yourself up to the experience and just live life. You know, red eye flights, they're not so terrible. I mean, you get to sleep throughout the night, and, if you're lucky, you can catch the sunrise while you're in the air. I am so freaking excited. Not only is this my first time in Peru, but my first time ever in South America. I've checked into this charming colonial-style hotel called Antigua Miraflores, and "antigua" means "antique", and I can really see that. They have thoughtfully integrated antiques into functional decor. Like this beehive smoker lamp. Antique AF. And this letter-sealer lamp. Antique AF. And this... Super antique AF. I'm now in Barranco, which has a great mix of colonial buildings, as well as street art. And I'm already in love. There are colors everywhere. Just stumbled upon this beautiful, old, abandoned building. Look at the colonial touches in that. And, just across the street, is street art. I love the contrast. Beautiful. Hey, always remember... Think outside of the box. Lima is a coastal desert city with a coast so green they call it Costa Verde. It is absolutely gorgeous here. I feel like I'm rolling through the hills while also watching my step, so I don't tumble and make a fool of myself my first day here in Lima. Next up, Chorrillos, to really get my toes in the sand. Get my shoes off. Run to the ocean! Eeee! So cold, so cold. I've been walking all over Miraflores, Barranco, and now Chorrillos, I'm smelling all the beautiful seafood, and being by this ocean has worked up quite a craving for ceviche. At Al Toke Pez, chef Tomas Matsufuji is known for taking the freshest catch of the day and turning it into something wild. His food seriously sets the bar for cevicherias. It's so good, it makes me want to cry. And it's no wonder why ceviche is Peru's national dish. This is beyond words. I'm now in el parque del amor, which means 'the park of love', and it's really true, you can see couples and young, new love kissing. I hope I don't hear any rumble in the bushes, you know what I'm saying? As you walk throughout the park, you'll see beautiful mosaics like this, along with poetry. I like this one in particular. It says: Esta noche he sentido por primera vez bajo mis manos la hermosa intensidad del mar. Which, for my understanding, means: "Tonight I felt for the first time under my hands the beautiful intensity of the sea." All this romance is making me crave hearts of a different sort. Anticuchos, grilled marinated beef hearts, with a taste like no other. The sweet smokey air is enough temptation to get you to have at least one stick. And it's a good thing my mouth is big enough to take it all in. That's the kind of love I'm talking about. Good night, random antique lamp. Good morning. Just outside of my hotel is this beautiful display of colorful pom-poms, and I wondered to myself, when I arrived, how come it doesn't get destroyed in the rain. Well, that's because it hardly ever rains in Lima. And that makes sense, because it is the second biggest desert city in the world. And that's why I'm going sandboarding today. But first, I'm going to fuel up with a big meal. My awesome guides, Paulina and Edison, invited me to Isolina for some Pisco sours and homestyle criollo. This cow's brain omelet should give me a dose of bravery today. Mmm. Melts in your mouth. Mm! I'm stuffed and ready for desert action. Just a few hours from Lima is the city of Huacachina. I'm here by the water in an oasis. There's lots to see and do in the oasis, but I'm more interested in the dunes. Oh, s**t. Yo, that was a crazy ride, and I've never done any boarding of any kind, and so all I kind of want to do is make a sand angel. That was better in theory. No, no, no, no, no! This is how much sand coming out of my shoe. It's time to wind down for the night and head over to Chincha to hang out with some locals from El Carmen. This small community is a true example of Peru's cultural diversity that fuses African and Latin traditions to form vibrant Afro-Peruvian culture. I've got as much sand off of me as possible, and I've also changed my outfit, because I've been invited to a party by the Ballumbrosio family. That painting up there is of the late Amador Ballumbrosio and we're celebrating his wife's birthday today. Amador was a leader in preserving Afro-Peruvian music and dance and, along with his wife Adelina, he fathered over a dozen children, so you can imagine how big his family is and how many mouths there are to feed. What an honor to be in their home, enjoying a plate full of homecooked love, and getting a little buzz from Tortuma, a mixture of sweet wine and pisco. Even without meeting Amador, it's clear to see how passionate he was about spreading his love of Afro-Peruvian music and dance. I could see it on the walls and hear and feel it through his family, who are now proudly representing their culture and keeping his legacy alive. And, with a belly full of food, and a heart full of smiles, that's how I'm ending my second night in Peru. Now I'm off to see what else this country has to offer.

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