This weekend two of my cousins are here in Peru for a very quick visit. Nico Dodig (might be Niko, I really should ask) and his son Ante flew down late Thursday for a whirlwind 4 day visit to Peru. Both are from Herzegovina but Ante is living in Washington DC at the moment working for the World Bank. Nico runs several successful businesses in Herzegovina. He’s taken a two week vacation to visit Ante. The reason for their visit to Peru is twofold. One was to meet me for the first time, the other, a quick trip to see Machu Pichu. We spent most of the day Friday together. We met at the Café Suisse on the Ovalo in Miraflores a little before 11am. After breakfast for them and a Pisco Sour we were off. They wanted to see the historical center of Lima. The Plaza de Armas, Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and San Francisco Church were the main attractions. From there, we walked over to the Hotel Bolivar for a Pisco Sour, one of the best in Peru as far as I’m concerned. They both like the one at the Bolivar better.
From the Bolivar, we headed back into Miraflores for lunch at a restaurant Ante’s friends had recommended, the Restaurante Central. This was a VERY NICE place; the food and wine selection were amazing. Ante ordered for all of us and we shared several appetizers and main courses. The place definitely lived up to the reputation his friends had given it. You know it’s a fancy place when they don’t have a sign! After lunch, we took a walk along the malecon, through the mall Larcomar, past the Love Park and up to the Light House. After two Pisco Sours and sharing two bottles of wine, I needed that walk. I tried talking Nico into taking a ride with one of the para-gliders but he was having nothing to do with it. To quote his comment to Ante, “I not getting on one of those things and neither are you!” Ante and I got a good laugh out of that.
We caught a cab back to their hotel where Nico and I had another glass of wine while we waited for Ante to freshen up. Then, it was off to dinner at Huaca Pucllana. I had reviewed this restaurant with Living in Peru a few years ago. All I can say is that the quality of the food has taken a serious dive there. Another two bottles of good wine did little to help it. Bread fresh from the oven with butter saved the experience for me. Both Ante and I complained that our dishes had little to no flavor and Nico couldn’t eat his Chupe de Cammarones (Shrimp Soup). It was a very disappointing end to an extraordinary day.
Today, they are off to Cusco and Machu Pichu. I’m looking forward to hearing how much they enjoy the experience. They will return to Lima Sunday evening and I will join them for another dinner. Then Monday morning they return to Washington DC and Monday night I take off for good ole Southern Illinois. I will return to Peru on October 31st.
I had a decent week as far as writing goes. Several thousand words added to the novella helped me to feel good about my progress. It now looks like I will finish the book while I am back in the US. There’s not a lot more to add to it, maybe another 2000 words. I definitely have a little twist for the ending.
It’s been in the wind here that my favorite place, Café Z, is closing for good. I took a walk by and am sad to say it is true. The place has been gutted and there is a rumor that a soulless bank is going to take over the spot. I will miss their excellent breakfasts and large cups of very strong coffee.
My friends are doing well. I didn’t get to meet up with Larry this Friday but he put out a nice essay in Living in Peru this week. My friend Kathy is back in the US now. She’ll be gone for three months. Amanda is in Spain for the last of her visit to Europe. She’ll be returning to Texas shortly and then heading up to the Seattle area to become a hermit and get a lot of writing done. Katrina is enjoying school but she has a lot of reading to do every day. Tim and Lourdes are doing fine in Canada. I’ll report on my friends in the US while I’m back there for a visit.
That’s it for Peru and my incredible life here till I get back. I’ll be reporting on all the fun I’m having in the US for the next three weeks along with photos. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the coming week. Live life as full as you can, exercise body and mind, smile, show the world you are enjoying life.