In the last three weeks we stayed in Lima, taking care of traveling paperwork and research, as well as waiting for our Chinese Visa – which thankfully arrived one day before our departure!
Obviously, we were very active in other ways – we didn’t stay locked in our home for the whole rest of the stay. One thing we wanted to do is visit pretty much all the metal shops we could find in Lima. The obvious place is Galerias Brasil (Av Brasil 1275, Jesus Maria neighbourhood), which everyone recommended me before coming to Lima. It is a two floor commercial center with many stalls selling anything from really nice quality bootleg shirts to fanzines, original CD’s, bootleg CD-R’s, tapes, vinyls (used and new), spiked bracelets and patches. Honestly, it was a cool place but perhaps there were too many bootlegs to my taste. There were two cool shops here for record shoppers; Moving Sounds (which had a nice selection of South American Proto metal and a nice used vinyl section at extremely high prices) and Pentagram records, which is a local underground metal label.
Another cool place for records in Lima is the Quilca street, located in the very center. Jesus Mario Profanador Records (Jr. Quica 336) is one of the oldest record shops here, and has probably one of the best selection. The owner played on ANAL VOMIT demos and has been around in the metal scene since the very early 80’s. The store is super tiny but it has a nice variety; you can find recent extreme UG metal vinyls and CD’s, but also classic original NWOBHM/Heavy/Death vinyls like some SATAN, CELTIC FROST, MORBID ANGEL LP’s at more than reasonable prices (at least for us, foreigners)!!
The best thing about this place are the South American versions of known albums (ACCEPT, PRIEST, MAIDEN), with everything translated in Spanish! Check out this gem:
Unfortunately I couldn’t buy any as I was really tight on space, but they are still there if anyone is interested haha. And they are like 10$ each!
Another interesting place on the same street is the Quilca Shopping Center (Jr. Quilca 257) which had a cool shop selling only original CD’s from Peruvian bands.
They also had a few others selling strange bootleg shirts, patches, and some bootlegs.
We also went to a few gigs. First one was our first (and last!) South American punk gig at Nuclear Bar; which featured some D-Beat, Crust and Hardcore bands – as well as ELECTROZOMBIES from Chile (a cool band mixing doom, crust with death metal!) Outside of the venue I had a huge surprise – a friend of mine from Montreal was there!!! In fact, that very friend helped me to plan my trip at the very beginning, and we were supposed to meet sometime in South America (we were traveling there at the same time) but our itineraries never matched so we gave up on it haha… and we met at the same gig here!
The next day, at a strange venue (Socialist Party meeting place??), we witnessed once again ELECTROZOMBIES, but this time with Reino Ermitaño and Caballo de Plomo. The place was weird as hell but the ambiance was festive and the sound was actually really good!
I recorded a full Reino Ermitaño song so you guys can see the genius of this band! Honestly, these guys are SO GOOD and original!
A few days later, we hung out with a French couple that we had met earlier in our trip in Cordoba, Argentina. They were in Lima for only a few days so we went to the center together and tried some local goodies. There’s a park that turns into foodie heaven in the evening… over there, we tried Picarones for the first time. They are some kind of yummy Peruvian donuts made with squash purée and served with some sweet syrup. The stand we went to in particular is very famous apparently:
We also tried some other sweets, like “Leche Asada”, which is the Peruvian version of crème brûlée. In fact, instead of being cream – they use milk. Now that was really really killer! I got totally addicted and had a few more after this hehe
We had some coriander tamales and some mazamorra morada + arroz con leche (again!) but no photos, sorry!
OK I admit, this month we really went crazy with food; everything is so delicious and fresh here, we wanted to taste as much Peruvian cuisine as possible… and besides, cuisine is culture! So what better way to discover Peru than by the fork? Haha
We went to a famous (and overpriced) place in Miraflores called Manolo’s. Kids often go there for their birthdays as they offer gigantic cups of ice cream with sparkling stick thingies. They had the craziest sandwiches I have seen so far:
I had another Suspiro de Limeña there. That stuff is just amazing; it tastes like liquid sucre à la crème topped with super thick meringue. Yummy!!!!!!
There’s one thing we wanted to try before Peru, and that was its jungle food. We thus went with Tania and Julio at a typical jungle restaurant, Encanto del Amazonas. It was really good stuff, and tasted very different from other things we tried in Peru!
We then went to a land that Tania’s family owns – just to get out of the city for a little bit, and see the sun!
Over there we saw a very strange VOÏVOD style spider with lots of spikes and a hard shell. I tried taking an artistic photo of it… in reality, it was super small (perhaps around half a centimetre):
Close to that land of Tania’s there are local ruins, which we visited.
These ruins were from the Lima civilization, but what’s cool about them is that they are totally unknown. A search on the web will reveal absolutely nothing about this place! And it’s huge too!!
What made us really freak out about this place is the fact that there are still artefacts laying on the ground. Julio thought it was part of a cemetery – since you saw mostly bones, fragments of pottery, textiles and HAIR! And all that stuff dating 500-1000 years old. Really cool! Apparently there are tons of ruins like this all over Peru.
It was definitely something to walk around scattered dried human remains.
Last Monday we received our passports/Chinese Visa, and to celebrate, Marcos invited us to one hell of a killer gourmet restaurant in Miraflores, called Alfresco. Honestly, this place was just mouth orgasm after mouth orgasm! It was overwhelming, like the feeling of getting a huge package of killer metal albums through the mail, you know?
After this, we were all ready to burst haha, it was such a feast! Thanks a million Marcos for bringing us there, wow, we owe you big time!
The next day (last day in Lima!) we went to cook some Poutine at Tania and Julio’s place. We had my parents send us Poutine sauce from Canada with our passports haha, so we could stop our cravings and share our own gastronomy (!) with our Peruvian buddies. We used organic potatoes and fresh Andean cheese, which to our horror DID NOT MELT! So our Poutine wasn’t a huge success, but it was still a good idea of the dish:
On their side, they made some Peruvian dishes we hadn’t tried yet:
In the evening, we took some last photos of our temporary Peruvian family, with whom we stayed for 1 ½ months:
Right now, we just arrived in Tokyo!!!! We are dead tired and need to rest after our 24 hours of flights!!! All we have planned now is to get some nice homemade Ramen noodles and sleep until the next day haha. Talk soon! Arghhhhhhh!!!!!
This post is dedicated to my good friend Terry Jones of Pagan Altar who was in the hospital for a while, and is about to get operated. Best of luck to you and support to the members of your band and family!!!