Friends of Hell

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.

Pentagram records owners, also members of HADEZ

The exterior of the shop with some nice shirts

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)!!

Jesus Mario Profanador records interior

Jesus Mario Profanador records interior (more UG section)

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:

Balls to the Walls cover (notice they added the ACCEPT logo on the sleeve)

The song titles translated in Spanish. “Contra la pared” means “Against the wall”... I guess they couldn’t grasp the poetic meaning of “Balls to the Walls” hahaha

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.

JR Records – National rock

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!

Karine and myself! Karine has also been traveling all over South America for months

Necromongo, a hardcore band featuring Marcos from Reino. These guys had so much energy live!!

Electrozombies. They played more of a punk set, but it was really good – much better than the recordings I heard. They played a Venom “Countess Bathory” cover, but super slow. It was a great set really!

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!

Flyer of the gig on the closed entrance door

Caballo de Plomo – during their set, the light went off and it was really cool! People lit their lighters, tried as best as they can to light them with their cameras... haha

The crowd of the place halfway through the show

Reino, which played a bone chilling set!

Julio and Eloy of Reino Ermitaño

Electrozombies! The power cut off entirely after perhaps 20 minutes of them playing. Sucks to be coming all the way here from Chile and then shit like this happening haha

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:

Picarones Leonor. We had to wait 30 minutes to get our picarones!

The woman totally changed since they took a photo of her for her sign huh? Haha

The plate of golden picarones. They were worth 30 minutes of waiting.

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

Leche asada

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:

Manolo’s sandwiches. You need like 3 mouths to eat one of those!

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!!!!!!

Suspiro de Limeña

A cute dog sleeping in the Miraflores street, with a weird satisfied smile

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!

Tacacho con cecina. Tacacho is the green plantain ball filled with fried pork (left) and cecina is the smoked pork slice on the right. It was quite greasy I admit haha

Mix “sexy” plate with Juane de Arroz c/Pollo, Chorizo, Tacacho and Cecina. Juane de arroz is that gigantic rice ball thing, which usually comes wrapped in a banana leaf... that was the best thing of the meal I think!

Patacones, green plantain fried, smashed and refried. Ok, that too was amazing!

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!

Rizzla, Tania and Julio’s super cute dog taking a siesta on Tania’s leg in the car

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):

KORGÜLL THE SPIDER!

Rizzla again. She’s just too cute! She was totally happy to be in nature like that!

Close to that land of Tania’s there are local ruins, which we visited.

Tijerales sign with Julio

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!!

Tijerales homes, made of dried mud and totally destroyed over time

A “bookcase” style bricked wall

More ruins

Tania overlooking Tijerales

François in front of a crumbling wall

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.

Dried human bones

Bones, hair, textiles

Textile with an interesting pattern

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?

The meal started with an intense Pisco Sour. Drinking half of it made me already quite tipsy haha

As recommended by Marcos, we started with a ceviche Alfresco... which is extremely fresh raw flounder fish cooked in a sauce of rocoto pepper and lime, and served with a caramelized sweet potato. Best ceviche I’ve tried, hands down. This almost brought tears to my eyes! I wish I could have some now! I know I will never be able to have this again outside of Peru, but if one of you go to Lima, you have to try this one in particular.

Grilled octopus with lyon potatoes in onion comfit. I never liked octopus because of its rubbery taste, but that’s because I never had it cooked correctly. This one was braised to perfection. It was so good!!!!! I now can say that I am a total octopus fan haha

Details of the octopus. Such a colourful dish!

We then had some conchitas al parmesan; cheese covered scallopsThey were good, but perhaps they had too much cheese – it was a bit high on salt.

Tiradito – strands of fresh fish covered with a lime/coriander sauce, parmesan cheese and crispy octopus flakes. This looks like nothing but it was my second favourite dish of the meal. It was SO GOOD!!!!

Nikita ceviche – Tuna and salmon ceviche in sesame/lime juice. That one was a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, and was super good, kind of like a cross between a ceviche and sushi.

Lightly seared salmon on mushroom raviolis, and served with lavender emulsion! WOW! This was totally killer. First time I have salmon so fresh that it was not cooked in the middle. It was absolutely delicious!

White fish with a cheesy prawn sauce. I don’t remember the name of this fish, but it was really nice and creamy.

Potpourri of desserts. From back to front: Tres Leches cake (three milks cake), crema volteada (flan), pie de Maracuya (passionfruit mousse pie), Chocolate brownie, and Suspiro de Limeña (see above).

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:

Peruvian style poutine

On their side, they made some Peruvian dishes we hadn’t tried yet:

Layered rice with egg (I totally forgot the name of this dish!)

Rocoto rellenos; stuffed rocoto peppers – a famous dish from Arequipa. These little hot-as-hell peppers were absolutely delicious! They were stuffed with juicy minced meat, cheese and hard boiled eggs. Thanks alot for this killer meal guys, now I have tasted everything I wanted to try in Peru!!! (Or almost, hahaha!!!)

In the evening, we took some last photos of our temporary Peruvian family, with whom we stayed for 1 ½ months:

François, myself with Manchita, Andres and Bati

Manchita, the best dog we’ve met in Peru! Such a cute personality. We’ll totally miss her!

Causa Limeña, my last ever Peruvian meal, offered by Bati. First layer of mashed potatoes-yellow pepper-oil-salt-pepper-lime, second layer of mashed avocado with lime juice, third layer of canned tuna with lime juice-salt-pepper, fourth layer of thinly sliced hard boiled eggs, and last layer of the same mashed potato mixture. The tuna can be replaced by cooked chicken.

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!!!

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