Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big Ben

Flying north from Lima, we spent a couple of days in Chiclayo, visiting the ruins at Sipan, where we began to learn about one of the most fascinating pre-Incan civilizations: the Moche. Not much to say about the cuisine in Chiclayo. Most remarkable was our dinner at Neuva Nueva Venecia, a very busy pizzeria about halfway between our hotel and the Plaza de Armas. Great, thin-crust pizza. A half-litre of a good red wine for $2!

From Chiclayo, we motored south to Trujillo, the 3rd largest city in Peru. Here the main attractions are from the Chimu civilization: the Huaca de la Luna and the ruins of Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian city in South America. We’re getting a much greater appreciation for the size and sophistication of these civilizations. The Europeans didn’t bring civilization to the Americas, they brought a different civilization to the Americas…and not an entirely better one.

At midday, we drive out to Huanchaco, right on the Pacific, for lunch at Big Ben. Although it has some interesting specialities, for lunch all we need is something simple and fresh.

My choice is grilled Corvina with fries. Michèle takes a grilled Corvina with mushrooms and white asparagus in a garlic sauce. Freshly caught that morning, the fish is Mmm...Mmm...good.

And the perfect accompaniment is the local beer, Pilsen Trujillo. Light yellow colour, crisp, not the best pilsner I’ve ever tasted but sometimes sentiment wins out over flavour!  Served with a bowl of the addictive cancha (roasted corn).

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