So yeah I mentioned a long story in my previous post to explain why we had to go all the way to São Paulo but it is actually a very short one. M and I decided to fly back to Europe (where I’ll attend the wedding of the year! Gosh I cannot wait tho it is going to be emotional! Tissues? Check!) from São Paulo. It was indeed a zillion times cheaper than flying back from Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. Pretty simple and straightforward, we thought. We only (only?! Really?!) had to travel from Peru to Brazil. What seemed simple at the time of our booking became a financial and logistics challenge. But who doesn’t like a good challenge?! We only needed to figure out how to make it to Brazil from Peru without wasting too much time and without exploding our budget. Believe it or not, we did it and since we wouldn’t have much time in one country, we decided to turn this transit journey into a culinary exploration. Instead of visiting like crazy and run around like fools, we would use our time to try local food (read: eat a lot of meat and fish) as much as possible. We had to spend long hours on (mostly overnight and rarely direct) buses, went on a ferry ride, had to have an overnight layover in a Chilean airport and got stuck for what became a long funny night in a petrol station in Brazil where we played Swiss cards with stuck Ecuadorian travelers (as you do!). So we clearly deserved to eat and drink long the way, no?
But let’s start from the beginning, shall we? We left Ecuador with a heavy heart and after an administrative hiccup were let into Peru. We expected Tumbes to be a dirty border town and were surprised by its cool vibe. On August 3rd, we celebrated M’s first year on the road and Tumbes gave us one of the best date nights in a while: some incredible ceviche sold on the street, hardboiled quail eggs, a sirloin steak, perfectly cooked and a ‘to die for’ pisco sour! Our overnight bus ride to Lima was incredible. It felt like we were on a plane, no sorry, better than a plane! Comfortable seats that turned into beds and individual screens with thousands of movies = dream of any traveler! Before we knew it we were on a plane to Santiago de Chile for an (it sunk the price of our plane ticket so we cannot complaint) overnight layover. Ready to sleep on a bench at the airport, we checked anyway a few lounges (who could say no to free food, free wifi and comfortable armchairs) and a wonderful lady made us an offer we couldn’t refuse! Treat to an airport lounge? Check!
After a layover that went unfortunately way too fast, we reached Buenos Aires for day and night of Carpe diem! This city was as beautiful as I remembered and so full of life! We treated ourselves to a delicious meal at La Brigada where we were served a wonderful sirloin! Eat, drink, repeat became our beloved motto and the food and drinks never tasted so good. We discovered Colonia in Uruguay and while strolling through its tiny old town, we tasted some local cheese. In Montevideo, we were joined by M’s friend (she was as crazy as us… or slightly crazier than us) for the last 2’000 km. This was one of our highlights to our trip as a lot of laughter was involved! We might not have explored Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil the way we did the other 9 countries but it made us happy. This culinary tourism was fulfilling: we loved being served a delicious sirloin in Buenos Aires, Argentina, trying Brasero (an indecent pile of meat served in a pan) in a parrillada in Montevideo, Uruguay, eating fresh fish (a fabulicious bluefish grilled with basil) on the Barra de Lagoa beach in Brazil,sampling rissole and coxhinas (stuffed and breaded dough) and drinking wonderful caipirinhas in São Paulo, Brazil.
This culinary break with amazing people was awesome and it is now time for me to fly home for my “layover” on my way to Indonesia. Next stop: home!