Peruvian canapes and Pisco sours was the staple of last evening's do at the rather grand residence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Peru and hosted by the Anglo-Peruvian Society.
Having arrived promptly I was in fact the first of the guests. On being shown into a rather grand salon festooned with art and artifacts. I was rather glad I had opted to wear a tie for this quite classy affair. Billed as a Christmas party it soon got going and a classic cocktail party. The guests comprised an assorted group of embassy officials, Peruvian business people, a good number of couples where one of the partners was from Peru but the other from UK. There seemed to be some VIPs as well but I wasn't introduced.
I chatted happily whilst consuming more than enough Pisco Sours a cocktail famed for its bite and popularised in the West by Ernest Hemmingway and a number of others who hung out in fashionable Lima back in the day. The food was great, some cerviche, raw fish with a salsa dip and an assortment of what looked like sushi but I thing were potato wraps in vine leaves and finally some tasty mini empanadas.
People were friendly and the Ambassador said a few welcoming words. I made one or two contacts, notably Leonora who is a trustee of a charity based in Piura in the North of Peru were I will be situated next month. I believe it is an organisation devoted to the disabled and hopefully I can make a visit whilst I am there.
One interesting conversation was with an elderly lady, Enid. She claimed that 30 years ago (aged 54) she became lost on her climb down from Wanu Pichu which is the peak that overlooks Machu Pichu. She lost her way and managed to descend through the semi-tropical forest to the river some 2000 feet below. She was lost for 2 days and nights and was rather expecting to meet her maker when she noticed a man on the other side of the river; he signalled for her to continue to follow the river. But by this time she was pretty desperate so faked a feint and was air-lifted out of the canyon. I can only imagine the effect this must of had on her. Having climbed Wanu Pichu I notice they now require you to sign on and off the climb, no doubt owing to Enid's intrepid misadventure!