I finally got a hold of my old Reef co-worker in Lima which ended up being a pain as I was not able to get my phone hooked up in Peru. I am still not sure why as it has worked in New Zealand, Australia, Africa, and Asia.
We set up a time to meet at a place called Mr. Fish. I figured this was a sushi joint or something. The meet up time was around 7 pm, so I figured we were going to have dinner, then hit the town to experience the night life.
I got directions from the receptionist at Loki Hostel, and we jumped in a cab. The spot was in Barranco, a section of Lima known for its great restaurants, nightlife and working class grit.
Jon and I hopped in a cab and handed the driver the directions, which were written in Spanish by the receptionist. Like all places in the world, the cabby looked confused, and then finally handed the paper back and we headed off. This did not give me the greatest confidence he knew where he was going.
We wove our way through the streets and over the bridge into Barranco. I was a little nervous, heading into an unknown part of town, not knowing the language. My anxiety grew more as we entered street after street of deserted, warehouse space and unlit alleyways. Right as my anxiety level peaked we turned a corner, and a scene of mayhem laid before us. The street was overflowing with people. Traffic was backed up, and groups of teens and 20 somethings crowded together in the unmistakable pattern of a venue letting loose after heavy drinking.
We jumped out of the cab, and in a daze looked at each other like “now what”. We picked our way through the crowd and found the disorganized line near the entrance. In a complete dumb luck moment, I spotted Gustavo, my colleague in line, and he waved us over. He was in line with his sister, brother and a group of about 10 friends.
I was very confused on what we where about enter. Most times in Peru, the party does not start until 2.am, and it was only 7:30 pm. Once we got to the front of the line, Gustavo’s sis said some magical persuasive words and we were ushered in.
The scene I walked into will forever be one of my happiest. The place looked a lot like bar-clubs back in San Diego on the beach. Wooden and large with a big open area and tables surrounding the center front stage / dance floor area. There was a second level in the back, and a stage in front. There had to have been around 1000 locals on tables dancing and rocking out to a drum band. On stage with the band were jugglers, fire eaters, unicycles and a feverish thumping beat. Jon being a drummer was in heaven….and as I scanned the crowd I felt the touch of god as well. The energy inside was so charged that even though I haven’t been feeling physically great, my mood, excitement and body felt rejuvenated and ready for a long night of rocking with the locals.
We had a few beers, and bought a round for Gustavo and his family and friends. I found out that his sister and a few of her friends had all lived and went to school in San Diego. The other guys that were in the crew all spoke English well, were avid surfers and great to talk with. It was such an unforgettable night.
To our astonishment the club started to shut down at 9 pm. And we shifted to another place next door. We danced and roamed around that place….me and the beard in heaven. We ended up going to some weird DC Shoe company party with a AC/DC cover band and then finally to a big, high end club in Miraflores near the hostel. I didn’t really adhere to my alcohol ban and my tolerance had not recovered from the parasite. I ended up walking back before Jon, but knew our new friends would keep him safe and take care of him.