“Okay, okay, I’ve got one,” I tell Phil with a grin, rubbing my hands together gleefully.
“When…is our anniversary?”
Silence. Phil looks nervously left and right. He scrunches his face up with a sort of pained wince and even looks desperately at the waiter as he sets down another bottle of Inca Kola on our table.
Begrudgingly, my travel bud picks up the large shot glass of black fish juice in front of him, takes a deep breath and attempts to down it. Cue much grimacing and spluttering.
This is how we spend half an hour trying to sheepishly dispose of the five glasses of ‘leche de tigre’ we have over-excitedly ordered at one of Lima’s most popular ceviche restaurants, La Choza Náutica. A sort of warped, smelly drinking dare game.
Leche de tigre – literally ‘Tiger’s Milk’ – is a tangy, fiery drink made of the leftover citrus fruit and chilli juice that raw fish has been marinated in to create Peru’s signature seafood dish.
We could have ordered just one to try. But oh no. Acutely aware that we have mere hours left in this incredible country, we demand a special platter of the stuff, made from all sorts of weird and wonderful marine life.
Supposedly the drink is famed for being an aphrodisiac, as well as a hangover cure. I wouldn’t know whether or not either of those are true though as I feel like I am going to be violently sick after our little game.
Managing (just about) to keep it all down, we head to the capital’s Parque de la Reserva as the sun sets to do its ‘Magical Water Tour’.
The park is already bustling with couples and families who pay a small entrance fee to wander around – and often through – its stunning water fountains.
The multi-million dollar creation of 13 different fountains that flow amid stretches of lush green grass and colourful flowers has made it the largest fountain complex in the world.
Teapots, pyramids and moving mazes of liquid jets are illuminated in alternating bright colours, glowing all the more intensely as the sun dips below the horizon.
At the hourly show by the huge Fantasy Fountain, the crowds cheer and clap as gigantic videos of graceful ballet dancers, soaring condors, blossoming flowers and darting hummingbirds are projected seamlessly across a 120-metre-long sheet of water that is shot into the air. It’s an incredibly beautiful spectacle.
And the perfect way to bring the trip of a lifetime to a show-stopping close.