Living in South America/Peru (5/1/2009 – 7/10/2009)
Well here I sit in Miami airport waiting for my connection to Lima again. I am already having problems with this trip thanks to the Swine Flu scare. Apparently South American Countries are paying close attention to your travel itinerary now and you ave to have a return flight within 90 days of your arrival to get in on a tourist visa. So, I had to change my flight back to July 4th before they would let me out of the country. After I arrive in Lima I will have to determine which countries I am going to visit and make the reservations so that I can change my return date back to the original one. Naturally none of this is free so this trip is going to cost me an extra $500 just to change my flight plans twice.
Otherwise, it’s a beautiful day and I am anxious to start my new adventure. I won’t bore you with my airport activities so look for more on Sunday or Monday. Love to all.
Well, I have arrived in Lima safely. For once the flight down arrived on time and getting through immigration and customs was a breeze. Steve and Antonio were waiting for me so I also made it to the apartment quickly after a short stop at a local restaurant for a sandwich. The drive through Barranco brought back good memories and they were having a festival in the main square with the local restaurants trotting out their best dishes for sale under tents. Those of you who have visited me here will know what I am talking about. Arriving at the apartment I did a little unpacking and it was off to be for me.
To continue the plane ticket saga, something that still gets me riled up a little. I arrived at immigration in Lima and as I suspected, no one cared about my return tickets. When I told the officer that I wanted the 90 day visa and that I would be leaving the country and coming right back to extend it, he told me (as I knew he would) that he could give me 180 days and would I like that. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! So of course I took it and now will have to pay American airlines another $250 to change my tickets back to my original dates. Of course I am not able to do this on line, I have to go back to the airport to the AA Service Desk. What a racket.
It’s Monday morning as I am writing this and I still do not have internet access. Supposedly the Internet Service person will be by tomorrow to fix whatever the problem is. If it can’t be fixed then I am going to have to purchase service on my own with a 3G wireless card from one of the phone services. They run from #99 Soles to $199 Soles depending on the kpps you want. I will have to see what works for me. I have been to several stores to purchase necessary supplies and a few items needed for the apartment that did not come with the rent (i.e. Dish Rack, BIG coffee mug, etc.). I have also strolled around my new neighborhood to see the sights and get acquainted with what’s available. It’s amazing how much more you notice when you are not driving in a car. There are a lot of amenities within a few blocks of the house. Everything from a Bank to a small Tienda so it seems I am all set. There is also a HUGE shopping mall (not Larcomar) that can be walked to but if you’re making a lot of purchases then a cab will be required to return. That’s where I’ve done most of my shopping so far. I also went to the movies there yesterday and saw “Wolverine” the new X-man movie. It was very good and for those of you who are fans I recommend it.
Well, time to shower and get into some traveling clothes to do a little more wandering. I need to get some more Soles and stop by the Internet Café to E-mail a few of you so that you know I am OK. Later Amigos y Amigas.
Great news, after my walk I did a little walk around mission with my laptop in the apartment and discovered that I had to be in the bedroom to access the wireless internet. It’s great to have that out of the way although I may still decide to get the cheap version of the 3g card here.
My intention on my walk today was to stop at the Metro and pick up a few more supplies. Unfortunately they are closed today for some reason. It’s not May 5 so Cinco de Mayo is out. I will have to wait till Steve returns to find out I guess. Anyway I stopped in at my favorite pastelaria and had a coffee and Cheesecake de fresco and said hello to the owner and his staff. They were all glad to see me and you would have thought a long lost family member had returned. Otherwise not much has changed except for the new Condo’s going up at the end of the park. Those who have visited will know what I am referring to. Anyway this week will be filled with getting settled in so the updates may be far and few between for awhile. Yes, I do miss all of you but I am having fun. Hopefully I will settle into some writing this week and get some articles done. In addition I will submit a short story to a competition this week. Wish me luck.
The week has just flown by for me. There has been a ton of stuff to do getting myself situated to spend the next eight months here. The apartment is fully furnished and has most of the things required for living but I’m trying to make it look like a home as much as I can. So that means lots of shopping all over Lima looking for those bargains. I just about have the office set up and am ready to begin my new career as a writer/photographer that doesn’t really need the work. LOL I also joined a gym this week (Gold’s, they are everywhere) and have started my workout routine again. I think that’s the hardest thing I have done since getting here. That couch potato life style sure is tempting. The price for an 8 month membership was astoundingly cheap and they have great equipment and trainers.
I’ve decided not to sign up for the Spanish classes this month. Scheduling conflicts and I am not ready to commit the time yet. So, I’ll use the old Rosetta Stone until I can work it into my very busy schedule. Steve has been a great help with all of this and I am positive that it would have taken me a month just to get done what we accomplished this week.
Sunday I am meeting Jose (Bike Tours of Lima) at his home for a small party as he put it, just some friends and his folks. It will be nice to see him again as well as his Dad and Fiorella. Besides helping me with that Balcony article I have been waiting to write for two years, he has come up with a couple more ideas that sound very interesting to me and he is willing to help me investigate them. At the same time he is considering offering tours of these places also. It could be a great collaboration. I also heard from Mauricio, he is the busiest man on the face of the earth. He has 12 hour work days and I am not sure when I will get to see him. I hope it is soon, I have missed my good friend.
I’m also still exploring the neighborhood. Looking for all those little hole in wall places that give a place that special atmosphere. With Steve’s help we have found several nice little restaurants, the working stiff kind and they serve excellent food. Usually a three course meal with drink runs you 6 – 8 soles. So you can eat out really well for under $3.00 US.
I wish all of you were here with me. I am expecting some of you to visit so just let me know when. I am missing everyone also so drop a line if you get a chance. I hear Southern Illinois got “whacked” with high winds and a lot of property damage today. I pray that all of you there are OK and no one was hurt. Property can be replaced but you guys cannot. More after the weekend, hopefully with some pictures also.
5/11/2009 (Saturday – Monday Morning)
Besides worrying about damages to my house in Illinois and the safety of my friends and family there, it was a nice weekend. I spent Saturday going to the gym in the morning and then helping Steve put together the rest of the office equipment I had purchased. That consisted of a cheap desk and chair to do my computer work on. It is amazing how much your productivity drops if you do not have a comfortable writing area.
I was in contact with Rita and Robert as concerns my house for the last couple of days and apparently I was lucky with only minor damage. Fortunately Robert is in contact with a contractor who is willing to come out and give an estimate. As of this writing as far as I know, I am still without electricity there as is the rest of Southern Illinois.
Sunday I cleaned house and did a little laundry before going to the party at Jose’s home. It had a very nice time and his Mother (Cee Cee, I am sure I spelled that wrong) is a wonderfully warm person and very welcoming. I did misunderstand the invitation though and discovered it was really a dinner party. Much to my chagrin, I had eaten lunch before going over so I was not that Hungry. Still his Mother had fixed a delicious Chifa (Chinese food) with a large variety of dishes. I had small samples of each and everything was delicious. I also met Martin (from England), Sofia (his younger sister), Dorothy ( a German lady) and another gentleman also from England I believe whose name I cannot remember. Jose was a little late himself as the Tour he was doing took a little longer than expected. There was a group of eight multinational individual so he had to do the tour in two languages which can definitely slow you down. It did not matter as the group made me feel very welcome. The party was filled with conversation on all matter of things. I think if we had more time we would have solved the problems of the world. Martin and Dorothy gave me some excellent advice on living in Peru, getting work done and places to go and eat that are excellent and reasonable.
After the Chifa, Cee Cee brought some excellent postres and some chocolates (made in Peru) for dessert. These were served with what I think was a “French Pressed” coffee (something like expresso) and of course a good wine was poured throughout the entire evening.
Afterwards Martin (who is a mining engineer) showed me pictures from all the places he had been since January, everywhere from Argentina and Brazil to Morocco. Looking at them definitely gave me the traveling bug. The places he showed me, no tourist will ever see and they were beautiful.
Jose and I discussed some things he would like to do with me for articles I could write and he mentioned several areas around Lima that I should go, all within a short driving distance. I am hoping that he can accompany me on some of them. His knowledge of Lima and these sites is extensive and in those areas where his knowledge is limited, he seems to know someone who can fill him in. He is a great guy and I am lucky to be able to count him and his family as friends here in Peru.
By the way, their home is beautiful, almost a work of art. It is over 100 years old and they have refurbished, refinished and restored the house with loving care.
Here also are some pictures I took of the street I live on, the outside of the house where my apartment is and some interior shots. They may not be any better than the ones I posted from my last visit to Peru but you will get the idea. Also a guest who is staying in a wall outside my bedroom window.
Now, a little note about Mother’s Day in Peru. As I was walking to Jose’s home I couldn’t help but notice the population of Barranco out with their Mothers and Grandmothers. Every restaurant was filled to capacity and some even had lines waiting to be seated. There were bright smiles on everyone’s face and you could freely the joy of the occasion. It made me miss my parents very much. Jose told me that after Christmas, Mother’s Day was the most important holiday in Peru. From what I saw on my walk I can believe it. So here’s a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms who are reading my journal.
More to come in a few days after I have visited a couple of places with Jose.
Surprise, I am updating a little earlier than I thought. I went for a walk over the bridge of Sighs, out to the viewing point and along the Malecon to take some pictures and show a little of what has changed over the times that I have been here. For those who visited me in November you will remember that they were building a new structure almost directly under the Bridge of Sighs. Well it turns out it was a new restaurant and it looks to be a pretty fancy place. It wasn’t open when I went over the bridge so I couldn’t drop in for a look at the Menu. While I was in that spot I also took a picture of the view towards the Sea, it was a beautiful day and the sun was shining nicely. There is a chill in the air here now so you can tell that winter is on its way.
I also walked out to the viewing point for a good look at the ocean and noticed that they have almost completed a new anchoring area for some good sized yachts. I don’t know whether I remember them starting this or they started and just completed it in the last five months. That’s pretty fast work for this area. The restaurants along the little road to the point are all still there and in operation. Afterward I noticed a nice sample of street art on a wall. It was very good and worth adding to my web page for you to see.
From there it was a walk along the Malecon towards Miraflores and since the sun was out there was a beautiful vista waiting for me to take a photo. There are several new condos going up on this stretch, so if you are looking to invest here is your opportunity. One condo is going up in front of this beautiful old home. The home has several balconies built along the side facing the ocean and they will almost be touching this new building. It is such a shame. I can just imagine the parties that were held on the balcony of this old mansion in its heyday.
After my walk along the Malecon I walked up a couple of blocks and headed back in the direction of my apartment. Along the way I stopped at my favorite la pastelaria and had an empanada, a coffee with a pie de manzana for dessert. This time I actually found out the name of the place. It’s called “La Espiga de Oro” and the owner’s name is Jose Vargas Tineo. Those of you who have been here will remember him and what a nice guy he is. After my snack, it was a quick stop at the Metro for a few supplies and back to the apartment to do some work. Now, the statement I gave you yesterday holds true.
I didn’t hear from Jose this week so no cool adventures were had by me. Instead the last few days were filled with working out at the Gym (I’ve lost 8 pounds), trips to the Metro for groceries and assorted other supplies and working on a range of articles from my last trip to Peru. This weekend I took a little break from the Gym and just did some exploratory walking around Barranco on Sunday. I guess I’m getting braver in my little sorties around the municipality. Besides my usual trek to see the Ocean and walk along the Malecon, I walked further to the interior and found a lot of cool little shops, restaurants and stores. There is a lot more in the offering here than I thought. It was extremely foggy when I started the walk but as I went inland from the beach the Sun came out and it warmed up considerably. I also did some major cleaning in the apartment this weekend as well as some laundry. No maid yet so it’s up to me to do all this stuff. I’m putting in some pictures of flowers that I took today just for Kelly. I know how much he enjoys them. Enjoy Buddy!
On the really good news side, I submitted the Bike Tour of Lima article to another web site for publication and they accepted it as well as my photos. The site is “LivingInPeru.com”; check it out if you get a chance. I have been on that site constantly since my second trip to Peru. It’s the place I go to for news, reviews, rental opportunities and a lot of other valuable information. The Assistant Editor has asked me for more work and photographs so I am very excited. He has also asked me if I want to review restaurants for the magazine. This is “official” reviews. The magazine would make reservations for me, and then I would show up and sample ALL of the restaurants dishes, interview the Chef, note the décor and ambiance; then write up an article. As he put it, free meals at some of the best restaurants in the world, how could I say no to that? He also asked if I would be interested in attending “events” for which the magazine had tickets. I am really psyched about this opportunity. I am sure it will look good on the old resume.
I have pretty much heard from or about everyone back home since the storm and know of no one getting injured as a result. Everyone suffered some level of property damage but I am so grateful that none of my friends or family was hurt during this terrible storm. By the way, I still do not have electricity at my house. Bummer!!!!!!!!
Well that’s pretty much it for this entry. I am hoping that Jose gets some time to show me more sites around town soon. I am especially interested in seeing the Cemetery he mentioned to me. It’s the oldest in Lima and has a lot of beautiful mausoleums and statuary. Later everyone, I hope you found time for a little fun this weekend.
Another week passes at the speed of light and I have now been back in Lima for three weeks. Time is just flying by it seems. It also appears that I manage to stay busy and get relatively little done at the same time. During the week I get up Around 7:00 AM, fix breakfast and then work on my writing and answer e-mails until I go to the gym between 11:00 and Noon. Usually 3 to 4 hours later it’s back home and getting dinner ready. After eating I work on my writing some more, read a little and then watch some TV only to repeat it all again the next day. Naturally there are a few variations in there but you get the idea. Weekends involve cleaning, laundry, getting in some walks and dealing with any meetings I might have. So as all of you have deduced by now, I am settling in here nicely and am feeling like Lima is a second home.
To follow up on my exciting news from my last entry, I met with Ben Jonjak, the Assistant Chief Editor of “Living in Peru”, today for coffee at the Haiti in Miraflores. He gave me some statistics that were quite impressive. They have a circulation of 30,000 plus readers and expect to reach 50,000 by the end of this year. Their eventual goal is to get over 100,000 and he believes they can do it. They are interested in publishing anything I write that is Peru related along with my photographs. We went over a few ideas that I had for things I would like to write about and he seemed enthusiastic. I look forward to writing for them and seeing my work being published. I now have incentive for keeping up my writing and spending time everyday working on several projects at once. This should help me a great deal when I decide to submit works for consideration to magazines in North America. I see that SAE (South American Explorers) is also looking for writers and I will also submit some works to them in the future. There were some great responses to my first article that LiP published so I am excited.
I walked into Mirflores to meet Ben so I got some good exercise today. The walk in took me about an hour and fifteen minutes. After the meeting I stopped in at Bike Tours of Lima and said hello to Jose, Fiorella and Jaime. They are doing great. It was nice to see Fiorella and Jaime again, I had not seen them since my November visit. The owner of LiP thinks it would be a great idea for me to follow up my original article with descriptions of the other tours that they offer. I also have to recall my original City Tour as they think it would be a nice follow-up since I mention it in the first article. I did my walk this time trying to think about places and sites that would make for interesting reading and photographs about walking instead of riding to you destinations. You get to see so much more when you do. Being able to take looks into the little shops, say hello to the guards outside the Tragamonedas, give a wave to the shop owners you know, admire small architectural details on the buildings and just see what’s going on in your neighborhood. I walked down to Larcomar (the Mall) and walked around it for a bit. It hadn’t changed much since I was there last. The one travel agency I had used was gone and another had taken it’s place. Then I walked along the Malecon enjoying the cool mist from the ocean and back into Barranco. I stopped in at Jose’s pandelaria and had lunch before returning to the apartment. All in all it was a great afternoon. Now I’m home and after writing this and placing it on the web site I will watch some TV, eat a snack and go to bed. Later mis amigos, I hope all of you are enjoying life as much as I am right now.
Good morning everyone. This is just a short note to let you know about the new area I added to the right side of my web page. It’s called “Links to Published Articles” and there you will find a link to the website, photos and articles that have been published. I am hoping that this area will get very big. LOL
Otherwise it was a nice weekend. The weather was cool but not cold and I managed to get some walking in. I also performed all the usual household chores (boring) and watched a movie or two on television.
Jose hasn’t been able to set up any trips for me yet so no news on that front. I will be doing a couple of his new Bike Tours though since LiP is interested in me doing some followup articles on the first one. Have a nice week everyone. I will update when new or interesting things happen.
Once again just a quick note on what’s been happening the so far this week. “Living in Peru” has been keeping me very busy during the day. With their interest in my articles I have been writing like a mad dog to keep ahead of the requests. I have also been helping one of their staff writers, a lady (Isabel) who translates news articles from the Local papers into English and posts them on the site. That along with going to the gym and just doing my daily stuff is keeping me hopping. I have also managed to get my flight back fixed finally. Now I will be returning to the US on December 29th so if someone is having a New Year’s Eve Party (Mona), I’ll be there. LOL
I went to the airport as instructed by the people in St. Louis who caused me this problem in the first place. Of course from there I was sent back into San Isidro to the AA Office where a Supervisor was working. She was very nice and did her best to help me including a MUCH reduced price for changing my ticket back to the original date.
I am still having trouble finding time to study Spanish. I am slowly but surely picking up some but not enough to converse, that’s for sure.
I hope to get out in the next few days and take some more pictures. I’m also going to a play tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes. It is in Spanish so it should be interesting. For all you Star Trek fans, I saw the new movie Monday night and it is excellent. It’s a prequel to the TV series with a twist.
I need to get back to work, more later mis amoigos y amigas.
Amazingly it has been a month now and the motto “Time flies when you’re having fun” certainly is true. It seems I couldn’t have arrived more than a week ago yet here I am. I want to share with you some of the little things that make me enjoy being here in Lima. Hopefully they will remind you of some little things that you enjoy also. This subject is going to be an article that I hope get published by LiP when I finish it. Every morning after I wake up there is a small parade of vendors who pass by the apartment I live in. One man collects recyclables, another sharpens knives and yet another might be selling Tamals. They each have their own little calling device so that you know when they are coming down the street. Each one will give you a wave, a smile and a “Buena Dia” in return to your wave. The peacock call of the Ice Cream vendor on the street always makes my mouth water. I love watching the neighbors on their roof tops doing all manner of activities from hanging laundry to dry to building small structures. Just leaning out the window will generate a wave from neighbors doing the same. I’m sure you all know how I love to walk by now. A lot of the enjoyment I get here comes from those walks. Passing little tiendas and looking in to see what surprise they might have to offer. Ducking into one of the many pandelarias and smelling the fresh baked bread or seeing the beautiful dessert creations. Walking by a park where kids are riding their bikes and skate boards and have them hamming it up for my camera when they see I am taking photos. Seeing the people lined up at the military base to visit relatives on Sundays always gives me a warm feeling. Loitering around the Mall in Chorrillos after working out at Gold’s Gym, can you believe I just said that? Finding works of street art suddenly, there are some talented artists here. Coming across a small side street with beautiful old homes and marvelous examples of architecture always delights me.
I could go on but you are getting the idea and hopefully you will be reading a full article on the subject soon. Otherwise, since my entry on Thursday I have gone to a play, “Respira”, you can read my full review on the LiP (Living in Peru) website under the Features Section. I can’t begin to express how much I enjoyed it. It reminded me once again of how much I enjoy going to the Theater. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for me. Today I went to lunch with my landlady (Kathy) and we talked a lot about being Americans in Peru and some of the difficulties that entails. Much more so for women I might add. She’s a great lady who hails from San Francisco (I think I already told you all that) and has been in Peru for three years now. There’s a lot she likes and few things she doesn’t, I haven’t run into any yet but I am sure I eventually will. Other than that, I went for a long walk from Chorrillos back to Barranco, cleaned house, did laundry, and spent a lot of time working on articles. I am still amazed at how quickly my day passes. I start at 7am and the next thing I know it’s 10:30 or 11:00pm and time for bed.
For all who are wondering and can’t tell by now, “I LOVE RETIREMENT”. I can only hope that the rest of the time I have on this earth is as enjoyable as the past few months has been. No offense to my fellow ex-coworkers, I enjoyed almost all my time working but this is SO MUCH better. OK, enough of that, I hope all of you had a good weekend that included some fun. Mary, I know you are having fun – keep it up.
I DO MISS all of you.
Hello everyone, another week has almost passed and I find that it’s time to update this web page again. Life is still good here in Lima. I am writing every day and trying to get out and do some photography every chance I get. There haven’t been a lot of sunny days lately; winter is definitely setting in here. As a matter of fact the only sun we have seen in over two weeks popped its welcome face out yesterday afternoon. It actually stayed out till dark and I fully admit it was nice to see it again. I think I am going to have to make some weekend trips to Cienequilla where I hear the sun is always shining. It’s about a 45 minute drive inland from Lima. Friends tell me you can catch a “collectiva” for 4 or 5 soles if you chose to travel by that route. For those who don’t know, a collectiva is just someone in his car who probably works in Cieneguilla and is looking to make a little money by taking on passengers. They don’t cram as many people into the vehicle as they can like the “Combis” do. Even without the sun the day can be clear as a bell. I took this photo because I could see all the way across the bay from Barranco to Callao on this very cloudy day.
I’m still hitting the gym on a regular basis and taking nice walks around Barranco trying to get familiar with all its streets. There are some amazing sights here when you take your time and look at what you are passing. The older restored homes are truly beautiful. Seeing them as they were in the heyday of Barranco’s past is nice. Even in the homes that are not fully restored there are some fabulous architectural details that show how well made they are and display the artistry of the woodwork done on doors, windows and balconies. The other day as I was doing one of my routes I noticed an open door to what appeared to be a wood work shop? Sauntering over there was a man inside and I held up my camera with the time honored phrase “Photo?” He nodded yes and invited me in to see his whole shop. He did his best to talk to me in “Baby Spanish” to explain some of the work he was doing. I have to admit that most of it went over my head but there was one thing he was VERY proud of. Apparently in 1985 when Pope John Paul II visited Peru, he had built the chair (looked like a throne of me) that the Pope sat in when giving his audiences here. He had a photo of it with the Pope as well as a letter of gratitude all encased in a nice frame and displayed in his shop. It made for a nice moment for me. Finding strange flowering trees and plants that I have never seen before (I can hear Kelly moaning all the down here) and appreciating their beauty. The huge variety that can be seen here is amazing.
I went to another play this week. It is a comedy called “Tu O Yo” and is about whether it is better to be a man or a woman. Of course there is a twist to the play, the actors represent the different organs of an “It”, a hermaphrodite born with both sexual organs. There is the Penis, the Vagina, the Tongue, the Brain, the Heart and the Stomach. From what I could understand it was very humorous and from the reaction of the other audience members it was really funny. I was invited as a guest to the play so that I would write a review of it. The review will be posted shortly and I will have the link in place in case you are interested in reading it. I find it bemusing that I have not attended the theater in the US in probably over 20 years and here in Peru I have been twice in two weeks. It does remind me though how much I enjoy live performances.
I am in the process of planning some trips. I think I will be going to Piura in Northern Peru at the end of this month. At the end of August I think it will be either Buenos Aires or Quito, I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m leaning to Buenos Aires since a round trip ticket is only $228 plus tax at this point in time. The purpose of that trip will be to renew my tourist Visa here in Peru. After that depending on whether or not any of you decide to pay me a visit, I may fly into either Chile or Colombia for a long weekend. I’m still planning on going to Iquitos for the Amazing Amazon River Raft Race also.
That’s it for this entry. I hope all of you have a good weekend. Hopefully there will be more interesting things for me to write about in a few days. Love You All – Buenos Tardes
What a weekend folks. I hope yours was as nice as mine. I got E-mails from a lot of you this weekend and it was great hearing from you. I sent Chris Giegis a Happy Birthday message and he responded that all was well. I heard from Haitham and he has his web site up now. It’s www.haithamgasim.com so go visit it and leave a comment if you get a chance. I got Emails from Mary Voss with the happenings in her life and Rita (my sister) sends me emails quite often. I heard from Deb Severa and got updates about her plans. I got text messages from John Lindl and Laura Chamness. I heard from Mona Stevens and David Chamness this morning and got good updates from them so I am not missing everyone quite so badly now. I also added a new area in the right hand column to place links for web sites/blogs of my friends. So if you have one that I am unaware of let me know and I will add it to the list.
Saturday afternoon I went for a really long walk and took photos of a few parks, the sunset which was really beautiful, and the parasailors on the cliffs just north of Larcomar, the Mall. There were a lot of them in the sky at once this evening. It really looks like a fun thing to do and I think one of these days I will walk over ad see if there is one of them actually selling rides. I think it would make for an exhilarating experience. Later that evening I met Jose and Fiorella for drinks and some snacks. They took me to several small establishments where, as I am fond of saying, I was the only Gringo. We had a great evening talking about all manner of subject from earthquakes (they were surprised we had them in Southern Illinois) to Tornadoes with all manner of topics in between. I tried to practice my limited Spanish and they (especially Fiorella) practiced her English with me. Jose’s English is already quite excellent. The Pubs were small places with low noise levels so that good conversation was possible. I tried a couple of different types of Pisco with Jose; Fiorella tried a couple of sips, wrinkled her nose and said “no more.” The two that stood out were a Cuban place and a German themed bar. Unfortunately when I left the house I didn’t notice that my camera battery was running low so I only got a good shot of the two of them before the battery went dead on me.
Before going out while we were at their shop waiting for them to close up, Jose showed me a few of the multitude of very old photos he has collected of Lima throughout its history. I was quite impressed and it gave me the idea to do a “Then and Now” type article with before and now photos to accompany it. He is going to burn all the old photos he has to a CD for me so that I can go through them at my leisure.
At the end of the evening, I think that it was about 11:30pm, I parted ways with Jose and Fiorella as they headed back to the shop. Of course they had offered me a ride home but I love to walk and the exercise is very good for me. I was about halfway back to Barranco when a blackout occurred across all the major sections of the city. It was quite disconcerting walking the streets in total darkness with the only light being that from the passing cars. Well, I had just crossed the bridge into Barranco when my phone rang and it was them asking where I was and if I was OK. I told them where I was at, I was fine and not to worry, I would be able to make it the rest of the way with no problem. We hung up and two or three minutes later their van pulls up next to me and Fiorella rolls down the window and tells me to hop in. They are the nicest people, I was so touched by their concern and the fact that they had driven over to get me and make sure I made it home safely; even more so because all of the traffic lights were out making driving a little dangerous.
Today my ex-coworkers, but still good friends, will be starting a major test of the new ADM/BAR modules of Meditech. I just want you all to know that I am thinking of you and I hope everything goes well. You guys are the best and there is nothing you can’t accomplish when you set your minds to it. GOOD LUCK MIS AMIGOS!!!!!
The rest of the weekend was filled with my routine stuff. I still find it all quite exciting and interesting. I think it’s because I am learning something new almost every day. The people here are wonderfully patient with me. Have a nice week everyone. I will update again on Thursday or Friday unless something big happens in which case it will be sooner. I REALLY MISS ALL OF YOU!!
Hi everyone, I obviously did not get around to updating my missives here Thursday or Friday as stated above. It was a pretty boring week as far as keeping this page up is concerned. I filled my time with working on new articles and going to the gym. Between those two major things I spent time doing the same ole boring stuff you guys do every day. Fortunately the new hasn’t worn off of being in Lima yet so I still find some of this stuff interesting. I had a couple of conflicting E-mails about how the Integration testing went at my old employers. One used expletives I cannot repeat and the other thought it went Ok except for the Pharmacy Billing (no big surprise to me).
LiP published two more of my articles this week; eventually I think I am going to have trouble keeping up with their wants. The good part of that is I set my own work pace so no pressure on me as far as I am concerned. Right now they have three of my articles waiting to be published and I am finishing up one more and starting another so I’m OK for now.
I should have a lot to tell you about after the weekend. This afternoon I am going to see the new Terminator movie, then to another play this evening which will be followed up with dinner at a Pena where there will be more entertainment. Tomorrow morning we are going to Cieneguiella (not sure I spelled it right) to get some sun. It’s a small town about 45 minutes inland from Lima. I plan to spend the night there and make use of the pool, do some horseback riding and possibly other activities that they have to offer. I hope I can get at least two articles out of this weekend’s activities.
NOTE: I saw roundtrip airfare from St. Louis to Lima for $415 running through the end of July. That is ½ what I paid for my tickets. If you know anyone who’s interested in coming down for a visit, now is the time.
Enough for today, I’ll definitely be writing up my weekends adventures on Tuesday. I hope all of you are having a great weekend. John and Cyndi, I hope the weather cooperated and you were able to have a nice picnic today.
I had a nice time this weekend with all my planned activities. Naturally everything didn’t work out the way I was hoping but still it was nice getting out and doing something a little different. On Saturday afternoon I went to the latest Terminator movie starring Christian Bale. It was definitely an exciting movie and full of action and special effects just like all the others, they even had a computer generated “Terminator” who looked like “the Arnold”. If you are a fan of these movies you will certainly enjoy this one. It takes place in the future where the actual war between man and machines is taking place. Afterwards it was home for a quick dinner and then off to the play “To O Yo” again. I went with my friend Steve this time, mainly because he wanted to see it but I also wanted a better explanation of what the jokes were in the play. If anything it was even funnier than the first time I saw it since I had someone explaining the jokes to me. This was the last weekend it is being performed and the theater was more crowded. I’d like to think that this was thanks to my review in LiP but you never know.
After the play we went to a Pena, “De rompe y raja”, which was without a doubt the most fun I have had in a long time. We arrived there a little early and had some food. Steve ordered the “beef heart” on a stick and I got the Chicken nuggets with fried Yucca. They were good but nothing to brag about. We also got a great table because we were early and had a terrific view of the show. There were four acts with the final show being the Great Bartola, she is a world famous Peruvian Blues Singer. The first act was the house band, “Son y Sabor” who played a great mix of Latin dance music from Salsa to the Rumba. Their lead singer had a nice voice and the minute they started there were people on the dance floor. After four or five songs, they were joined by Zoila Montedoro who is the regular MC and a great singer in her own right here in Peru. She belted out some great songs and had the crowd in the palm of her hands. I was bopping along with the rest of them wishing some of the girls were here so we could dance. After she sang a few songs, the dance troupe “Raices de America” performed some traditional Peruvian Dances in costume. They were also very good and the costumes beautiful as they put on a show that the whole crowd enjoyed. They performed between sets several times, performing dances from different regions of Peru each time they were on the floor. Following this was what I thought, the best and most entertaining act of the evening. They were “Los Ardiles”, a family act consisting of three brothers who sang, played guitar and did some light comedy to perfection. They sang a huge selection of songs ranging from Latin classics to the Beatles; most of the time the entire crowd was singing along with them and screaming like a bunch of teen age girls. At the end of their act there was a break in which a DJ played a wide range of dance music. I swear almost everyone in the place was on the dance floor almost instantly. It was great to see that many people enthusiastic about dancing and there were some very good dancers in that crowd. The way some of them were moving their hips I am surprised that someone didn’t throw something out of joint. After an hour or so of this, the band came back, the great Bartola appears on the floor and the crowd goes crazy again. She starts her act with some nice bluesy Latin songs and the crowd is singing along with her so loudly that you can hardly hear her. At times she just stopped singing and holds the microphone in the air and lets the people do the song. We sat through about five songs and decided to leave at that point since it was obvious that we were not going to get to hear her sing solo, also it was 3am and I was very tired at this point. It was a great evening and I can’t wait to go to another Pena again. Definitely one of the most fun and entertaining evenings I have had since being in Peru.
The next day (Sunday) Steve got his Mother’s car and we took off to Cieneguilla, a small inland town where the Sun is supposed to shine all the time and it’s supposed to be warmer. We had planned to go horseback riding and to lay by the pool there and get some Sun. All of that was a definite no do, as it was RAINING and COLD there, almost to the point where you could see your breath. Still it was nice to get out of Lima for a little bit and be somewhere different. Cieneguilla is a larger place than I thought it would be. Lots of big homes surrounded by even bigger walls and I am fairly sure that they were all summer/winter homes for the wealthy. We checked in at a small motel complex called El Colono. It was nice, certainly not a 3 star place but the rooms were clean the place was well maintained. The food was excellent there though ( I had the dieta de pollo and some tamals) and if the Sun had been out and it was warm it would have been a great place to spend part of the day playing games and laying by the pool. The trip there was interesting in itself as we passed through some very bleak landscapes. Barren earth and rock with not a single living plant to be seen on some stretches of the road there. We also passed over a mini mountain with one of those dangerously winding roads so I was grateful there was not a lot of traffic. On the drive back Steve took me on a tour of the La Molina area in Lima. This is another very nice area with beautiful homes built around a lake. The lake is not something I would go swimming in but looks nice enough for a view out your living room window. The houses here are VERY pricey by Peruvian standards and in some cases even American standards. Still it is a beautiful area even if it is a bit far away from everything. After a stop for lunch it was back to Barranco where guess what!!!! The Sun was shining and it was warm. As a matter of fact it is still shinning today and wonderfully warm. Well, it’s time for me to go to the gym, have to work off some of the good food I have been eating all weekend. Hope you all had a great weekend too!
It has been a rough few days for me. I have been laid up with some type of intestinal problem and I am not sure what was causing it. A friend’s Mom sent me a couple of home cooked meals that were very delicious and they are the only thing different I have eaten recently so I guess the blame will have to lay there. Anyway, I am much better today although still feeling a little weak and slightly dehydrated. No fear though, I have all I need for a full recovery right here thanks to some good friends who look after me. I am hoping I feel good enough by tomorrow to get out of the apartment and do some more neighborhood exploring. I still managed to start a new article on the Pena I visited last weekend and sent off another one for publishing about Arequipa so I haven’t been a total slug.
On a bad news note, I heard this week that a good friend, Wally Young, had passed away. It was an MI from what I was told. Wally was a great golfer and owned one of the small golf courses where I was a member for many years. We had some good times out at the course and our old golf league used to play there all the time.
I don’t know if you have been hearing about the strikes and violence that occurred between the police and some of the indigenous peoples in Northern Peru but it got very ugly for a brief moment in time and I think that 29 police officers and 7 demonstrators were killed in the incident. It all has to do with some laws that were passed concerning the development of natural resources in the Amazon that involved the ancestral lands of some of the tribes there. Anyway after the violence, Peru’s government has relented and rescinded the two laws and will meet with the leaders of those concerned to develop a new strategy. I am glad they are back to solving this problem with conversation versus bullets. It certainly has polarized the people here.
OK, enough of the downer stuff. I need to get some more article ideas that concern Lima and its immediate surrounds. I have yet to make that third biking tour with Jose and I hope to get it in this coming week. There are also a lot of small ruin sites and several large parks I would like to visit and write about.
Included in this entry are a few pictures from one of my visits to the Metro. I have yet to figure out what these things are; fruits or vegetables and one of these days I will take a friend with me to explain them and what they can be used for. You have to admit they do look interesting.
As you can tell not much to write about when you have been sick and I’m sure none of you want to hear the details of this little ordeal. LOL Later mis amigos y familia.
First let me say HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the present and future Dads that I know and to all the Fathers of my friends and family. I hope you have a great day today. I went for a nice long walk today around Barranco and it was nice to see all the Dads out with their families celebrating this day. I have to admit it was nothing like Mother’s Day though. I don’t know what it is that makes Moms the biggies (maybe it’s that birth thing) but it seems everywhere I go, their day is celebrated in bigger fashion. Maybe it’s because you guys are just happier staying home watching a sporting event with your kids, having a good home cooked meal and being pampered a little. Whatever the reason it’s like the old song states, “you can’t have one without the other!”
I am feeling like myself again today so I think the illness and it’s after effects are over. As I stated I went for a walk around the neighborhoods again today. Each time I do this I try to take a different street or route through part of the walk just to see what’s there. One of the things that I have seen on these walks is the amazing varieties of architectural style and color on some of the homes. There are some truly beautiful places here and some buildings that could be picked up for a song if you were so inclined and had it n you to do some work on a place. The styles range from Art Deco to Ultra Modern with everything in between. I admit that seeing some of these beautiful old homes sitting there just deteriorating breaks my heart. Makes me want to be a billionaire and buy up all this property and restore it to its former glory. I am posting some pictures of these homes in this entry for all of you to see. A couple of these are only a ½ block away from my apartment.
I also stopped at Jose’s little place for lunch, I had two Tamal de Pollos, a Tarteletta de Fresa and a cup of coffee. It was great to eat normal food again. I love stopping in this place, everyone is so friendly and Jose always asks me about the people who have visited me here. Of course it helps that the food is excellent also.
As a lot of you know I finally built a Face Book page although I have to admit it was mostly to see what all of you are up to at any given moment. It’s just one more thing for me to maintain. I must love punishment. Still, I am enjoying seeing all of your entries and knowing that things are good. I especially like the photos that get posted when you are in them.
OK, I guess that’s enough for today, I need to do a little work on an article or two. Have to keep my readers interested. LOL Have a great week everyone.
You just never know what you are going to find or see when you go for a walk in Barranco. I was on my way to the Metro to do some badly needed grocery shopping when I came across what I think is a commercial for Peruvian television being filmed in the main square of Barranco. There were a group of singers and musicians on stage in the plaza with a film crew shooting them singing a song about Peru from various angles. The performers were all different ages and ethnic groups to represent all the peoples of Peru I believe. I stood and watched them for a good 30 minutes and took some photos of my own and a short movie clip. Everyone seemed to be enjoying doing the show. I left them to head down to the ocean, I wanted to deep breathe some nice salt air again and for a little more exercise before hitting the Metro. As I was coming down the stairs from the Bridge of Sighs to the street that takes you down to the water I ran into these two guys from the states. I don’t remember their names or where they were from but it was nice to talk to some Americans again. They were in Lima for a couple of days like most tourists and on their way to Cusco and Machu Pichu. They were full of questions about what to do while they were here and of course I shared my expertise with them. They were leaving for Cusco tomorrow evening so that limited their choices. Of course I recommended Jose’s Bike Tours and a few other things to them before parting company. They were going to see Pachacamac tomorrow in the morning so at least they will see the major archaeological ruin here in the Lima area. Also the city had cleaned the bronze statues by the Bridge if Sighs. They look a lot nicer now.
Afterwards I finished my walk and went to the Metro to get my much needed supplies. I just thought to myself what an interesting morning it had turned out to be and that I would share it with you all. Hope you day turned out as interesting as mine.
Another week has whizzed by and I am left with the feeling that I did not accomplish that much. I did the normal everyday things that all of us have to do, but now I have a maid coming in once a week to clean so that I can have more free time. Her name is Sonia and she doesn’t speak any English but we are managing to communicate. She is also the maid/cook of my landlords so I know she can be trusted. She also does excellent work. She has offered to cook for me also but I am not at the point where I need that yet.
I didn’t get much writing done this week. I worked on two articles and will probably send one of them in for publishing on Sunday or Monday. It’s the one I wrote about the Pena and what a good time I had. I’ve also started the one on Pachacamac but have discovered that I don’t remember the site too well and I don’t have any of the literature with me that I picked up there. My solution is to go on another tour of the place or just go out and visit it by myself to get some better photos and refamiliarize myself with the place. It really was a very interesting pre Incan religious archaeological site that was also used by the Inca after they conquered the Huari and incorporated them into their civilization.
I also went for a nice walk yesterday looking for places that had signs that say “Se Vende” or “For Sale” on them. I was curious about how much property was for sale in this area. I didn’t find too much for sale although there were quite a few properties for rent, lots of Condos of course and new buildings going up all over the place. Here’s a picture of a new condo going up that I would love to live in. It has nice wide open floor plans and the walls facing the ocean are all glass with spectacular views. Some of the homes I saw were OK but might need some work to bring them up to my standards but like I said there were not a lot of choices. Everything I read states that Peru has missed the recession and their economy is still growing. I can certainly believe that. Trust me, they still have their problems here but this place is still vibrant and full of life. I am definitely still loving it here in Lima.
This weekend I am planning on doing another bike tour with Jose. He has an afternoon tour that goes through Miraflores, San Isidro, Magdalena and a couple of other districts and I am anxious to see what it has to offer. I will also write a third article on this tour for LiP, the readers seem to enjoy them and like seeing the options provided for riding a bike around Lima. On Sunday I am finally going to the archaeological museum with my land lady Kathy. I am looking forward to that also and will probably get an article out of it. That’s it for now; I hope all of you have great plans for the weekend also.
Part of my weekend was a bust since I didn’t get to do the Bike Tour or go out with my
friends for a glass of wine but I did get to the museum on Sunday with my landlady. Saturday no other people had signed up for the afternoon tour so I decided against it since I wanted to do it with other people involved for the photo opportunities. I think that having people in the photos for the article I am going to write on this particular tour will give it a little more life. Also, it was Firorella’s sister’s birthday and that put a squash on my plans for the evening. I guess I’ll have to work it in on another day. So Saturday turned into a chore day for me with grocery shopping and doing some cleaning in the apartment. Not much of a day for me, didn’t even go for a walk.
Sunday was better though. My landlady (Kathy) had offered to take me to the Archaeological Museum in Pueblo Libre since she knew that I had an interest in archaeology. She also wanted to revisit it since she had been there earlier but did not have the time to tour and enjoy the exhibits as much as she would have liked. The drive there only took about 30 minutes and that would have been shorter but we missed the turn to get on the expressway that runs by the ocean and had to do a little round about to get on it. It was easy to get to Pueblo Libre and a fairly straight shot from the Expressway to the museum after exiting. Pueblo Libre is a nice district in Lima that seems to have done an excellent job of maintaining their historical homes and buildings. They have a nice central square with fountain and some very nice churches in the area near the Archaeological Museum.
The museum is fairly large and to do it real justice you would need to plan on taking at least 3 to 4 hours for touring it. Ordinarily the entrance fee of 11.50 Soles includes a tour guide to explain the history and significance of the exhibits but since it was a Sunday that was not the case. That was a little unfortunate for me since most of the exhibits had their cards in Spanish with no English translation. I did my best to muddle through it though. The exhibits were from the entire timeline of history for the Western side of South America, starting at 10,000 BC and going to modern day. Some of the cultures exhibited were
the Moche, Wair (Huari), Lambayeque, Chimu and of course the Inca. The majority of the displays for the prehispanic times were of ceramics, cloth, tools and some weapons used by the peoples of the area. The ceramics were incredibly beautiful and well preserved. Some of the pieces were very large (half my size) and I found it amazing that they had survived time in such good condition. They had an extremely large collection of ceramics that ranged in use from simple glasses for drinking to vessels for carrying fluids, pipes for smoking, flutes, bowls, and the fascination of cultures of all ages; sex symbols. The portions of cloth showed the skill of the weavers during those times and the wide range of fantastic dye colors that were used in making the thread. There were dioramas of some of the major sites here in Peru that showed how the cities, temples and complexes would have looked when they were at the height of the individual civilizations. I also learned that there were many more civilizations that predated the Inca than I was aware of. Peru has a very rich history and civilizations that created art, engineering and buildings that would have rivaled the ancient Egyptians as far as I am concerned.
There was also a nice collection of gold and silver ornamentation made by the various cultures as well as a recreation of the room in which the Inca brought all the gold to purchase the release of their Emperor Altahualpa. If you remember the story, Pizarro stated he would release the Emperor if they filled a room in the temple to a spot on the wall where his hand reached. Of course he was lying and he never did release him.
Then came the area of the museum dedicated to the history of the area starting with the Spanish conquests of the lands. We did not spend much time in this area as we had already been there for a couple of hours and we were ready for some lunch. This area had a lot of paintings of Spaniards of the time as well as copies of some of the older books written about the Inca during that time period. It looked very interesting and I will have to make a trip back to explore this part of the museum in more depth.
Afterwards we crossed the square and had lunch in a small restaurant. The cost, only 6 Soles each. This included a Papa relleno as an appetizer and Pollo Frita con arroz y salada for the main course with Inka Cola for a drink. It was very delicious and hit the spot. Finishing our lunch we walked over to a church just off the main square that looked interesting and bought some picarillas (a sweet treat like a donut with syrup) at the little lunch area they had set up. Then it was time to head back home. It was a very nice afternoon and I enjoyed it and the company very much.
Getting home it was back to my regular routine; I finished up some laundry and watched a movie to end my day after eating a light dinner. Now a new week has started and I am looking forward to new adventures and sights. Have a great week everyone.
I had a new version of wordpress installed and it makes the pictures and text look strange and hard to read when I post them. I learned my lesson in this post so no more titles at the bottom of the pictures after this. Sorry for the wierdness, hopefully it won’t happen again.
It’s another glorious sunny day here in Lima and I am anxious to get out and do something. First I wanted to update my site with some comments on my day at Pachacamac and Punta Hermosa along with a few photos while things are still fresh in my mind. I had already visited the archaeological site of Pachacamac on one of my earlier visits to Peru but now that I want to write an article about the experience I noticed that I wasn’t really happy with the photos I had taken that day. I talked Steve into getting the family car and taking me back for another visit. I also wanted to stop in Punta Hermosa (a beach town) and have some Tamals at Saritas, a great little restaurant there that specializes in BBQ’s pork sandwiches.
Steve came and picked me up at the apartment and off we went, out of Chorrillos and down south to our first stop, Punta Hermosa for lunch at Saritas. It’s about a 30 minute drive from my apartment with the traffic. When any of you come for a visit I definitely want to take you here to eat. The Tamals are delicious as are there BBQ Pork Sandwiches and Steve tells me the Ceviche is excellent also. I’m not a big fan of fish but I have sampled it and to my palate it is very good. The first time at this restaurant I ordered three Tamals thinking they would be the same size as the ones you get back in the states. That was an error on my part, you’ve heard of Burritos as big as your head, well think the same for Tamals. I was barely able to finish them. Finishing our lunches we hopped back in the car and headed out to Pachacamac.
Pachacamac is an awesome site dedicated to the God Pachacamac or “He who animates the world.” This place was a major religious site for various cultures for over 1500 years before the Spanish arrived. The Inca were the last to use this site and did major construction on the site part of which involved the Temple of the Sun (Punchao Cancha) and the Mamacona/Acllawasi. The temple of the Sun was covered in red plaster and must have been a magnificent site when approached by pilgrims seeking guidance during those times. The views from the top of this temple are incredible. The Mamcona was a dwelling where maidens who served the God and Priests lived. I like them to the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome. The site was known for its oracle mainly which could tell the future and the leaders of all the cultures that ruled during its time would come here to the painted Temple which contained the Idol of the God Pachacamac for its power and guidance in their important decisions. The idol is a tall thin wooden staff type carving with human and animal symbols on it. Pachacamac was considered an invisible being so it is astounding that they would try to represent the diety in any manner. The city contains at least 50 pyramidal structures as well as many palaces and home type structure. There are Plazas and avenues laid out and a wall surrounded the entire city with gates at the cardinal points. The Painted Temple was covered with paintings of animals both fantastical and real. The important and wealthy peoples of the time would offer large sacrifices to obtain burial in the cemetery surrounding this temple. It is just one more of Peru’s magnificent ruin sites. Unfortunately not much has been done to uncover its secrets. There is a lot more archaeological work that needs to be done here. Just one more of many places that needs to be visited while you are in Lima.
After touring the site again (I didn’t use a guide this time) we headed back to Lima. Steve dropped me off and the apartment and returned to his Mom’s house. I spent the rest of the evening working on the photos I had taken and outlining my article. Well, as I said the Sun is shining and I want to get out for a little bit before heading to the gym. Later everyone.
Everyone in the US have a Happy and Safe July 4th and all you Canadians enjoy your day also. The rest of my week passed quickly with me trying to finish up some articles, working on photos to go with them and trying to make it to the gym as often as possible. On the days I don’t make it at least I am still getting out for some long walk, usually 2 -3 hours. I use these walks to take more photos and get to know the area better. I plan on doing a series of articles on walking tours of some of the districts here in Lima so that people who live or visit here will have an idea of some of the things you miss is you are in a car all the time. These articles will probably take me awhile to complete since I am doing all the exploring on my own and not every street qualifies. I am enjoying the research though. This week was nice, the sun was out for several days and I got some nice photos with blue sky in the background. It definitely makes for a nicer photo.
I have some nice plans for the weekend. ACAP (an American/Canadian organization here) is having a 4th of July picnic with fireworks to celebrate both countries independence days. It should be a lot of fun and I hope to meet some new people while I’m there. On Sunday I am going to a small town to the east of Lima called “Chosica” with Steve and his family. I am looking forward to that also since I am interested in seeing as much of Peru as possible. I will update all of you after the weekend on how everything went as well as photos. You know me; the camera is a permanent attachment to my right hand. It’s a short entry for today and I promise a nice long one after the weekend. Please be safe everyone and don’t be shooting fireworks at each other (especially you Kelly).
I hope all of you had a great weekend; I had a great Saturday but Sunday was a bit rough. I heard that it was raining in Southern Illinois for the 4th so I am sure that put a damper on some of your holiday celebrations. I also heard that some of my family was out in the rain putting up a fence at my Sister’s. I hope you at least got to see some fireworks Saturday night. For me it was the ACAP Picnic on Saturday to celebrate Canada Day and our Independence Day together. My landlords Kathy and Luis Sanches took me, Luis even bought me a USA themed T-shirt to wear for the occassion. It was a cloudy day that got a little chilly in the evening but not so much that I needed a jacket. The picnic took place in the town of Pachacamac at an enclosure that had been reserved for the occasion. It was a very nice family oriented event. Although it was put on by the American Canadian Association of Peru I am quite positive there were more Peruvians in attendance that Americans and Canadians combined. The entry fee got you entered into a drawing for some prizes (no I didn’t win anything) and loads of entertainment. A nice lunch (1/4 chicken, French fries, a salad and a small apple pie) was offered for $6 and it was delicious by the way. There were lots of vendors there with booths containing everything from the Canadian Embassy to Lomo del Mar; a restaurant who had a nice selection of foods from their menu for sale. There was also Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Hot Dogs, and an assortment of meats on a stick, cookies and ice cream if you were just looking for snack foods.
There was a lot to do for the kids. A face painting station was set up and I swear almost every child there had his face done up as everything from Spiderman to a Butterfly. There was a petting zoo set up with lots of cute little animals for the kids to feed and pet. A Donkey Cart ride seemed to provide a lot of entertainment for them also as well as a large play area that had been set up for them to enjoy with all kinds of playground structures for them to climb, bounce and run through. A large animal zoo was also there with cows, horses, donkeys, goats, emus, chickens and geese.
The entertainment was nice with a selection of bands with varying musical styles. First up were Annya Serkovic Johnson and her band. She sang a selection of Pop and Rock music from the past few years. The crowd was appreciative and she was good but no one danced while she was singing. Next up was a band called Hoax. They were definitely our favorite for the afternoon evening playing a wide selection of Rock music all the way from the early 60’s to present day. This group is a bunch of teachers here in Peru and they are very talented musicians. This is when the dancing started with the ever popular song “Let’s Do the Twist”. Afterwards an eleven member group called Sabor y Control took the stage and played Salsa music which brought even more dancers out. In the breaks between the bands, jugglers and clowns performed for the kids. They were a good relief to the musical show and the entire crowd enjoyed the acts. I enjoyed the entire range of entertainment and once again was wishing some of my girls were here to hit the dance floor with.
At the end there was a nice fireworks display, of course it was nothing compared to what you would see in the US or Canada but it was a great ending to a very nice day. Despite the weather I hope all of you had a nice day either in or out of doors.
Sunday I was looking forward to going to Chosica but it didn’t pan out. Steve couldn’t make it in the end and to be honest I wasn’t feeling too good. I had a stomach and headache with a low grade fever and spent most of the day buried under my blankets in bed. Not sure what it was but it’s all gone today and I am feeling chipper again. So today I will go for a long walk and see what I can find again. I really need to organize my thoughts on a couple of walking around articles I would like to write. I am hoping we will plan the Chosica trip for another day. I hear it is a beautiful place and well worth a visit. Have a great week everyone.
A good Friday morning to everyone, I hope you had a great week. It’s a rainy morning here in Barranco and a good day to do some writing. There is a slight breeze coming down out of the mountains so it is a little chillier than usual but still it’s nothing like Southern Illinois in the winter. It was a fairly uneventful week for me. I went for the usual walks and did the usual house work so nothing really exciting. On one of my walks I stopped by the point behind the historical church here in Barranco. Those who have been here will know where I am talking about. I was glad that I did since it was the only time I have been there that there has not been a gaggle of tourists or local people admiring the view. I see lovers and couple here quite often not to mention a few newly weds having their photo taken here. I took the opportunity to take this nice photo and a couple more of the great views from this point. When the girls were here we stopped at the restaurant here and had some snacks and coffee or other drink while we admired theses views and chatted about what a great life we had. This point is in the area of the Bridge of Sighs here in Barranco and it is one of the places I will take any of you who come for a visit.
Speaking of restaurants, I went to dinner this week with Steve to one of my favorite places to eat here in Barranco. It’s called Sorongo Cosongo and is also very close to the bridge of sighs. For me, walking into this place might be like walking into a coffee shop in Madrid or Paris at the turn of the previous century. I can just imagine a group of artists and political activists hanging out in this place discussing new techniques in art, politics or just drinking one of the many different types of wines or Pisco drinks they offer here. The owner, who is a very nice man and has always remembered me from my first visit to his place, has a special brand of Pisco made just for his restaurant. On this particular evening we had the pleasure of being entertained by a gentleman on the piano and the owner actually sang a couple of songs while we were there. The pianist was wonderful and the owner has a great voice by the way. The food here is always delicious and between me and friends I believe we have had every dish on the menu. The owner and his family actually live in the building that houses the restaurant and he is only open for lunch and early dinner. There is no well known Chef in this restaurant, just well cooked delicious meals done in traditional Peruvian style. This is another place I will take you if you come for a visit. There are so many, I hope you will make plans to stay long enough to see them all.
For the weekend there is a Pisco Festival in Surco at the Park de Amistad that I think I will go to. There will be music and other forms of entertainment as well as booths set up from most of the vineyards that produce Pisco. I hope the Sun comes out for it and naturally I will have my camera with me. I’m not sure what else I will do but as it always is here in Lima, there are those little adventures that jump up and surprise you. Those always seem to be the most fun. By the way, the house next door to the apartment I am renting just came up for sale. It looks very nice from the outside and if I were to decide to buy here, it has everything I am looking for in a second home. Hmmmmmmmm!!!!! Have a nice weekend everyone.
Proceed to the new section Living in South America Part 2. This one got too long.