Living in South America/Peru – Part 3 (08/01/2009 – 08/27/2009)
Hi all, in case you noticed the weird way the typing is showing in Part 2 of Living in South America, I can explain. I had a problem with the webpage starting on Friday and my buddy Haitam in trying to fix it removed some HTML coding that affected the way the typing on those entries displays. Fortunately he resolved the problem, it was a different issue and everything should look OK from this point forward. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the help he has been in getting this site up and keeping it working for me. Those of you who know him understand what a great person he is. Anyway, now to the good stuff.
I had another very nice weekend filled with activities. The rest of Friday was spent at the gym and checking out some things that are happening at the Mall in Chorrillos. More about that in future updates. On Saturday I went to Peru’s National Museum in San Borja finally. It was nice but the museum is under construction and remodeling. As a result of this, with the exception of the main floor, there is only one floor of exhibits open. Still the exhibits were nice and covered the entire known history of Peru. There were some truly beautiful pieces on display and I had a very nice young lady who gave me a tour of the museum in English. Sorry to say that I do not remember her name despite talking with her the entire time I was there. Some of the pieces that I loved were a Silver Urn from the Chimu Culture, a funerary wrapping from the Paracus Culture that looked like it was made yesterday, Gold ornaments from the Nasca, large Urns from the Wari Culture and a Silver Blanket made to cover a grave. There were also beautiful paintings from the time shortly after the Spanish conquest all the way up to modern times. The painters of Peru returned to a more primitive style after they obtained their freedom from Spain. The paintings remind me a great deal of Gauguin and the paintings he did in Hawaii. Outside the museum on the way to the exit are a bunch of artists of all types with their work on display for sale. There, once again you could see the talent of the artists from Peru and the beautiful work they do. To me it is especially obvious in their ceramics but their weaving and paintings are beautiful also.
Sunday was another outing with Steve, his Mom Jaita and her boyfriend Jose Manuel. I always have a good time on these outings. Steve’s Mom is a great lady and has a wicked sense of humor. Her boyfriend Jose Manuel is a retired Electrical Engineer and a poet. He’s a great guy and I definitely enjoy his company. Neither speaks English although Jose manual understands it so you can imagine how the conversations go. First up was a trip to Lima Center for a late breakfast, unfortunately I was unaware that breakfast was going to be involved so I had already eaten. After arriving for breakfast at a little no name hole in the wall, I was glad that I had. Breakfast consisted of what I will call Cow Parts Soup and Humitas. Now I love humitas but not for breakfast and although I know the soup tastes really good it’s one of those things I have trouble getting past my eyes (see photo). It was a nice adventure though and while we were in the restaurant three young people from Taiwan came in to eat also. They heard us speaking English and soon joined us in conversation and asked for help in getting their order across. The two young ladies were teachers and the young man was in business. They had been in Peru for 28 days enjoying traveling all throughout the south. This was their last day in Lima and the girls were headed to Chile while the young man was going to Panama. It turned into a nice little interlude. Finishing up, we left the restaurant and Steve bought me a Peruvian hat (not the kind with ear flaps) which I thought was a nice gesture. We piled back in the car and decided to head for the Sun. Once again Cieneguilla came up but we opted for another trip to Choclacayo and Chosica. They knew that I wanted to take more photos of the central Plazas of both cities for an article I am in the process of writing and that settled the issue. Besides, I will probably go to Cieneguilla for an ACAP outing next weekend.
Both Choclacayo and Chosica have beautiful central Plazas. Choclacayo’s is the smaller of the two. The park features some things for the children to do, nice sidewalks, benches for relaxing and the usual assortment of vendors selling handicrafts. You will find the local population out with their kids enjoying a nice sunny day and the warmth of the sun. It is surrounded by restaurants and stores and there are views of the surrounding mountains. Leaving the park we drove one of those areas where you can picnic and enjoy the day away from the traffic and noise of town. This area was owned by a friend of Jose Manuel and I got some nice photos of Peruvian hairless dogs. They are so unusual looking and some would say they are so ugly they are cute. We then drove into Chosica which had a much large central Plaza and the layout of the city’s center is beautiful and well planned. Here the area for kids is much larger and besides playground equipment they have an assortment of rides. There was a small train ride for kids only that I know would have thrilled my grand nephews and niece. They also had an area set up with permanent tables with Chess/Checker boards built into the tables where people were playing on this beautiful day. Throughout the park there were couples sitting on blankets enjoying the day and children running and playing games much as you would see in any park in the USA. There was a beautiful Gazebo built in the center with statues and a water fall feature and beautiful tall palm trees throughout the park. Off to one side of the park and up a beautifully landscaped walkway was a huge statue of Jesus with a waterfall feature. It was very impressive and obviously built to inspire. Along the walkway was also an old beautiful church whose name I could not discover. I spent some time here walking around and taking photos. Afterwards we returned to Lima and I took them to Songoro Cosongo for a late lunch here in Barranco. Afterwards they dropped me off at the apartment where I discovered I had no electricity, so it was off to the Metro for me to buy some candles so that I could read my book till bedtime. Fortunately Cathy (my landlady) was able to get a hold of the electrician and he came after an hour or so and fixed it. I didn’t have to strain my eyes by candle light for too long. This week will be spent doing my usual stuff. I have three articles I need to work on and the photos to go with them. Also, the Circus is in town and I want to go on Wednesday. It should be exciting as I hear they are very good. Later everyone, I hope you had a good weekend also.
It has been a pretty uneventful week for me, mostly routine things like writing, photos, the gym and taking walks. I did get measured this week for a pair of handmade sports shoes. Steve’s Tio Panchito (Tio = Uncle) is a shoe maker, mostly retired but has agreed to make me a pair since I cannot find shoes to fit me anywhere here in Peru. In Peruvian measurement I wear a 48.5 and the largest they have in Peru is a 45. Tio Panchito (Francisco is his real name) stopped by my apartment and measured my feet and asked me the color of leather I want (black) and told me it would be no problem to make shoes for those “pies pocitos”. I am going to try and get photos of the entire process; he tells me it will take him about ten days to make the shoes. I am excited to see how well they fit and what they will feel like for my walking. If they fit me well and are really comfortable for walking I will ask him to make some more pairs for me. Tio Panchito is an amazing man; he’s 75 years old, sharp as a tac and very spry. He always has a smile in his face and a bible in his hand. For some reason he likes me, he tells me I have a very special spirit.
I also went to a nice Chifa (Chinese restaurant) in San Borja for dinner one day this week with Steve’s family and met them for coffee at Starbucks on a different evening. Even though I didn’t do much, between the meetings and my walks it was a nice week.
One of the interesting things for me recently is the restoration that is going on of the “Red Palace” on the main avenue here in Barranco. You could tell that the building used to be very beautiful in its heyday and I always wondered what would eventually happen to this magnificent structure. Well apparently here they have a deal with companies that do this kind of restoration work. They will pick a historically significant building and various companies will come and do the work as a type of advertisement of their skills in the particular areas. For me the most amazing piece of work on the building has been the reconstruction of the dome over the main entrance to the palace. It is nothing short of amazing. I am including photos of the stages it has gone through to this point to show you the talent of these workers. When it is finished I will put pictures of the before and after together on this page. I think the building will become a museum or art gallery when they are finished. In addition to this it seems that a lot of the buildings in Barranco are getting a face lift with repairs and new paint. One of my favorites is the Art Deco building just a few blocks from my apartment. It now has a new coat of paint and looks fantastic.
I didn’t make it to the Circus this week so that’s on my agenda for next week. I am excited about seeing what a Circus entails here in Peru. This weekend I am going to an ACAP Picnic in Cieneguilla. I hope the sun is shining there. I haven’t had much luck with the weather there so we will see. It should be fun though and naturally I will have my camera with me. On Sunday, I hope to make it to another park here in Lima. There are some beautiful parks here and I want to do an article and photos on them. Sorry for the short post but I don’t want to bore you with the daily chores. I hope you all have a great weekend.
I finally found the Sun in Cieneguilla this weekend. I went to an ACAP Picnic there on Saturday with Steve and his family plus Kathy (my landlady), her husband Luis and our maid Sonia. All in all I think there were about 30 – 35 people who showed up for the picnic. It was a spectacular day at a beautiful restaurant/park called Mesas de Piedra (Tables of Stone) with good friends. The scenery was majestic with mountains surrounding us and a river running by at the back of the park. The landscaping was stunning with lush grass, tall trees and lots of colorful flowers everywhere. A swimming pool and area for volleyball and soccer were available to everyone. The sun was out and it was actually hot there and at one point I was wishing I had worn my shorts instead of jeans. The only bad thing was the mosquitoes but fortunately they had a nice repellant there that worked really well. No bites on me anyway. Before lunch was served I wandered around the park taking photos of the scenery and Steve and Antonio went horseback riding and did a little four wheeling along the river. You could tell they were having a blast from the big smiles on their faces. I waded along the edge of the river and enjoyed the feel of the cold water running over my feet until it was time to eat. The smell of the cooking food lingered in the air and made my mouth water in anticipation of the lunch to be served. You could see the ovens and stones where the Pachamanca was being cooked although this was not for our lunch. I had a Stuffed Rocotto for an appetizer and roast chicken with potatoes and a salad for the main course. Then Luis bought all of us piccarrones (like a donut you dip in syrup) to add a little desert to our meals. After eating lunch the entertainment started. There was a band playing nice folk music mixed in with a little salsa. They were very good and the crowd enjoyed them a lot. During their breaks a group of dancers came out in costume and performed several typical Peruvian Folk Dances. At one point one of the young dancing girls pulled Steve out into the performing area and had him dance with her. After she pulled him up from the table he actually picked her up and carried her out to the performance area which gave all of us a big laugh. I must admit that I have been impressed with the Dance Troupes that have performed at all the places I have been. It is a very popular thing here in Peru and not just for tourists. On our return we discovered that the Sun had come out in Lima also but it still felt colder here in Lima so I am glad we made the trip over the mountains into the valley where Cieneguilla is. Things here are so different in many ways but at the core of Peru is Family and friends, much the same as in the US. With the good friends I am making here I feel that I am becoming part Peruvian and that’s a good thing.
On Sunday Steve came by and picked me up with his nephew Alexicto. We then went to a couple of parks here in Lima so that I could take some photos for an article on the Parks of Lima I am working on. The first park is the Parque de la Exposition. This park was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Peru’s Independence from what I understand. The various non-native populations here each took an area and built something to celebrate their culture as it was transplanted here in Peru. There are buildings built by the French, Italians and Germans; a fountain built by the Chinese, a garden built by the Japanese, a sports center and others make up this large beautiful park. On this particular day they were having a Food Festival celebrating the cuisine of Peru. Needless to say the place was packed with visitors. There were portrait artists working on pictures of children, a sidewalk artist doing a beautiful rendition on the sidewalk and musicians playing for the crowd. There was even a children’s theater group performing shows for all the kids as well as rides that must have been fun if all the screaming was any indication. From there we went to San Martin Square where I took some photos that were of duplicates of very old photos that Jose had provided me with for a Then and Now article I am writing.
Jumping back in the car we then went to a little park called “Mini Mundo” which I think translates into Mini World. Here they had built miniature replicas of areas throughout Lima as well as some “fantasy” places. The park was not exactly as I had envisioned it. I thought it would be a large recreation of the entire city of Lima with all it buildings, parks and monuments laid out like a huge map. Instead they had simply created miniatures of the more famous areas of Lima like the Plaza de Armis with the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral and the Municipal Park of Barranco for example. It was interesting but I think more for kids than adults although I did enjoy wandering through the mini exhibits.
After leaving the Mini Mundo we stopped for a quick bite to eat at Burger King, yes they are everywhere, before taking Alexicito home. It was getting late in the evening. After dropping him off, Steve took me for a drive along the coast of Lima Bay, past Chorrillos to a small beach town whose name I do not remember and then up the large hill to the park where the monument to the soldiers who died in the war with Chile is. There were some amazing night views of Lima from here with all the lights showing. They stretched out far beyond the horizon giving you an idea of just how large Lima is. We also stopped at the park containing the Cross (it is lit at night) made from the iron of the communication towers that were destroyed by the Shining Path terrorists. More beautiful views of the city and a monument to the Virgin del Moro Solar de Chorrillos. I definitely want to take this route in the day to get some daylight photos of this area. On the way back down we saw a group of young men playing pool on the roof of their house. I thought it made for an interesting photo, totally outdoors with a red cloth covering. They looked like they were having a good time and I am sure that they were wondering what this gringo was doing taking pictures of them from a car on the road. It was another great weekend. I know I keep saying it over and over but I am having the time of my life here. I hope all of you will come and visit me here so that I can share all of this with you. Till my next post, have a great week!
Another nice week even if it was uneventful to some extent. I still haven’t been able to get to the Circus. We went Tuesday evening only to find that in August they were only doing shows on Wednesday thru Sunday. Then my buddy Steve got sick and has been laid up all week so my transportation and personal assistant has been unavailable since then. They are here till mid September so I am sure that I am going to make it one of these days. I am just hoping that they allow cameras in while the show is going on. I want to get some scary pictures of clowns. LOL
Monday evening I met my good friend Jose and had coffee and a glass of wine with him here in Barranco. He decided that he wanted to come over in this direction instead of my plodding over to Miraflores. The main purpose of our get together was to discuss a photo shoot I will be doing over the next couple of weeks. Jose has this incredible collection of old photos of Lima from the late 1800’s through the 1940’s. I plan on taking some of the photos and going back to the spot they were taken and try to capture the same image as closely as possible. Then I will place them in a series of articles I will be writing on how things have changed from “Then to Now” here in Lima. He went over all the history of the places in the photos he had given me so that I could include that background in my articles. It is all really very interesting. We also wandered about Barranco a little as he tried to show me some places that I might not have seen before. Turns out, I was able to show him a couple of things he had not seen before. As always it was nice spending time with my good friend. To the side is a collage picture of the Paseo Colon before and now. You will have to look for the article in LiP to get the full story.
Then on Wednesday I met with Larry Pitman for coffee and a chat. He used to own a newspaper in Bakersfield California. He is another Contributing Editor at Living in Peru. We had a long discussion about being an expat and living in a foreign country. He’s a great guy and has been married to a Peruvian woman for many years. He gave me some great tips on Health Insurance here in Peru as well as things like buying a home or a car. We also talked about our future article ideas and things that we enjoyed as far as living in the country of Peru is concerned. Larry also suggested that I consider expanding my “Then and Now” articles into a book. He thinks I could easily get it published here in Peru. It was a great morning and although I took my camera, I foolishly forgot to get a picture of the two us.
Of course the rest of the time I was writing, managing my now extensive collection of photos and doing the things that normally make up anyone’s day. So, as you can see it was a nice week spent doing things I like. I hope all of you had the same kind of week and if you didn’t, you are working towards improving things till you do. This weekend is the first that I haven’t made any real plans so we’ll see what happens. I hope to make it to the coast to take some photos and Sunday I am supposed to meet a photography group herein Barranco to do some group photography. It should be interesting. Also, through LiP I have met a gentleman, Brendan Allen, from Australia who is in South America for awhile. He is presently in Arequipa and might possibly be moving to Lima in October. Anyway, he has a great blog also with some fantastic photos. Take a look for a different perspective than mine. It’s very interesting. The link is http://brendenallenphoto.blogspot.com/ so enjoy his words and photos. Till next post, have a great weekend everyone.
Another great weekend under the belt. It started with an inauspicious Friday afternoon visiting the dentist in San Borja to get costs for cleaning and possibly having a bridge done to replace my partial. It is amazing how less expensive health care, dentists and insurance are here in Peru. To have my teeth cleaned and whitened, two sessions with the dentist for a total of $33 US. That will give you an idea of what things are like here. I will report to you on the process and progress of what I am having done along with the costs in case any of you decide it might be advantageous to take a vacation, see Machu Pichu and get something done here instead of there. Also I popped in a shot of the stage of improvement on Casa Rossell Rios (The Red Palace) for you to see.
Saturday I was up early to go to the gym, it had been awhile and I am not mentioning how many pounds I put back on as a result of my little break. Let’s just say I am a little upset with myself and let it go at that. After the gym Steve, Kathy and I took a drive along the coast through Chorrillos and south of Lima to the town of Playa del Herradura. It was a beautiful drive despite the cloudy weather and the threat of rain for most of the trip. The vistas available for the pull offs along the highway were astounding and made for lots of photo opportunities. We eventually came to a restaurant that I had heard about where I wanted to have lunch called “El Salto del Fraile” which translates loosely as The Jumping Priest. Legend has it that there was a family with a daughter who adopted a son. At a very young age they fell in love and decided they would marry when they were older. The parents did not like the idea and sent the son off to become a priest. The daughter became lonely and desolate until one day she received a note from the young man asking her to meet him on the cliffs above the ocean. They met and renewed their statements of love for each other and agreed to meet the next Saturday on the cliffs closer to the ocean. They both were there and sat together watching the ships pass on their way to Chile until they had to part. They agreed to meet again the following Saturday in the same place. The prient was there on time but the young lady was not. He had a spy glass and was watching the ships pass as usual where upon he say the young lady on the ship to Chile waving to him. She appeared so close to him that he reached out to touch her and fell over the edge of the cliff to his death. In the end the restaurant was built on the spot this was reported to have happened. Now they have you men diving off the edge of the cliffs to re-enact the priests fall into the ocean. It is quite thrilling to watch them jump. The restaurant itself has excellent food and wonderful views of the ocean and cliffs.
From the restaurant we drove up to the Monument honoring the unknown soldiers who fell during the war with Chile in 1881. There are beautiful views of the entirety of Lima from here as you were able to see from the nighttime photos from an earlier post in this section. The views during the day are just as amazing but unfortunately the clouds on this day hung low and hid part of the city. I plan to return to all these spots on a good sunny day to get pictures with the sun shining. In an effort to show you that not everything in Lima is beautiful I am including a photo showing what the homes look like as you drive down from the monument. You will see that a boat builder lives and works here also and has several in various stages of construction. The people here are proud and work hard to make a living as do the good people of all countries everywhere in the world. Sometimes in capturing the recognized wonder and beauty of a place we can forget the beauty seen in a photograph of a poor man making a living to support his family and hope for a better life for his children. It is not just an American Dream; it is a dream of all the peoples of the world.
From our drive we went directly to Plaza Lima Sur where the Circus tents were set up. The circus here is only barely like the ones in the US that I have been to. The performances here definitely had a Peruvian bent to them and all acts were accompanied with live music provided by some very talented musicians. They had acts with horses both with and without riders. The acrobatics done from horseback were nothing short of amazing and the tricks that the horses performed were also very good. There was a part were they did a routine on Paso horses and one rider had his horse do a stunt that I didn’t think a horse would do with a rider on his back. The acrobats and clowns were exciting and funny and as always I was astonished at the physical prowess of the performers. Some of the things they did on poles and ropes seemed impossible yet watching them you thought it was so easy that you could get up and do it yourself. The gymnastic routines were incredible and all without spotters in case they fell. The audience loved the show as did I and the children were definitely in awe of the performers. I wondered if any kids here fantasized about running away and joining the circus as kids in the US did.
Sunday was a rainy dreary day, a perfect day for writing and working on photos plus getting a little house work done, nothing else to talk about there. My first two dental appointments are this afternoon and on Tuesday afternoon. We’ll see if I can still write after they finish with me there. The Dental offices were immaculate and looked much the same as that of my Dentist in the US so I’m not too scared. I also wanted to put one last photo from Saturday here. A young couple came from their wedding to have photos done below the restaurant where the priest does his jump as well as a photo of Playa del Herradura from the deck of the restaurant. I thought you might enjoy them.
I decided to throw in a little update in the middle of the week. The maid is here cleaning and I have to stay out of her way. Sonia is a great lady and the sweetest person you could ever meet. She doesn’t speak a word of English and with my terrible Spanish our conversations can be quite comical at times. All I can say is thank goodness for Google Language Tools when I really need something. Anyway I wanted to give you an update on the Sports shoes and my visits to the Dentist.
Tio Panchito (Uncle to my friend Steve) has finished and delivered my hand made sports shoes. They are beautiful and show incredible workmanship. I had him sew his name into the side because I think it is “Cool”. The leather cost a little more than expected and he was not willing to raise his quoted price so I made him take some extra money anyway and paid for another pair in advance. As you can tell the first ones are black and I have asked that he make the second pair in brown. Anyway the final cost for two pairs of handmade sports shoes is about $75 per pair. It is amazing how much better they feel on my feet than store bought shoes. He jokingly told me that I should order as many as I wanted because he is 75 after all and no telling how much longer he will live. Personally I think he will outlive me. He’s the nicest man you could meet, if he’s 5 feet tall it’s a miracle and he always has a smile on his face and a ready laugh at his own jokes. So if you would like a great pair of handmade shoes and you are coming to visit me here in Lima, let me know.
My visits to the Dentist were great. She also is a sweet person and very cute. The cleaning went great but the whitening procedure I received was not the one to give you that Hollywood smile. For that it’s another $100 which I still think is a great price. I am going to have it done but that will mean replacing all my fillings and a couple of crowns. More on all this as I’m having it done. As another medical note, my friend Steve had an appointment with two different Physicians in one afternoon. Total cost $15 for the appointments. The Internal Medicine guy ordered a battery of blood work (Chem Panel, CBC, Cardiac Panel, Thyroid Panel, Ferritin, Urinalysis and two more that I can’t remember) that cost $100 US for all of them. You gotta love it down here. Later everyone.
The rest of the week was fairly busy for me. Wednesday afternoon it was back to the gym and then some shopping for much needed supplies. Thursday Steve and I went to the gym early in the morning and then had a meeting with Ben from LiP for a chat and to discuss me renting his apartment after he and his wife Zulma leave for the US. They will be staying for quite awhile (Years) so that she can apply for residency and citizenship. They want someone they know who will take care of the place to rent to since they do not want to sell it. It’s a beautiful apartment in Miraflores (yes, I know I said I would never live in “Tourist Town”) that has 2 very large Bedrooms, two full baths and two ½ baths, a maids quarters and a view of one of the Huacas. As you all know by now, Huacas make me happy. It’s in a quiet neighborhood about 6 blocks from Parque kennedy and even less to everything I need from the Gym to a grocery store. They are returning to the states in October but I will not move in until I return to Peru on March 1 of next year since I am under contract in my present apartment till the end of the year. My main reason for moving is that I want to have a parking garage now since all my friends here have cars and most do not like leaving them on the street for an assortment of reasons.
Before going and viewing the apartment we went and bought the art supplies needed to restart my painting here in Peru. I got a sturdy well built wood easel, four canvases, paints and brushes for about $55. That is so much cheaper than they are back home in the States. It really surprised me because I thought it would be a lot more here since the number of stores is limited. Now I just need to figure out what my first subject is going to be.
Thursday evening I met with Brendan Allen a professional photographer from Australia and Isabel another writer from LiP. Brendan is in Peru for an extended period of time and is more of a News Photo Journalist than anything else. They have persuaded him into doing some articles and photos for LiP and having read his blog I know they will be interesting. He’s a nice guy, very friendly and talkative and willing to share information quite freely. He and his partner (a young lady from Australia who is not in Lima yet) are presently living in Arequipa but will move to Lima in a few months. He is staying here in Barranco for a few days to photograph a couple of famous Peruvian Artists for a series he is doing before proceeding to La Oroya to do photographs of the pollution and damage to the residents that the DoeRun mining company has done. Apparently the lead levels are so high it is a very dangerous place to be but the workers have no choice since they need the jobs so desperately. There is some danger to him in going to do this. The people on both sides of the issue are very sensitive to the situation. Isabel is the writer at LiP who translates News stories from Spanish to English for the readers. She does a great job and is a very sweet lady. She’s also very interested in photography but only as an amateur and leans more to the artistic forms. She has a good eye also. I had a great time chatting with the both of them and getting to know them better. Hopefully there will be many more get togethers for chats and sharing ideas. Sorry for the blurry photo, the bartender took it. It looked fine on the small screen of my camera.
Today it will be another day at the gym and then Steve’s Mom has asked me to do some photos of a building she is trying to sell for a friend. That and some writing will take up most of my day. I need to run back by the art store and see if they have a palette also. I kind of forgot about that while we were there. No real plans for the weekend either. The only thing I want to do is run out to Punta Hermosa again and have one of those great Tamals and a BBQ Sandwich at Saritas Restaurant. Since I haven’t had much opportunity to write this week I will probably spend one of those days writing. Anyway, wishing all of you a great weekend and we’ll see what it really brings for me.
It turned into a nice relaxing weekend for me. I got my wish from the last entry and Steve came and took me to lunch at Sarrita’s where I had a couple of their Tamals and a Chicharron sandwich (BBQ); Steve had the Ceviche which he gave a two thumbs up. The Tamals and Sandwich were delicious as always. From Punta Hermosa we went for a drive south on Pan Americana Sur to the beach town of Asia. It’s about an hour’s drive and I had told Steve some time ago that I was interested in seeing what was there. It is most definitely a beach resort town. There were hardly any residents there and most of the stores and restaurants were closed for the winter. Still you could tell that it was the place to be in the summer. Beautiful homes along the big wide sandy beach. The drive there was nice in itself with beautifully stark landscapes and mountains lining the road all the way down. On the way back Steve got stopped for speeding (we weren’t) and a 50 Sole bribe got us out of it. I understand that this is how tickets are dealt with in Peru. The police were lining the road pulling over about every other car and “giving” them a speeding ticket. On returning home we went to the gym and worked out. I was really pooped by the time all that was over.
Saturday I worked on articles in the morning and did some laundry. About one in the afternoon I decided to go for a long walk into Miraflores and pick up a few more art supplies. The brushes I bought were not good for painting with Acrylics and I had forgotten to get a palette and palette knife. It was a nice day, warm enough to go without a jacket. As usual I had the camera with me and took some shots on my way into Miraflores. I am still amazed at the things you will run across just taking a walk like this. I passed some people practicing their acrobatics on the Malecon, there were more paragliders in the sky with their chutes than you could shake a stick at and the park along the Malecon was looking especially beautiful. In Miraflores I ran into a group of people dressed as characters from kid’s shows. The weird thing is that there were no kids around. My sweet grand niece Katie in Kansas had to send me a message through her Mom Sarah letting me know who all of them were and asking if I had more pictures. How many of them do you know? I think I recognized the characters from Lazy Town but I sure didn’t know their names. In the middle of this I got a call from Steve inviting me to lunch with his family. They came and picked me up outside a coffee shop where I had stopped for a coffee and postre, and then it was off to Lince to the Arequipean restaurant “La Estrellita del Sur” for some spicy food. The meal was great and afterwards we went to a building that his Mom is trying to sell so that I could take some pictures for her. Afterwards it was home for me and a movie on the DVD player, Ice Age 3. I liked the movie and got quite a few laughs from it. I love that prehistoric squirrel and his acorn.
Sunday I spent writing for the better part of the day. A quick trip to the Metro for much needed supplies and suddenly the Sun was out so I decided on another walk. This time I went to the beach down the cliffs from Barranco. It was just beautiful and people were out laying on the rocks or sand trying to catch a few moments of those wonderful rays of sunshine. Lovers were walking along arm in arm stopping for the occasional kiss. The surfers were out in force and I tried taking some shots of them working the waves. I did manage to get a few good ones. Then as quickly as it came out, it was gone but I had returned home by then and gotten a couple of photos of the park on the way back. They are also still making excellent progress on the restoration of the Casa Rossell Rios. I can’t wait to see it when everything is done and they have the grand opening.
This week will be mostly about photos in Lima Center and meeting friends for lunches. Thursday I am leaving for Quito Ecuador so my next entry will probably be after I am there on Friday. I am going for two reasons, one because my Visa needs renewed and two because I want to stand on the equator and see an egg balanced on its point. Hopefully I will get photos to show you of both. In the meantime, have a good week everyone.
A quick entry to let you know what my week has consisted of before I leave for Ecuador this morning. After my entry on Monday I met Larry Pitman another of the LiP Contributing Editors for coffee, chat and a snack at the Espiga de Oro. It was a nice way to spend the lunch period on a sunny day in Barranco. I always enjoy my meetings with Larry, with our ages being so close we have a lot in common and our interests generally run the same. He has a wealth of information that he shares with me about living here in Lima and the things and places I need to go to get what I need. On this day we mostly discussed health care in Peru (It’s excellent and cheap), places to have suits made and my new pair of Tio Panchito shoes. Afterwards he took me on a little tour of the park outside of the restaurant and the buildings that lined it. I got a lot of information from him on them and here’s a picture of one for sale. They only want a Million US dollars for it. Plus some new photos of the progress on Casa Rossell Rios.
Tuesday was another beautiful sunny day; actually the sun has been out every day this week. On this day my friend Jose accompanied me to Lima Center to get photographs of some buildings and scenes that I needed for a series of articles on Then and Now photos. It is heartbreaking to see some of the things that have been destroyed in the name of progress and what they were replaced with. As I have said before Jose has a wealth of knowledge on the history of Lima and things and places here. I got a great tour of the downtown area and information on other places besides the ones I was photographing. We even stopped at a couple of places that had a wonderful history to them, a bar behind the presidential palace that is over 100 years old and hasn’t changed much in all that time. I had a ham sandwich and glass of Chicha there. We also went into the Maury Hotel to their Bar which is supposedly the home of the Pisco Sour and had a drink. There was a bartender there who had been working at this bar for 49 years. He had some amazing stories to tell. It was a long day and I was pooped when I got home.
Wednesday I had lunch with my landlords and informed them that I would be moving the first of November to a new apartment in Miraflores. Larger, nicer, big screen TV, parking garage, hot water in the showers, everything I need is within a 6 block radius plus much more and the rent is the same as this apartment. They are friends and wished me well and we will stay in touch for lunches and outings in the future. Before that I had gone for a long walk since the sun was out again just enjoying the ocean and beautiful coastline of Lima. I also ran across a little festival in the park celebrating what we would call Senior Citizens Day. There was a band and food, plus prizes were being handed out to those lucky enough to win one. They were all dancing, laughing and enjoying their day immensely.
As I said today I am leaving for Ecuador this morning and will return to Lima on Monday. This little trip is mostly to get my Tourist Visa renewed but hope to see the historical aspects of Quito while I am there also. I will make some entries while I am there so stay tuned. The first one will probably be Saturday morning. Have a great weekend everyone.
I am also closing out this months entries. I will open a special page for Ecuador and then a new part when I return to Lima on Sept 1.