Living in South America/Peru – Part 4 (09/01/2009 – 09/30/2009)
09/01 – 09/04/2009
Since getting back from Ecuador it has been a rather uneventful week for me. Trips to the dentists and grocery shopping have just about summed it up for me along with the usual household chores. On Wednesday I did meet a guy, David Taylor, for Tea. He wants to take up photography and writing and is from New Zealand. He had seen some of my stuff in Living in Peru and wanted to meet me and talk about Lima and Peru in general. He has been to a lot of places here in Peru and the rest of South America and had some interesting stories about his adventures. I definitely encouraged him to write some of them up and send them off for consideration. Like me he wants to get into the professional aspect of it and eventually sell his work. He was a nice guy and has met a Peruvian woman and fallen in love. I assume marriage is in the future for them. His girlfriend has been hired for a project in Chile so they are leaving in a month for Santiago and will be gone 7 to 8 months before returning to Lima. Also here’s another picture of the progress being made on Casa Rossell Rios.
Ben didn’t show up for painting on Thursday so I put a few strokes on a canvas by myself. After talking with him I found out he is busy packing and getting ready for the move back to the states. He’s the one whose apartment I will be renting starting in November. A very nice place in Miraflores close to everything I need, including IPNA where I want to take Spanish lessons. I will post pictures after I move in along with the spectacular view I have of Huaca Pullcana out of the living room windows.
No real plans for the weekend yet. We might go to Chosica or take a drive to the North of Lima. Naturally whichever is decided on I will have pictures posted and the event written up. To my friends at SIH, keep on swinging, bringing ADM/BAR live will be over before you know it. Eventually no one will remember the old way and then it will be time to start over again. Have a great weekend everyone.
It was a nice weekend although I didn’t really do that much. I worked on a couple of articles as usual, went for a couple of walks and took some photos of people enjoying their jet skis and some shots of the Historic Church here in Barranco, made it to the gym on Friday finally. We took a drive along the coast again Saturday night. I really enjoy seeing the ocean waves crashing against the rocky coast at night. On Sunday Wong, a big grocery store chain in South America, put on their annual parade. It is a lot like the Macy’s parade only without the big balloon characters. The parade was supposed to happen in July before the big Fiestas Patrias celebrations. Unfortunately because of the Swine Flu scare, all parades in that time period were canceled.
I went to the parade with Kathy and Sonia, the traffic was so bad we took a cab part way and walked the rest. We lucked out and ended up at a spot very close to where the parade began. The crowd was a lot thinner here and we were able to get close enough to be able to see everything. The parade actually lasted for almost three hours and the variety of floats, bands, costumed characters and dancers was truly astounding. Everyone watching the parade was enjoying themselves to the max. The parade sponsors handed out small Peruvian Flags to the crowd along the route and everyone including yours truly was were waving the flags and cheering the participants as they passed. The dancers in particular were my favorite. The ranges of costumes were beautiful and stunning and the folk dances being performed were from all the areas of Peru. From what I could tell the performers didn’t disappoint the crowd on any part of the route. The bands were mostly from High Schools with a few being even younger. I saw at least two bands from Military Schools and there were a few older groups also. They were all talented musicians. There was also plenty of stuff for the kids, a wide variety of floats involving Mickey Mouse, Ariel, The Three Pigs, and all manner of characters from Cartoon shows and movies were interspersed throughout the parade. Afterwards we made our way to Parque Kennedy to watch the final Fireworks show. That was a real chore, fighting our way through the crowds to go the ten blocks or so to the park. After arriving we got lucky and got a table at one of the little sidewalk cafés, El Tigre, and ordered a Hot Chocolate to drink. I also had a nice Ice Cream treat to get my energy up for the show. The Fireworks were spectacular and the only one I have seen that was better was the one at the VP Fair in St. Louis. They played an assortment of Classical music to the show as well as some great arias from a few Operas.
After it was all over, Kathy and I walked Sonia to the bus stop and waited for her to catch a bus to her house in Magdalena, then we walked down Larco till we caught a cab back home. It was a great afternoon and evening which I enjoyed to the fullest. I am looking forward to the parade next year and I hope some of you are visiting me here to enjoy it with me. Nothing planned for the coming week other than my usual stuff. I hope all of you have a great one.
A date that no American will ever forget, they have been playing scenes from this terrible event on Peruvian TV all week. Even here people are horrified by this cowardly act of murder that solidified a nation and brought the war on terror to the world’s attention. I hope all will take a moment of silence today to honor the memory of all those who lost their lives on this day.
It has been a slow uneventful week for me. I spent most of my time working on articles and photos and going to the gym. I went for a few walks and spent time doing all those little chores around the house that need done once in awhile. No more trips to the dentist till I return next year. I have too many plans for the rest of my time here. In my walks I took some more photos of the progress on the Casa Rossell Rios. They are almost finished with it and the grand opening will be soon. I am not sure I like the choices of color on the exterior of the building but they have done an amazing job of restoring this beautiful house. The detail work is exquisite, the stained glass windows are beautiful and I can’t wait to see the interior of the building. I will definitely go with camera in hand during the grand opening and let you see what they have done.
Tio Panchito finished my second pair of shoes this past week and delivered them to me. This pair is brown and has not only his name sewn into the side but a Llama on the back of the shoe. They are so cool. When Brenda and David visit in October I understand that they want shoes made for them also. Next year I may have him make an additional pair for me also. Not sure what I want them to look like yet.
I’m afraid the weekend isn’t going to involve much more. I am planning on seeing Jose and Fiorella on Sunday if they are available but nothing else is on the books. I will work on my painting some this weekend and as soon as it gets to a good point I will take a photo and post it here. Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy life no matter where you are.
As predicted my weekend was a rather lazy one. I went for a couple of walks, didn’t make it to the gym once and spent most of my time at the computer mulling over articles and photos. The walks were nice though. You can tell it’s getting close to spring here; people are out on their days off. There are children playing in the parks, little girls doing cartwheels for their admiring parents and people jogging along the Malecon. The surfers were out in force this weekend looking for that perfect wave and guys were playing soccer on the beach as the waves broke gently onto the sand that made up their playing field. You could see lovers walking hand in hand, stopping for a quick hug or kiss and oblivious to everyone around them. The sun peeks out from the fog bank more often these days and it’s getting too warm to wear the light jacket that I have here. Although it seems that flowers are always in bloom here, it seemed that I am noticing new species that I have not seen before and the colors are beautiful. I walked past a couple of amazing works by street artists. I had noticed them before but decided to take some photos this time. Progress on the Casa Rossell Rios is incredible. They have put in these amazing mahogany doors and hung a chandelier over the main entrance. I think they are still working on the inside though. It can’t be too much longer before it’s finished.
There was another celebration here in the central park in Barranco this weekend. They had a big Salsa Band again as well as some entertainment for young kids along with several stands selling delicious snacks. There is also a display of art work on exhibit in the park from children all over the world. They have depicted in a humorous manner what they consider global warming to be caused by or what it is doing to the world. They are all very good. I think I had seen some of them before on display in Miraflores at Parque Kennedy. This is one of the things I love about being here, almost every weekend there is something going on in the park for you to enjoy.
Sorry for the short entries lately but as I said, I haven’t been doing much. Hopefully this week will be better. Happy Monday everyone.
It’s been a nice week, walks in Barranco, coffee with friends and working on articles, photos and my painting. As I told you all in my last entry there has been a lot of work on Casa Rossell Rios. The grand opening has been scheduled for the 22nd of this month. It will involve a art show and tours of the house. I can’t wait to see what they have done to the interior. The work in the front courtyard is stunning and the portico and porch are simply incredible. The change in the building from when I first came to Peru and now is incredible. I am not sure what the house will be after all the hoopla is over but it is sure a big improvement for the city. I think I will try to write an article on the building and its restoration. I have enough pictures of the entire process to make the article interesting.
I took several strolls around Barranco this week also. I had the opportunity to admire and photograph some nice art work by some local street artists. There was a house on San Martin with some beautiful tropical land and seascapes painted on it plus a bar I happened by that had portraits of famous Rock and Roll stars painted on it. The portraits were amazing and easily identifiable. There are so many beautiful things to see on a walk through this wonderful little district of Lima. I am really going to miss those little morning walks when I move into Miraflores next month. I’m sure I will find all kinds of new and interesting things there but that won’t keep me from missing the “bohemian” atmosphere of this place.
I met Larry and Ben for coffee this week also. We had a long discussion involving everything from teaching to the latest theories in Physics and Cosmology. It was a great morning and we had a great time. Ben was the editor at Living in Peru but he and his wife Zulma are moving to the US for awhile. It’s his apartment that I will be moving to next month on the 20th. Afterwards Ben came over to my apartment and we worked on paintings together. We worked on them for about four hours before we called it quits for the day. We will be painting together every Thursday until they move back to the US unless problems crop up with our schedule. Hopefully I will have my first painting finished before he leaves. I am sticking a photo of the first stage here for you to gauge my progress.
Plans for the weekend include a day in Lima Center or Callao with my good friend Jose and a visit to Mamacona on Sunday with Steve and his family. Mamacona is a ranch where they raise and train Paso horses. They are beautiful, well trained and have an amazing gate. With the admission fee you get a dinner, a show with dancers and the horses. The bad part is that we aren’t sure they offer it on Sundays so it might turn into a trip to La Sarrittas and the beach at Punta Hermosa. Either way I will be happy. I hope all of you have some great plans for the weekend also.
The historical center of Lima is so full of interesting and beautiful places and things to see that it is impossible to get the full impact of this place in a single visit to this area, even for those living in Lima. This past Friday I took another trip to the city’s center for another walk around with my friend Jose Perochena. There are many beautiful old colonial homes and buildings in this area as well as Convents, museums and government buildings. Jose had called and offered to take me back for more history of the area and an opportunity to take more photographs. We might have gone to Callao and La Punta in the North of Lima but since it was a particularly cloudy day we decided on touring some areas of Lima Center instead where most of the photos I would take would be indoors.
I walked into Miraflores to Jose’s house to meet him for the drive into Lima Center. It was a fairly easy drive as the traffic was light compared to Lima’s normal hectic packed streets. We parked close to the Church and Convent of San Francisco and started our walking tour of the sights he wanted to show me on this day. Our first stop was at the Convent of Santo Domingo. This beautiful church and convent is located a few blocks from the Presidential Palace and although you wouldn’t know it from the outside, the Sevillian style patios and architecture of the interior is simply stunning. Beautiful paintings, murals of tile made in Spain in the 17th century and carved wooden balconies delight the eye. The landscaped gardens are full of beautiful flowers in bloom as well as mature palms and other greenery. This convent also contains the tombs of Santa Rosa de Lima and San Martin de Porres who is one of the rare black Saints. The Convent was also once home to the National University of San Marcos, instituted in 1551 and making it the first University in the Americas.
From the Convent we ventured down the street to Casa de Osambela, a beautiful palatial home with amazing balconies. The home was completed in 1805 and is one of the few colonial houses that has more than two floors. The third and fourth levels were used by the owner as a look out to see ships coming into Lima’s harbor in Callao using his spy glass. At the time of construction more than two floors was forbidden due to the danger imposed by earthquakes in this area. We were only allowed entry into the central courtyard since special permission must be obtained to enter into almost all of the homes we visited on this day. Departing we ventured up another street to the Casa Riva Aguero. Another beautiful home built in the Spanish colonial style and completed late in the 18th century, we were once again only permitted to view in inside courtyard. This house is now owned by the Catholic University and acts as a venue for Art Shows, a library for study and other activities. It was donated to the University by Jose de la Riva Aguero y Osma. This tuned out to be a great decision as the University has kept it in wonderful condition. From here we went a short ways further up the street and around a corner to the Casa de Miguel Grau, the home of Peru’s greatest hero. For two soles (approximately 66 cents) you are granted access to most of this house as it acts as a museum. This home is also in beautiful condition and is furnished with pieces originally owned by the Grau family. One nice thing about visiting this house is that you are allowed onto the beautiful balcony that hangs from the front of the building. This, the woodwork and seeing the furniture residing in the rooms occupied by the family was well worth the pittance paid for admission.
The last stop on my tour was the Casona de San Marcos. There is a lot of history involved with this house originally built in 1607. At first it housed a Novitiate of the Jesuits until they were ejected from Peru by the Viceroyalty. It went through several hands until it ended up housing the University of San Marcos (the one mentioned earlier) starting in 1867 and winding in the 1960s when the student population became too large for the complex. There are many Sevillain style patios throughout the complex as well as beautiful balconies and wood carved columns. The complex now acts as the Cultural Center for Lima. A donation of five Soles (about $1.66) gets you a very knowledgeable guide and access to areas you will not see on your own. The most beautiful thing I saw in this complex was the painted ceiling on one of the room where the Professors of the college would hole their meetings, simply striking in their complexity and skill.
After all that it was time to stop for lunch before returning home. On the way back to the car, Jose spotted a very old Italian establishment called Huefanos, Orphans in English. They actually hand make their pasta in this place as well as bake their own bread. We both had the Lasagna and it was so good we decided to try the Cannelloni and Ravioli. I ordered one dish and he the other which we then split between the two of us. Needless to say we left stuffed but happy. I highly recommend stopping here for lunch if you decide to come to Lima. After getting home I was pooped so I spent the early part of the evening just relaxing and then went out to dinner with Steve later that night.
Saturday I spent writing and working on the close to 500 photos I had taken on Friday in Lima Center. A trip to the Metro and another run to Polvos Azules for Movies (they are $1 a piece there) made up the entire day. When Sunday came around we (myself, Cathy and Steve) had planned to make a stop at Mamacona and check it out for a later visit before heading out to Punta Hermosa for lunch. Those plans changed the minute we stopped at Mamacona and found out they were having the last Toro Toro show of the season on this day. Mamacona is a Paso Horse ranch and entertainment complex south of Lima and just below the ruins of Pachacamac. I had been hearing rumors about what a great place it was to stop from local Peruvians for over a year. The usual venue at Mamacona involves a dinner with a show that involves local musicians and folk dancers, and then afterwards there is a display of Paso Horses being ridden. The Toro Toro event is much different and is only offered for six Sundays in August and September. After you pay your entry fee you come into an area where food and drink vendors are set up along with a playground for children. They had a wide range of reasonably priced food to offer and each of us decided on a different type of food. Kathy had the Pollo on a stick, Steve had Pollo Brasa with papas fritas and I had the Argentinean Parrilla. The food was just OK and we didn’t think it was worth the price compared to what you would pay in ordinary restaurants in Lima. After eating we watched some of the events going on before the Toro Toro match. There was a Dog show with demonstrations of their training, archery, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, folk dances and a Paso Horse exhibition. Those horses are so beautiful and watching them perform is incredible. They even had the one of the horses and rider dance with one of the girls from the folk dance show. It was just beautiful.
After all that it was time to head over to the Bull Ring for the Toro Toro matches. This was definitely the highlight of the day for me. It started out with them placing three guys (volunteers) from the audience on three barrels in the center of the ring. They told them to stand as still as possible so as not to attract the attention of the bull. The last guy standing would win a prize. Then they let the bull into the ring and he immediately started plowing into those barrels sending the guys flying high into the air. At this point I want to add that I think that the guys volunteering for the contests during this show are CRAZY!!!! After knocking the guys off the barrels the bull immediately started chasing them around the ring till they finally escaped. Next they paired guys up and they had to stand in the ring holding both hands and get the bull to charge between them without letting go of each other’s hands. Now granted the bulls used are small young ones but their horns looked big and sharp to me, not to mention that a head butt from a charging bull is going to hurt I don’t care how big he is. The two man team that got the bull to go between them the most times without letting go won a prize. Next they asked a volunteer to come out and try to jump over the charging bull. The guy who volunteered was a little drunk I think and you can tell from the photo what happened to him. After that fiasco they had one of their employees come out and give a demonstration of how easy it was. He was very good at doing a front dive into a roll over the bull. Brave or stupid, I’ll let all of you decide. This was followed by a professional Paso Horse rider coming out and doing some cape work with the bull from horseback. It was just thrilling to watch and the horse was beautiful. Then came the two events from which this event got its name. The first was a game involving the bull between two teams of three players. It is a bit like soccer only the object was to get the bull between the two goal posts. The players jumped, screamed and performed any crazy antic they could think of to get the bull to chase them between the goal posts to score a point. The team in the black shirts actually won by a single goal, 4 to 3. Last but not least was a contest between two teams of eight players. In this contest the object was to score as many points as possible doing a series of feats. Getting the bull to pass though a cape held by two players, getting the bull to pass under a caps help by one player, tagging the bull with two sticks like the ones used in bull fighting and last but not least one player had to grab the bull by the horns while the other grabbed it by the tail. First though the entire team had to stand in a huddle in the middle of the ring without breaking up while the bull charged them. In this event the white team won. Also each of the teams had to supply a player to have a dance contest in the ring to determine which team went first. It was hilarious! Fortunately no one was seriously hurt in all this but I could tell that some of the players would have some serious aches, pains and bruises the next day. This was an incredible day for me and one I will not soon forget. I am fairly sure Cathy and I were the only non Peruvians at the show. The audience was enthusiastic and almost as much fun to watch as the Toro Toro matches. The white team had a whole section of their friends there cheering for them and singing some type of team song they had made up.
Afterwards there was also a Cock Fighting show followed by a Disco Dance but we didn’t stay for those. It was after 6pm when the Toro Match ended and a cold wind was coming in from the ocean so we decided we had enough. It was back into town and dinner at Las Mesitas before heading home. What a great weekend. I hope yours was as much fun as mine.
I’ve had a nice peaceful week again with enough to keep me busy but not so much that life felt hectic. Of course on Monday I spent most of the day working on this site and processing the hundreds of photos I had taken over the weekend. Tuesday after working on a couple of new articles and polishing one or two old ones, I went for one of my walks and took photos that I thought were interesting. I stopped in at a local art gallery to see the paintings and sculptures. As I was coming back down Av. Miguel Grau I noticed that the Grand Opening of Casa Rossell Rios had begun. I immediately crossed the street and paid my entry fee to see what they had done with the interior of the building. Unfortunately no photos are allowed so I can’t show you at this point. I thought that the interior was going to be restored and some period furnishings put into place to give you a feel for how the place looked in the grand old days. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is an organization called Casacor that does this work and the interior of the house is divided up amongst Lima’s leading designers for a contest. They then take the rooms and use them to display their latest designs, furnishings, carpets, art, plumbing, and kitchen appliances. None of the rooms were done up in period pieces and most were ultra modern, but I have to admit there were some incredible designs done. Despite the modern aspect of the designs the interior of the home had been restored structurally to its original style and the walls, murals, ceilings and stained glass windows were a sight to behold. I rushed through the house slightly as I was alone and I plan on going back today with my friend Steve and have him translate what they are telling us.
Wednesday involved another walk and some writing before meeting up with Larry to go over to the Living in Peru Offices and meeting the new Editor, Katrina. She is the one who will be taking Ben’s place now that he is moving back to the States with his wife Zulma. She is a nice young lady, very pretty in her early twenties and undeniably enthusiastic about her new job. Carsten, the owner of LiP, was also there and we sat around and had a wide ranging discussion about things in Peru specifically and the world in general for a couple of hours before heading back home. Thursday morning I met Ben and Larry for coffee at Espige de Oro again before Ben and I headed back to my apartment to work on paintings again. I am really glad I found someone to paint with here in Lima, it sure helps keep me motivated and I will miss his company after he has left. This painting only has a few more details to add before it is done and then I will start on a new one. I think I will go with a landscape for my next one. I wish you were here Sis, there are so many interesting things to paint here. Today I will post this and then work on a couple of articles before heading over to the open house again.
Saturday I am heading up to Tumbes on the northern border of Peru. We will spend one night there and then head down to Mancora to the beaches till Wednesday when we will head back to Lima late in the evening. I plan on getting at least two articles out of this trip and possibly more. Mancora is a popular surfing spot so we will see if I can get some great photos also. I hope all of you have a fun safe weekend.
We arrived in Tumbes late Saturday evening with the full intention of staying over there and heading to Mancora the next day. After deboarding the plane I went to collect my checked luggage and Steve went out to get a cab to take us into town and recommend a hotel. They recommended that we just head on down to Mancora since there was not a lot to do in Tumbes that late and the Hotels were expensive for just spending the night. So we decided to take that route and one and a half hours later we were in Mancora looking for our hotel. The drive down at dark was a bit frustrating since you could tell that there was a lot of interesting scenery to be seen. Mancora is a small beach town made up mostly of bars restaurants and hotels with the majority of places to stay and homes being stretched out around the entire bay. Finding our hotel, we checked in and settled into our room. It was a nice double with a deck out the front on the beach. I knew that the sounds of the waves would be lulling be to sleep on this night. We ordered a pizza to eat since the dining room was closed and then fell asleep around 1 am.
The next morning I awoke to a beautiful day. The sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. The blue waves of the Pacific lapped at the shore inviting you to spend a day on the beach. Sea birds dove into the ocean trying to catch their meal for the morning as a few people combed the beach for shells and other interesting objects that might have washed ashore. I dressed quickly not wanting to lose a minute of this beautiful morning light. I grabbed my camera, headed to the dining room for a quick breakfast and then headed out to the beach for a nice long walk. I have to add that the dining room is an outdoor deck covered by a palm thatch roof. It’s nice enjoying your breakfast and watching the waves roll into shore. I headed South from the hotel, taking my time and shooting some things I thought were interesting. You could see fishermen still at sea trying for that last minute catch, guys with horses in tow rode along the beach trying to get you to take a ride, boats pulled onto shore, kids were building sand castles and guys selling hats approached trying to get me to buy protection for my head. A couple of dogs decided to walk with me and frolic in the ocean; also there were these guys sailing the raft type structures along the coast. It was a perfect morning and I couldn’t have asked for better.
Turning and heading back to the hotel I arrived in time to catch Steve enjoying his breakfast and joined him for some coffee before starting our morning explorations. Steve wanted to head down the beach again and check out a few other hotels to see if we could get a better deal. We walked along the same stretch of beach that I had and stopped at three different hotels to only find out that we had already found the perfect combination of price comfort and beach front. Our hotel was definitely not the most luxurious but it had the basics down. The beds were comfortable, the sheets clean, a large TV with Direct TV and a nice shower with hot water. Naturally the perfect ocean view out the floor to ceiling windows facing the ocean helped a lot.
After that little romp we headed into town to see the sights, get Steve a bathing suit (he forgot his) and buy me a broad brim hat of some sort (I forgot mine). We quickly caught a Tuk Tuk outside the hotel door and headed off on our next adventure. The ride only got us about two thirds of the way into town before it had a flat tire. Also a young man riding with the driver had to get out and push us up a couple of the hills that we came across. Of course being the BIG guy in the group I got the blame for all of it. LOL Another Tuk Tuk was there almost instantly to give us a ride the rest of the way. We only saw a small portion of the town but I would say that it was typical of South American beach towns all over. Only the main streets were paved, there were pushy hawkers of tourist goods everywhere and a lot of restaurants and bars with a wide range of prices depending on what you were looking for. There were dancers performing in the main square and there were a lot of very young tourists there enjoying the beach, it reminded me of spring break a little. Guys were playing soccer on the beach and kids were riding a horse. Because it is very off season right now, the locals outnumbered the tourists by a considerable number. It looked like everyone was having a great time. We found a bathing suit and my hat (made of coconut material) in short order and Steve bought himself a T-shirt also. I think he looked more like a tourist than I did; other than the fact that I am twice as tall as everyone here almost and white as a ghost. LOL We also got to watch some dancers perform in the square
Finishing up our little shopping spree we headed back to the hotel for lunch and a little pool time. The rest of the afternoon was spent by the pool after we ate our lunch, just enjoying the sun and taking a dip to cool off occasionally. You all know how the heat from the sun can suck the energy out of you so after eating dinner it was early to bed for me to catch up on the sleep I missed the previous night. Today I am obviously typing this up and will work on some photos this morning and then post both to the website. In the afternoon I will take a walk down the beach the other way to get more photos and see what there is to see. I’m having a great time and I hope all of you are also. I hope to put in another post Wednesday morning before we leave, otherwise it will probably be on Friday.
The second day here brought the reminder that the Sun doesn’t always shine in Paradise either. After doing my entries into this journal Monday morning a cloud bank moved in for most of the afternoon. It didn’t stop me from taking my walk though and getting some nice photos on the beach north of the hotel. I even had to scramble over some rock piles where the cliff had collapsed into the ocean. I’m glad I have been hitting the gym since I managed the climb in both directions without any problems. This walk provided me with more opportunities to photograph the fishermen and their boats since it took me in the direction of the docks where they anchor after bringing their catch in. The guys who impressed me the most were the ones who rode those small rafts out to catch a few fish to eat and sell a few to help them make a living. They take these four or five logs roped together, sometimes with a sail made from flour sacks and sometimes no sail at all, out beyond the horizon to fish. It has to be incredibly hard work for so little reward. After they get back to shore they have to pull these rafts up beyond the tide line to keep them from floating off at night, and then comes the job of fixing their nets and taking the fish in to be sold. They are a proud hard working people and worthy of everyone’s admiration. While watching them work I also got some nice shots of sea bids perched on some pilings and rocks.
In the evening I sat on the deck in front of our room and just watched the sea. I saw a whale breach twice, an incredible site to say the least as well as a pod of dolphins swim by. An assortment of sea birds that were cruising the ocean in search of a meal was a constant source of amusement. There were also these birds that would dive from 20 or 30 feet in the air into the ocean to catch fish. The rare Seal and scuba diver were also to be seen just off the beach. The amazing thing is that I have yet to see anyone surfing although I think the rather puny waves might have something to do with that. Last but not least by any means was another magnificent sunset. I managed to capture this couple walking the beach and holding hands. Nice, don’t you think?
Tuesday was another laid back day involving a long walk on the beach, taking more photographs, laying out by the pool and doing some writing. Naturally most of the writing has been for this web page but I did manage to get some work done on a new article for a friend’s blog. I went a little further south on the beach this time. It was a two hour round trip so I got some good exercise in. I saw a dead Sea Lion that had washed up on the beach. Hmmmmm love the smell of a rotting carcass. There were no wounds on the animal so who knows how it died. The beach is beautiful the entire distance that I walked. Once again there was the usual assortment of guys selling rides on horses, jewelry, blankets, hats and ice cream. There were guys snorkeling just off of the break line for something and plenty of people enjoying a morning walk as well. It was just great walking the beach, camera in hand listening to music on my iPod. I have a great selection of Tangos, Opera arias, Janis Joplin and the Black Eyed Peas. The most unusual thing I saw was this guy selling lamps on the beach. He happily posed for me.
The afternoon was spent by the pool and helping Steve with an English assignment he had to finish for his first day back at class. We had a late lunch and headed into town for Ice Cream and to stroll the main drag for a bit. It made for a short evening so here I am typing this up and getting it ready to post in the morning. It has been a wonderful few days here and I am so glad I came and had this experience. One could say that a beach is a beach is a beach but I think atmosphere counts for something too. The people here at this hotel have been wonderful to us and it has been amazingly cheap. By the way, it’s called the Punta del Mar if you are ever in this area of the world. They have a great cook here, I have not had a single bad dish.
Wednesday morning and I am getting ready to post this to the web. We leave this afternoon around 4pm for the trip back to Tumbes and the airport. I’m looking forward to the ride back since we were unable to see anything on the way here since it was so dark. I will have a short post for you on Friday. I hope you all are having a great week.