Blog Archives

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

May 26, 2013 – Day 674

Today’s post is an inside job as that is the theme of WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge (and I shudder to think how many responses to this week’s challenge use the same horrible play on words that I just did).

My response again takes us back to the time the family visited Lake Titicaca. In addition to visiting the floating islands and kayaking on the lake, we also were able to visit the tombs of Sillustani.

We decided to make this location one of our stops because of the unique structures used in this pre-Inca burial ground. Instead of digging a hole in the ground and instead of building huge pyramids to honor their dead, the people who built Sillustani erected towers, like these, called chullpas

DSCN4359

Okay, so the one above is a bit of a fixer-upper, but you get the idea.

Oh, so how does this visit to this place fit this week’s theme? The answer is because while some of these of structures are in a bit of disrepair, this means that visitors can enter these silent sentinels.

So, that’s what members of our family did. They went inside. Here’s the view from the outside…

On the outside looking in

On the outside looking in

…and from the inside.

DSCN4368

Travel Theme: Distance

May 27, 2013 – Day 675

Distance is the theme this week from the folks over at the blog Where’s My Backpack? and I aim to fit that theme.

During the same culinary tour where I indulged in multiple shots of pisco, our gracious guide also took us sight-seeing.

From Barranco, the artsy district of Lima, we were able to look out across the art galleries, roads, and a section of the Pacific Ocean to see the following landmark in the distance.

DSCN4394

The location you are looking at is Morro Solar.

The cross you are looking at in the distance is made of metal, but that metal has some significance. According to our guide, when Pope John Paul II (who is still popular in Peru) came to visit in the 1980s, there were a series of risers built so that people could sit in the streets and watch the Pope drive by. Some of the metal from those risers was recycled and constructed into the cross that now adorns Morro Solar.

Oh, and it also lights up at night.

Travel Theme: Play

May 25, 2013 – Day 673

The wonderful website, Where’s My Backpack?, has posted their photographic travel theme for the week – and if I may quote William Shakespeare (Hamlet to be specific) – the play‘s the thing.

My response to this week’s travel theme takes us once again to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on the globe. While I and our eldest son were laid up with altitude sickness, the rest of the family enjoyed a great day visiting the floating islands and kayaking on the waters of the Peruvian lake.

After bringing the kayaks back on shore, but before the tour boat arrived to take my lovely wife and my other two children back to home port, my travelling threesome spent some time with a family who lived on a non-floating island. While my group waited for their ride back to the hotel, my two kids and our host’s two children do what kids do naturally. Despite the fact that my brood did not speak Aymara and the local tykes did not speak Spanish, the kids managed to get along just fine anyway.

Flying bear ahoy

Flying bear ahoy

Above is my middle child tossing a teddy bear to one child while trapping a soccer ball that was kicked by the other local child (who is not pictured because he’s being blocked by my son).

Play…the universal language.

Lone Regret

June 23, 2013 – Day 702

The van is waiting outside. All eleven of our suitcases are by the garage door waiting to be loaded into the van. The house is looking just as white and stark and empty as it was when we arrived 702 days ago.

I am at the front door with my had on the door knob about to close the door for the last time.

We are leaving Lima, our home for two years, and we will never be back to this house ever again. We have had, over the long run, an excellent time in Peru. We have seen new sights, experiencing new things, and ate new foods.

Over a span of seven hundred and two days, we have travelled to Machu Picchu, the city of Cusco, the ruins of Suqsaywaman, and the jungles around Iquitos (to name a few places).

Members of the family have surfed in the Pacific Ocean, sandboarded down the dunes in Ica, and saw a dead pig in a trunk (to name a few events).

We have sampled rocoto peppers, pisco, and cuttlefish (to name a few items).

We have seen a great deal, done a great deal, and eaten a great deal during our time on Peru. In all of our adventures and experiences, I have absolutely no regrets…save one.

As my hand leaves the door knob and I make my way to the vehicle that will whisk me to the airport that will take me to the vehicle that will whisk me away from Peru, I am truly full of regret that I never pushed the button.

Wheels Up

June 23, 2013 – Day 702

After seven hundred and a pair of days, our Peruvian adventure is over.

At 9:29am local time (10:29am EDT), our plane’s wheels left the tarmac of Lima’s airport and we left Peru behind.

While our time in the City of Kings is over, this blog is not yet over. I still have pictures and stories to share so I plan to continue to use this space to share those items.

Though our two years in Peru has finished, the international adventures of our Family has not yet ended and I have a blog for that also. When you have a moment, pop on over to 963 Thai Days.

Wrapping Up: Final Bookend

June 22, 2013 – Day 701

Earlier I wrote about how our last days in Lima were populated by bookends.

Our last night in Peru was also (unfortunately) quite similar to our first night, seven hundred days ago, in Lima. For a quick recap of that less-than-lovely night, you can jump here.

For our last dinner in the City of Kings, we dined out. As we walked out of our house, we could hear the less-than-dulcet tones of a DJ party emanating from the house across the street. This was around 6:00pm.

The noise continued when we returned from ice cream.

The noise continued while we packed.

The noise continued and continued and continued.

The noise continued until 3:00am.

Well, at least the aji de gallina I had for dinner was a good last taste of Lima.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

May 27, 2013 – Day 675

WordPress has provided the theme of “The World Through Your Eyes” for their weekly photographic challenge.

As I am wrapping up my Peruvian stay, I feel like I need a drink.

It's the middle glass to watch out for

It’s the middle glass to watch out for

This picture was taken during a city culinary tour that I attended with my lovely wife. In no way have I been compensated by this outfit, but if you ever find yourself in Lima and want an excellent view of the city, please (please) contact these folks over at Capital Culinara.

At this particular restaurant stop in the afternoon – in addition to creating our own ceviche – we also sampled two different types of pisco, an alcohol derived from grapes that is native to Peru and Chile.

The glass on the right is slightly colored as it is a berry-infused version of pisco. The middle glass is straight pisco and is quite delicious. The taste is similar in strength to vodka and only after two belts, my vision began to distort just as much as if I was looking through a glass filled with pisco.

Then we made ceviche and I bit into the rocoto again. That’s what pisco does to your memory.

Wrapping Up: All The Be?t

June 15, 2013 – Day 694

? = s

I have written about the music scene here in Lima (see here and here for samples) and how acts ranging from the 1980s to today fill the seats with their performances.

Another aspect to the music scene (and one I have not written about before) in Peru’s capital city is the thriving world of cover bands. Also known as tribute bands, one can buy tickets for these performances honoring the musical styles of Bob Marley to Madonna to U2 to Radiohead.

Tonight, on this Saturday evening, is an act that appears to combine the two. In honor of the 71st birthday of singer / songwriter (and left-handed person) Paul McCartney, there is a musical act coming to the City of Kings to embrace the music of the Beatles. In one sense, this performance is a tribute band honoring the Fab Four.

Nothing new there as there have been tribute bands to the lads from Liverpool before.

What was different was who was leading this night’s performance.

His name is Pete Best and he was the drummer for the Beatles before Ringo Starr.

To me, Best’s band appears to be the intersection of a tribute band and a musical act.

This place never ceases to me amaze me.

? = r

Over the course of this blog, I have had a quartet of goals during my stay in Peru. The first three (originally written about here) were…

a) Come home in one piece
b) Have fun
c) Avoid sparking an international incident

As for “a”, knock on wood, I am a few days away from achieving that accomplishment.
As for “b”, I have satisfied that goal in buckets as I have travelled to Machu Picchu, an amusement park, a park, and rode a sandboard…just to name a few.
As for “c”, a thorough query of any Internet search engine produces no hits on my name and the phrase “international incident”, so I call that a success.

My fourth goal deals with Bert. That’s the name I gave to the cactus I wrote about during my fifth day in Lima. Back then, I wrote that my task was to ensure that Bert stays alive during my stay.

Nearly 700 days later, I am pleased to announce that…

It's alive !

It’s alive !

…Bert has survived my black thumb.

(If there is any botanist in my audience who can disprove my assertion based on the visual evidence provided above, please let me know.)

Wrapping Up: Photograph

December 19, 2011 – Day 150

In our final days here in Peru, the majority of our belongings are in cardboard boxes and wending its way to our next location. One of those items is our main computer. In addition to being our gateway to the Internet, our desktop PC is also the repository of our digital photographs since 2008. Because our PC is in the hands of movers, I am unable to access the trove of pictures I have accumulated since arriving in Lima.

However, I do have one photograph about life in Lima that I am so proud of that I actually use it as the wallpaper for the laptop that I am currently using. I searched through this website and discovered that – as far as I can tell – I have not offered it up for your enjoyment.

Now I have talked about paragliding before (see here and here and here) and how the Miraflores section of Lima has an area specifically reserved for those daring aerial acrobats to take tourists up in the Peruvian sky.

What I have not shared before is this photo…

Up in the air, junior birdman...

Up in the air, junior birdman…

What I like about this snapshot is the fact that only can you see a pair of paragliders and a slight sliver of the Pacific Ocean, but I also managed to capture the black-and-white lighthouse that towers over the coast of Miraflores.

Wrapping Up: Via Delivery

June 15, 2013 – Day 694

Last April, I wrote about how fast food eateries (e.g., McDonald’s, Burger King) in Peru employ motorcycles to deliver their edibles to people’s homes.

In that post, I made the claim that the burgers and fries that appear at the customer’s front door is as hot as it is if they had been ordered at the restaurant itself. I made this claim with no experience to back it up so I was actually making a guess when I refuted the comment by Kai Ryssdal.

However, I can now state with absolute authority whether the meat patty and salted potatoes do indeed come to the house hot for today we (finally) called our local McDonald’s and ordered Big Macs, McNuggets, a McPollo, a McNifica, and french fries.

Fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rang and outside our door was a motorcycle carrying our food.

The verdict is in: The food is definitely still hot even when delivered.

Things are looking good for the citizens of San Fransisco, L.A., and Chicago who want their McEdibles delivered to their front door.

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