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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.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

Day 135 – December 4, 2011

The theme this week from WordPress for the weekly photo challenge – as if you couldn’t have surmised by the title of this here post – is “big“.

My offering comes from a Sunday outing the family and I took to a skateboard park in Miraflores. After a half-day of watching our middle child try his luck on the concrete playground, we moved on to take a stroll along the Peruvian boardwalk.

Our walkway – which runs high on a cliff over the Pacific Ocean – took us over a large public space with some pieces of art. Courtesy of the zoom lens on my trusty camera, I can show you one of the big installations that people can enjoy.

Statue in Mirafloes

Seeking shade in summer shadows

My apologies but I do not know the name of this sculpture or the artist.

As for the entire park, here it is…

Park in Miraflores

Sun, waves, and art in Peru

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

Day 254 – April 1, 2012

This week, the theme from WordPress in their Photo Challenge was “Two Subjects“.

On April Fools’ Day – which is not a large holiday here in Peru, although I was able to enjoy Google’s prank courtesy of the Internet – the family and I enjoyed a sunny day down at the beach of Barranco.

While my middle child tested out his bodyboard, while my daughter frolicked in the waves, and while my oldest child (a teenager) tried his best to not have a good time, I looked around and saw the clouds rolling into the cliffs that make up the Miraflores district of Lima.

Miraflores, along with the boardwalk area known as the Malecon and the mall known as Larcomar, is home to a launching pad where paragliders, for a fee, will take willing (and, in my opinion, slightly deranged) tourists for a ride surfing the air currents.

Paragliders over Miraflores and fog

Anybody can fly - it's only a matter of will

A quick snap of the Nikon and I’m back watching my middle child become tossed in the waves like a bad penny.

Feliz San Valentin

Day 207 – February 14, 2012

Today, Valentine’s Day, is a holiday in Peru.

No joke.

This is not surprising for a country that has in its capital a park dedicated to love, Parque de Amor.

In this park, there is a statue called “El Beso” (“The Kiss”).

Statue at Parque de Amor in Peru

Te amo

I am fond of this picture not only in the way in captures a hint of the sunlight acting as a halo around the heads of our statuesque lovers, but I like the image in the foreground of the 8-bit “I (heart) you”.

Nerd culture appears to be alive and well in the City of Kings.

Surfing Mahaka

Day 193 – January 31, 2012

As it is summer in this half of the world, our children have been out of School since the end of December and it has been our task to figure out how to occupy their time. Given their druthers, they would whittle away their verano in front of screens (TV, iPod, PC)…and I can’t say I blame them one bit.

In the States, our summers had become easier and easier as we began to fall into a routine of signing them up for a Loudoun County summer activity camp, having them spend a week at a sleep-away camp, followed up by 10 days in California to visit my side of the family.

As this was our first summer in Peru, we had to scramble (and by “scramble”, I mean “ask every friend and acquaintance we had acquired in Lima”) to find out what to do with the kids.

We did find activities and camps for the children and while screen time was not cut to zero, it was significantly reduced.

One of the summertime activities our two boys became involved in was surfing. Down on the beaches of Miraflores, there are several surfing outfits that set up tents and canopies and offer lessons to anyone who wants to come down and paddle away on the waves for 90 minutes. On this particular Tuesday, we went to Mahaka Beach for our boys’ second attempt at hanging ten. The day of surfing started out gray, but as it wrapped it up, the sun poked its way through the clouds to make a lovely exit as it dipped below the Pacific Ocean.

For only their second time on a board, I must say that they did well. I’m sorry that I can’t prove this fact to you photographically, because my two boys were far away in the surf and my camera does not have that strong a zoom, but here are my attempts to show you my children’s attempts at shooting the curls…

Child surfing in Lima, Peru

A classic move in the vein of Duke Kahanamoku

Child surfing in Pacific Ocean

Moondoggie himself would be proud

While the children were out channeling their inner Kahuna, I strolled around the beach and snapped some other photos, like this one…

Statue and restaurant in Lima, Peru

Statue left there on porpoise

There was a plaque adorning this statue of a dolphin, but I could not fathom what it said, so I will make something up and say that this monument is an homage to this mammal that helps the Peruvian fisherman find the best places where the fish are so that he may earn his keep.

The building in the background to the right is a restaurant called Rosa Nautica and it is a landmark here in Lima. Situated at the end of a pier, this eating establishment offers an amazing view of the ocean while dining.

As the day was winding down, I caught this image that looks, to me, like it could be anywhere such as Newport Beach, the North Shore, or anywhere else where guys and gals have spent a good day riding the waves.

Sunset and surfers in Lima, Peru

Endless Summer - Lima 2012

May the waves be good tomorrow and the day after that.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

Day 200 – February 7, 2012

To celebrate the completion of my second set of hundred days in Peru, I decided to try something off my well-worn path.

Because I couldn’t do my first option, which was to hold a press conference to list off all of my accomplishments since taking up my position of being a house husband/writer, I went with Plan B and tried my hand at submitting something for WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge which on this week had the theme of Ready.

So here be my entry…

On this oddly cloudy summer Tuesday afternoon, the family and I took my visiting suegra (Spanish for “mother-in-law”) down to the Miraflores section of Lima to enjoy some shopping at the Inka Market and then to have some lunch at Larcomar, which is a mall overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

After our buffet offering a wide assortment of Peruvian cuisine at an establishment called Mangos, we walked around the mall to show off to our visitor the sights of surf and sol, but we were thwarted by the low clouds.

As I looked down on the beach, I saw the following group of people…

Players warming for soccer game

Getting Ready in Miraflores

…who were getting ready by stretching out and limbering up to play a spirited afternoon contest of pick-up soccer futbol.

Or they’re about to start a class…
Or they’re about to go on a 5K run…

Well, whatever they’re about to do, they’re getting ready for it.

Eat First, Ask Questions Later

Day 016 – August 7, 2011

On this overcast Sunday (when it’s winter in Lima, everyday is overcast), the O’Ryans invited us down to Miraflores, the beachy, touristy area of the City of Kings, to have lunch with a slew of other folk from the United States who were making their home in Peru.

Our eating establishment of choice was Pescados Capitales.

Entrance to Pescados Capitales

Come on in

Before we ordered our food, the restaurant provided a wonderful appetizer. Cancha is a snack that is toasted corn, usually the choclo variety. Here it is served with an aji sauce (ah, aji…we meet again).

Cancha and aji

Next to nachos and salsa, my new favorite starter

Cancha is delicious, addictive, and sometimes dangerous. The toasted corn contains bits of husk that, when swallowed, can become stuck in the windpipe. This apparently only happens when one eats far too much of this crunchy, salty (and with the aji…tangy) snack.

This near-choking experience was only the literal appetizer to what awaited me for the main course.

For my lunch, I ordered one of the restaurant’s signature ceviches. Ceviche is a Peruvian mainstay and it is comprised of raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice. That’s the basic. They joy in this dish comes with all the different additions chefs and restaurants throw into the mix. My dish would include curry, mango chutney, shrimp, and calamari to the uncooked white fish.

When my meal arrived, proudly sitting atop the mound of seafood was a round slice of red pepper. This was a true treat as my expeditions to the local grocery stores have shown me that the vegetable known here as pimiento rojo was rather expensive. So, without a thought, I popped the entire circle of red (seeds and all) into my mouth.

Have you ever seen that cartoon cliché of a character with smoke coming out of their ears after eating something violently hot? While there was no actual fire in my mouth, it certainly felt like there was a conflagration going on in there because I had inadvertently eaten an entire slice of the rocoto pepper.

The Wikipedia article that I linked to above says that the rocoto has a Scoville rating (the measurement of the heat of a chili pepper which is named after its inventor Wilbur Scoville) between 50,000 and 250,000. By comparison, the jalapeno has a Scoville rating ceiling of 8,000.

“Hot” is an understatement.

I wish I could tell you how the ceviche tasted, but after the rocoto, my taste buds went to the Mayo Clinic to recuperate. Seriously…mayonnaise helps ease the pain of a capsaicin-induced accident.

As a parting volley, and to show you how easy it is to make the “rocoto-vs-red pepper” mistake, here is a picture of a slice of rocoto…

Rocoto pepper

It's red and it's a pepper, ergo, it is a red pepper.

While I have learned my lesson about telling the difference between a rocoto and a red pepper, I most likely will continue to dive head first into the culinary world that Peru has to offer.

Hmmm…I wonder what cuy tastes like?