Friday, March 1, 2002

We began our day with pizza and coffee - the breakfast of champions! Barranco likes to describe itself as the bohemian district of Lima. If bohemian means weird, they are right. We awoke to the sounds of weirdo circus/musician wannabe artsy-farsty folk pretending to play music and such in the "circus area" of the hotel. There was a woman reading bad poetry, a flutist who played the same bar of music over and over again because she could never get it right, and several people who set up a lot of equipment in anticipation of practicing acrobatic circus stunts, yet they never did anything. It was all very odd.

Mochilero's Backpackers Hostel

When we couldn't stand hearing the non-musicians anymore, we pointed our feet toward the suburb of Miraflores and started to walk. Miraflores is where the rich people live and play. A group of young boys walked us to the beach. They thought we were interesting because we were from the U.S., and they asked if we knew Michael Jordan. They wanted to continue walking with us, but we were going in opposite directions. Conversation was difficult, but they didn't seem to mind. They are learning English in school and wanted to practice.

Crazy Desert Cliffs

La Playa de Barranco

We walked to Miraflores along the beach and back to Barranco along the clifftop. The sun was brutal. It's summertime here and we're pretty close to the equator. We stuck out like two white sore thumbs on the beach, and we didn't see another gringo for hours until we stumbled upon a shopping district in Miraflores. We were a huge novelty.

El Parque de Smoocho

Miraflores

Tom had arranged for a very late check-out at Mochilero's of 10:00 p.m. for an extra half-day charge, so we were able to go back and nap and shower and hang out.

El Parque Municipal de Barranco

Latin America seems to have a festival or celebration of some kind at least a couple of times per week, and tonight was no exception. Today's festival was La Festival del Puente de los Suspires, the festival of the point of the sighs, whatever that means. There was live music and food booths and artisans set up all around the square.

La Puesta del Sol

We went back to our mirador for sunset again, and we took our cameras this time. Unfortunately, there was no pollution bow tonight because it was windy, so we lost our chance to capture that on film, but at least we got pics of the beautiful sunset. A Peruvian man who seemed to be the official photographer for his family was more than happy to take our photograph for us.

Los Gringos Felices

At 10:00 our ride arrived to take us to the airport. Annatela, who works at the hotel, had arranged for her friend Rena to take us. She charged us just $10 for a 40-minute ride, which seemed pretty reasonable, especially considering she then had to come back to Barranco.

We arrived at the airport two and a half hours early, and we barely had enough time to go through all the series of lines required before our flight. They x-rayed both our checked baggage and carry-on baggage this time, and we both had our carry-ons opened. (Mine twice.) Then we both had our shoes checked for bombs. I felt safe but harassed. I guess that's the trade-off. We lifted off right on time at 1:15 a.m.

 

Continue to day 20.

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