Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Barranco and Lima

 Jill and I stayed in "Barranco Backpackers" a great hostel in Barranco, Lima. Barranco is a wonderful alternative to staying in the modern suburb of Miraflores. Apparently Barranco used to be a beach resort for wealthy urban Peruvians. Many still own the gorgeous old mansions there, although many have been converted to guest houses, like the one we stayed in. It was comfortable, reasonably priced, and near the central plaza, great restaurants and the beach.

great old buildings

We ate a couple of fabulous dinners on patios overlooking the Pacific. A very romantic setting. We had to try Pisco Sours, and loved them so much that we both brought home pisco to try to recreate the experience. We also finally had ceviche. I'd been waiting seven weeks until I finally felt safely close enough to the ocean to have raw seafood.
and mansions
We enjoyed walking around Barranco, checking out the sights. We bought food at the grocery store and had a delicious picnic in a park. We went to the beach a couple of times to beachcomb and to watch the surfers. We were there each night at sunset.
covered bridge to beach

beach beauty
 On our last day we took the Metropolitan (rapid transit) into the centre if Lima. What an efficient transit system, and very clean and cheap! We got off near the Plaza de Armas. There were lots of spectacular buildings, but none of the museums or galleries were open because it was Sunday.

They do have an impressive pedestrian area, lined with stores which were open. I couldn't resist and bought some cute red sandals. I should have bought some of those shape-enhancing jeans, but I wasn't in the mood. Too bad, because we don't have even a fraction of the selection at home.
Lima's Plaza de Armas

religious procession

 Our flight home wasn't until after midnight, but once we were on the plane we slept and had a comfortable trip back to Toronto. 

I'm happy to be home again, and I'm enjoying the occasional warm sunny day we've had. I've had coffee on my back deck a few times, and even done my morning yoga out there. More of that soon I hope!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Thank-you Boots!

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One very fond memory of the hike:
On the second night, I was concerned about being cold, because we were up so high, and I had only my lightweight down bag.  I was also concerned about the foot of my sleeping bag getting wet if it touched the condensation on the inside of the tent. In preparation for sleep, I wore a few extra layers, and then had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I put the foot of my sleeping bag into a large plastic bag to protect against the moisture, and to keep in the warmth. 
If you're smarter than me you will have already realized what happened. When I awoke in the morning, I was feeling snug and perhaps a little smug with my cosy sleep. Then I got out of my sleeping bag to start packing up. The strict rule was that you had to be packed up before you could have breakfast to give the porters time to get the tents down ready to move on to the next campsite. Horror of horrors! The foot of my sleeping bag was soaking wet! Of course the warmth of my feet had caused condensation to collect on the inside of the plastic bag.
I stepped outside the tent to try to figure out how to pack my sleeping bag without spreading the wet through the whole bag. A porter was standing outside ready to take the tent down and looked at me with concern. I said "Tengo una problema grande." He took the sleeping bag from me, telling me not to worry, that he would solve the problem. I ate my breakfast, and as soon as I emerged from the dining tent, he presented me with a warm, dry sleeping bag. I can only imagine that he must have held it over the cooking stove to dry it. I will be forever grateful for his help.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


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