Hello to all!
Barb and I are spending our last few days here in Peru at the beach, soaking up the Vitamin D before we head home; I hear that there may be more snow on the way?!?!? Actually I am no longer much of a sun bather; I mean when I was growing up in California I used to lay out determinedly in the sun slathered in Cocoa butter; which essentially turned me into a giant fry zone, or we would spray ourselves in baby oil with Iodine mixed in (to attain that attractive orange/brown color). Today I slathered myself in sun block instead, and sat under a beach umbrella all day, and still got burned...
We are staying in Pimentel, a small beach town where I have yet to encounter anyone with more than a few words of English. You would think that this would work wonders on my conversational Spanish skills, but so far that has not been the case. There is still much pantomiming and gesticulating, often to little effect... Still it is lovely getting to see Peruvian families enjoying the beach; with children and parents much the same the world over when it comes to sand and water.
In order to get here, we braved the Peruvian Air System, which was a bit daunting. I have never seen so much chaos and line stagnation as I experienced in Cusco Airport, trying to head to Lima (and I have seen quite a few chaotic airports in my day!) We (thankfully) arrived about 3 hours early, but I am sure that we would have missed the plane without the clever machinations of Barb, who went to ask for help in using the automated ticket kiosk. Apparently the agent had no English and walked Barb (with me following obediently) over to a much shorter, private tour group lane (probably for difficult clients they want to get out of the airport fast, but hey, I am not too proud to use whatever works... Then at the gate, apparently all of the passengers line up for each flight about 30 minutes before boarding to await entry. They do not board in zones, but nonetheless, everyone had a seat assignment so the waiting lineup puzzled me. Finally, the flight was quite turbulent due to thunderstorms, and it was quite a bumpy ride. I was feeling a bit anxious as I was not sure whether or not to trust the piloting skills/planes of the Peruvian government, but everyone seemed to take the leaps and cavorting of the plane with aplomb, and all went well in the end. Then, in Lima, where we had a connecting flight, you had to go out of the airport through baggage handling, and then re-enter the airport in order to reach your connecting flight. Weird, but again, it all went fine and we made it.
Included are a few photos from our earlier romp in the ruins at Pisac.