Our last day in Peru and we descended the huge cliffs down to the Pacific Ocean. The beaches here are made up of rocks and pebbles and the waves crash in with a continual thunderous crunching sound.
We fly out tonight at 10:30pm. We’re all feeling a bit tired just contemplating a night on a plane followed by a three-hour train trip from New York down to Washington DC. Anyway that’s for tonight and tomorrow. Now it’s goodbye Peru.
We had a rather frustrating evening when our oven ran out of gas half-way through cooking dinner. This was the final straw in a list of minor annoyances with the apartment so we had a chat with the landlady and had one of those frustrating experiences where we didn’t get the two things we wanted: things fixed and some sense of apology. Some of the minor things are now repaired but certainly there was no sense that they felt responsible. Of course this is one of the hazards of renting like this: they have our money and bond, we have no comeback beyond a bad review.
This morning the sun dawned on a lovely clear day, perfect for a walk around Miraflores. Miraflores is one of Lima’s richer suburbs. It’s full of gardens tended by an army of workers; its streets are lined with security guards protecting upmarket shops, offices and residences. It’s a growing suburb with building works all over the place; but still a strange mix of styles. Walking the streets reminds me a someone with bad dental work: there are some wonderful looking buildings sitting right beside decrepit slums.
Our main aim in setting out today, other than just looking about, was to find a cafe mentioned in an article in the in-flight magazine as we flew down from Iquitos. Cafe Manolo is something of an institution, famous for its churros, like so much here imported from Spain. It’s not a purist approach though – it has both Spanish and French versions of the chocolate. We went French, because we like the place. The churros were, it has to be said, absolutely excellent.
Luckily we then had the chance to walk off the huge calorie intake of hot chocolate and fried dough as we set out to find a post office. A bad map reading meant our stroll turned into an enormous walk circling half the suburb. We did eventually find the post office but it was a tiny hole-in-the-wall place with no materials in any way up to packing up three hand-made blowpipes. The walk was worthwhile anyway as we saw more colourful birds than we had seen in our time in the Amazon – probably thanks to all those well-tended gardens.
The highlight of the day for the boys was definitely playing Minecraft with some of their Australian friends this evening. It was a bit of relief for us as well. Our walks tend to be filled with the boys telling us all about Minecraft and what they intend to do in the game, so it was wonderful to have them with an outlet for the their enthusiasm.
I think we can safely say that ten years ago when we held our newborn son we had no thought that a decade later we’d be celebrating the young man’s birthday in Peru.
It was a quiet day largely because when asked what he wanted to do for his Birthday Cal’s response was “Stay home and play computer games.” That was pretty easily achieved although somehow our trip out for lunch involved an 8km walk on a lovely clear day – which I don’t think was quite what he meant.
Birthdays on the road are tricky things. There is really not a lot of room to carry much more stuff so picking a present was not easy.
Luckily Cal has become obsessed with Minecraft – a popular building game. So we rented him a server in the States as his present so he could take control of his own world. Nothing to carry and a great success. More living virtual for us.