Perezosos in Peru

Perezoso means lazy, in case you were wondering. Nothing much has happened recently. We’re more or less hibernating in anticipation of our next several months on the road. It turns out that my parents aren’t going to make it to the southern hempisphere this March, so Mike and I have been trying to decide what to do once we leave Huanchaco at the end of this month. We have a few ideas. Among them are a boat ride down the Amazon to Iquitos (which is one of the largest cities in the world not accessible by road); a small backpacking trip in the Cordilera Blanca, where Peru’s tallest mountains reach about 20,000 ft.; and visits to Cuzco, Macchu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, etc. We’re struggling to figure out the logistics, but I’m sure we’ll make things happen somehow.

For now, I simply have a few observations and some of Mike’s pictures to include in the blog. Here goes:

1) Me gustan muchas hamburguesas con huevos fritos. In the States I like a good cheeseburger — swiss, cheddar, american — whatever. Sadly, the cheese isn’t quite so tasty in South America; however, this doesn’t matter so much when you’ve got a fried egg on your burger instead (or in addition). Many of the burger joints we’ve visited in our travels include a fried egg along with the standard meat patty, tomato, lettuce, bun, etc. Delicious! I recommend that you try it next time you’re grilling out.

2) Have you ever been to visit the ruins of some ancient culture? It doesn’t really matter which — Greek, Roman, Mayan, Incan — it turns out they were all clever bastards. Each one of these cultures knew how to construct a space to maximize its acoustic properties without using microphones! Admittedly, this is more than I could manage. What’s even more fascinating to Mike, however, is the fact that this prompts the exaxt same action from all guides: they clap. And they seem to think you should gasp in awe as the sounds they’ve so proudly produced echo off the walls. The experience is naturally hightened by the presence of multiple guides leading various groups in the same acoustic space. It’s not okay to leave the clapping up to a single guide; it’s your guide’s priviledge to gleefully clap his own sweaty mitts together when he gets to that part of the spiel. So, next time you’re on tour at some ancient ruins wait for that clapping. When you hear it, be sure to close your eyes, cock your head ever-so-slightly, and listen with a rapt expression on your face — your guide will feel that his training has truly paid off.

3) The circus came to Huanchaco the other day. No, Mike and I didn’t attend, but we did scope-out the set-up. As we wandered up to the Big Top, Mike caught a glimpse of something moving beneath the circus supply truck. Upon closer inspection we discovered a mountain lion on a leash teathered to the axle. No cage. Oh, and did I mention that this deadly predator was about 10 ft. away from a playground? No fence. Sure, the puma was on a leash and looked pretty tame, but what if a small child wanted to pet the kitty? It’s not like there’s much adult supervision in Peru. Luckily, we didn’t witness any maulings. I’ll bet the circus was great though, what with that puma and the midget and the monkey that we saw. *Sigh* Maybe next time.

The circus tent was pitched about a block away from the English school where I teach.

“Nice kitty!” Luckily the mountain lion seemed unphased by Mike’s flash.

The salty ocean air may make Huanchaco seem very different from the desert, but there are still a lot of desert plants around. The prickly pear fruit (called tuna here) that I’ve only ever had in ice cream while in AZ is tasty but spiky.

“Surfboards for Rent” — a common sight in Huanchaco, though Mike and I have yet to hop aboard again…

“More bars in more places.” Mike’s been taking Cingular pics.

Mike takes a lot of pictures at the beach. Oftentimes they depict kids running around in see-through underwear (tighty-whiteys don’t make good swimsuits!). In fact, it’s hard to take a picture at the beach without a nude or might-as-well-be-nude kid in the frame. I don’t know whether or not this kid is properly attired, but this was one of my favorite of Mike’s recent beach pics for some reason.

These random fruit carts go by our apartment at least once a day. The sellers speak into some weird kind of megaphone that makes them sound like robots. You know those things that throat cancer victims have to hold to their necks in order to speak? That’s what these guys sound like. “Hay mango, mango. Rico mango.”

They really load down their trucks around here — visibility be damned!

I like stained glass pictures, even if the glass is mostly broken.

Every latin american town has its own virgin; I think the virgin in Huanchaco is called the Virgen del Cerro, though I may be mistaken. At any rate, every so often the glorious virgin will be paraded through the streets of the town, accompanied by music and fireworks. The procession usually ends up in a park or a church where a brief religious service takes place. Good times.

The virgin gets her own band, though the members do have to improvise a bit. They fill out the notes on their sheets of music, then they clothespin them to the guy in front of them. Classy.

It’s carnival month, which basically means that we are constantly subjected to loud parties. It also means that there are countless contests, parades, dances, etc. We figure that this structure was part of some kind of contest, but we never saw the culmination of the project.

Though I can’t stand fried dough (elephant ears, funnel cakes, doughnuts) the fried food on the left is one of my new favorites: papas rellenas. They’re basically fried potatoes that have been stuffed with meat, onions, etc. Delicious! They taste better than they look in this picture, especially when smothered with salsa picante. Furthermore, while I was double-checking my spelling I stumbled upon a Peruvian Food blog. Check it out for a papas rellenas recipe and other Peruvian favorites, like cebiche. Travel your taste buds.

That’s all I have for now. It will probably be a little while before I post, but once we are moving again in March I imagine we’ll have more pics and stories worthy of the blog. Until next time!

P.S. Happy birthday to Nick and Josh, and congratulations to my sister and Josh for buying their first house!

One Response to “Perezosos in Peru”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Good to get news from you again, Jackie, and always enjoy Mike’s great pictures with your comments. Sounds like you two are really enjoying your stay in Peru–it is quite a colorful country. They like to celebrate everything, don’t they! It has really been a hard winter in all the states in the good ole US–even CA has been unusually cold, but I’m glad I’m here and not in Iowa this winter! My next trip, the Lord willing, will be back for David’s graduation–I think that is going to be quite an affair, with all his awards, and popularity! Keep safe and well! luv ya, Gma

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