THIS IS THE FOURTH IN A SERIES OF E-MAILS SENT TO VARIOUS PEOPLE DURING A JOURNEY TO PERU IN APRIL, 2007. THIS ONE WAS DATED APRIL 16.
THEY WERE GENERALLY COMPOSED QUICKLY WITHOUT MUCH EDITING OR SPELLCHECKING, AND I’VE LEFT THEM AS IS TO LEAVE THE UNEXPURGATED FLAVOR.
THE PICTURES ARE OF MASKS WE COLLECTED ALONG THE WAY. WE DECIDED TO OPEN AN ON-LINE MASK BUSINESS DURING THIS TRIP, AND THESE WILL BE AMONG OUR FIRST PRODUCTS IF WE CAN BEAR TO PART WITH THEM.
Back in the city for a more conventional tour, but first some catchup.
1. I promised a dolphin legend, and I know all of you have been thirsting for it. When an amazonian pink male dolphin loses his mate, he sometimes leaves the water and begins looking among humans for a new one. So, Peruvians are warned to be on guard in case they see a tall, pink-skinned gringo with a big nose cruising the streets or the parties. It could be the dolphin coming to nab one of the women.
2. (This is especially for Larry Daly) Sighted: a work crew placing an extension ladder to work on some power lines. What’s so special? The top of the ladder was resting on the lines themselves. Did not stay long enough to discover the result.
3. One of the dances at La Hacienda involved a male (or female) dancing with a paper “tail” hanging from pants (or skirt). Dancing in pursuit was a dancer of the opposite sex with a lighted torch, seeking to ignite said tail. Once the deed is done, the dance is over. New meaning to “Baby Light my fire.”
4. One of the sights on the trip to Ballestras islands was a huge “candleabra” drawn on the sandstones by the same aliens that brought you the figures in the cornfields.
As for the day itself, we spent a great time touring churches, cathedrals, and doing some high-end shopping in the Barrancho district of Lima. Arts, music, theater, and generally beautiful and bohemian, this neighborhood, with 19th centuryt mansions, some refurbished, some falling down. Best times at Dedalo (deadalus), sort of an arts consignment shop with unique and wonderful things, some of which will be on display at 5814 p. way, others to go out as gifts.
Interesting conversation in the catacombs of the church of San Francisco, where the bones of centuries of previous generations are arranged artistically. Mostly skull, femurs, and tibulae. There was an English tour group that included a woman from India who expressed her sense of oddity at this custom. Of course, most of us took it as odd, too. But one gentleman (apparently the group had just come from India) objected that it was no more odd than watching a pyre floating downs the Ganges from a restaurant.
“But the body disappears and the soul lives, and there is reincarnation. . . .”
“But I don’t have to go to Starbuck’s to watch a bloody funeral. . .”
There was also the box where Francisco Pizarro’s head was found about 200 years after it was originally interred int he 16th century. Its internment took place a considerable distance from that of his body, though in the same wall in the basement of the cathedral. He was not popular. Influential enough to get buried in the Cathedral, but not in honorable conditions.
We saw the changing of the guard at the presidential palace. Very blue and red and musical, the entire building surrounded by armed army people in armored vehicles. The sendero Luminoso apparently is reviving somewhat.
We had lunch in a super seafood restaurant, where Erin and Sean (who else) introduced us to the justifiably renowned Lima seafood. It was worth the trip for that.
Other than that, a very dull day. One more left before we must bid farewell to all this super hospitality, so the final installment of this series will come shortly.
Cheers, and thanks for listening.