THIS IS THE THIRD IN A SERIES OF E-MAILS SENT TO VARIOUS PEOPLE DURING A JOURNEY TO PERU IN APRIL, 2007. THIS ONE WAS DATED APRIL 15.
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.
Sean and Erin took us on yet another wildlife adventure this weekend to a place a couple of hours south of Lima called the ballestras islands,sometimes known as the poor man’s Gallapagos islands. We stayed in spacious accommodations at La Hacienda, the headquarters of a 16th century sugar plantation. The slaves were freed around here in the 1820’s, but the plantation owner didn’t pay much attention, so his “workers” took matters into their own hands and hacked him or shot him or both to death on the steps of the plantation. They had the sense not to burn the place down and ran it themselves for a while. It’s now an inn with wide verandas, capacious rooms, splendid grounds, good food, and fine entertainment. There’s a good-sized church on the grounds and we watched some of the services there this morning. There was a rendition of something to the tune of “Sounds of Silence”, about which we’re still puzzled, but it made for nice musice with the drums and guitar. There is still a considerable afro-peruvian population around with a distinct culture and music . If you haven’t heard rhythm kept on a cow’s jawbone, you haven’t heard music.
The islands thelmselves are a 1/2 hour boat ride out. They’re full of penguins (humboldt species), Boobies (that’s a bird), sea lions and a host of other things we couldn’t possibly identify. My cap endured a direct hit from a passing bombadier. This incident was emblematic of the history of the islands, since they were a lucrative source of guano in the 19th century. Chile and Peru even fought a war over them, and much of the guano-mining equipment is still standing. WE don’t have to go to Antarctica to see penguins, and the teaming life on these barren-looking rocks–quite a sight.
Tomorrow it’s back to civilization and downtown Lima.
There’s a couple of websites below. I know Rachel is interested in checking these places out. Maybe other people will be, too.