Vern’s Travels
Voyageur Extraordinaire

Tegucigalpa this Weekend

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Tegucigalpa's central plaza Sunday afternoon

The central plaza Sunday afternoon

It’s Sunday night and I am back at my hotel after an exhausting day. I marched along with more than 20 thousand protesters on a route from the university to the airport. This is what I came to Honduras to experience and I wasn’t disappointed. Honduras is in the middle of another “unscheduled” transition of power. They say that corruption and cronyism is rampant in both the left and the right Their politics seem to be heavily “influenced” by economic and political pressures from abroad. This is just the latest of a long series of coups, but this time television, the internet, and cell phones have improved communications. This, many Hondurans say, is bringing a lot more people to the streets to protest.

The police and I enjoying a Sunday afternoon in the park

A Quiet Sunday at the park

I arrived in Tegucigalpa about noon on Saturday and everything looked normal. The airport had the usual number of greeters at the exits and a few more police than normal. I caught the city bus to downtown outside the airport just like I did the last time. The downtown had some national police in the city park, but other than that, all was normal. The shops were open with customers buying shoes, clothes, and food.


Two Chicas Welcome Me to the March

Two Chicas Welcome Me to the March

I checked into the small Hotel Iberia which is a well run and spotlessly clean. Because it is cheap ($8.00 for a single with shared bath), it caters to traveling, foreign students. The clerk told me that I had to be off the streets by the 10:00 PM curfew hour. After a couple of hours of walking around, I ended up at the 21 table of the local casino. To my surprise, the casino closed at 7:00 so the staff could get to their homes before the curfew started. I thought I had time to get some dinner, but the city was completely silent by 8:00 PM. Back at the hotel, I found out that I had missed what are the daily demonstrations. I decided to be a part of Sunday‘s march.

In the morning, I teamed up with a freelance American journalist who was reporting for a Guatemalan magazine. We left the hotel at 9:00 and caught a bus to an intersection near the university. There were thousands of people gathered in the streets chanting and showing their party’s colors in what seemed to be a festive atmosphere. It looked like there were 3 or 4 different political parties participating. The march was very well organized with monitors setting the pace and keeping everyone calm. They were well trained and had several days of experience since the coup started to hone their leadership skills. Things when along without a hitch for several kilometers as the crowd steadily increased in size.

The March Was as Far as ou Could See

The March Was as Far as You Could See

When we got to the back side of the airport property, the police set up their first block. There were about 80 riot police in ranks across the road. The march stopped about thirty feet short of the police line and the big sound truck inched its way through the crowd to the front of the crowd. Tensions were high on both sides as negotiations continued for a 20 minutes. In the distance down the road, we could see another hundred police and soldiers waiting. Above us and behind the airport perimeter fence was a line of soldiers armed with automatic rifles watching at the ready.

The Stand Off

The Stand Off

The negotiations ended with the police retreating while the marchers waited until they were well clear. As the police moved to their next position with the soldiers down the road, the march continued. I went ahead to take some pictures of the police and soldiers. Many were young teenagers and clearly worried about the situation. I told one of the young men how many people were coming and the word spread quietly through the ranks. I climbed up the embankment on the airport side of the road so I could have a good view. There were more

The Police

The Police

 than two times the number of police and soldiers this time.. Again, the march stopped short and negotiations ensued. The police were amazingly calm and level headed this time, as well. Although, there was teargas gunner who seemed very anxious to open fire on the crowd.

As before, negotiations lead to the police retreating and the marchers held until the police made their way to the airport entrance. It was at this point that the march became less controlled. A lot of people filled the street in front of the airport entrance while the police watched from above. Many people continued another kilometer to a place where the street widens and there is good view of the whole airport below. I’m not sure why, but I left

Where They Stormed the Fence

Where They Stormed the Fence

this area and went back to the airport entrance. It was 15 minutes later that several hundred people stormed the flimsy cyclone fence. My journalist friend, who was there, said the police shot their rifles into the crowd and fired off released tear gas. The tear gassed ran for covered. At least one person, an 18 year old, was killed by a shot to the head.. Several others, who were wounded were spirited by taxi to nearby hospitals. By time I got back there, the crowd had calmed I saw a makeshift memorial to the dead teenager.

A Half Hour After the Killing

A Half Hour After the Killing

About that same time this was happening, the deposed president’s plane made several passes over the airport. It was said that the demonstrators were trying to storm the airport to keep the interim government from arresting their leader. In the end, he was denied landing and he headed off to El Salvador. The crowd began to thin, but there were several thousands when I headed back to the city at 6:30. There were no buses operating and the taxis were all heading away from downtown. I ended up walking about 3 kilometers before I got a ride. But, rather than heading to downtown, I got dropped off on the east side of the city which was several hours walk to downtown. By this time I was getting worried that I wouldn’t make the 10:00 PM curfew, so I started hitchhiking. I was less than 5 minutes before a pickup filled special investigation police stopped to give me a ride. I climbed into the crowded bed of the truck with 4 policemen and 4 handcuffed prisoners. They dropped me off a dozen blocks from my hotel and I made back just after 9:00. Tomorrow which is Monday, I’m heading back to Houston if the airport is open and our flight operates. If not, there will be more adventures.

An Update to My Honduran Adventure

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m on the flight from San Pedro Sulu to Houston. Yesterday morning, the desk clerk heard on the news that the Tegucigalpa airport would be closed for at least 2 days. I wanted to get home, so I headed to an internet café to check my options. I decided that Guatemala City was the best alternative. I learned, when I got to the bus station, that Guatemala City it took 12 hours which would have put me there too late at night to search for a hotel. Since the bus went through San Pedro and Copan on the way, I decided just to go to San Pedro and take my chances.


There was a super little internet café at the bus station where I determined that Continental had a flight out at 7:00 AM with plenty of empty seats. I caught a collectivo into town and found an interesting budget hotel. After a warm shower, some great Chinese food, and a CNN fix; I set my alarm for 4:00 AM. 


The desk clerk was sleeping when I got to the lobby. I wanted to know where to catch a cab to the airport. He wanted to know why I wanted to go into the streets before the curfew ended at 5:00 AM. I didn’t know that Honduras doesn’t observe daylight savings time. I was an hour ahead of schedule. It an hour before any taxis would be on the streets. When I got to the airport everything was normal. There were a few people who had driven from Tegucigalpa on Monday to catch the early flight, but everything else was quiet.

While I thought this adventure is over until Houston weather caused us to divert to San Antonio for fuel. We will be 2 hours late and I’m very tired, but all else is OK.


Beijing in May

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The weather is getting warmer, but it is still quite comfortable in Beijing.  The sun is shining above the haze that always seems to cloud the atmosphere.  The rest of the world is suffering in the economic down turn.  I understand that the industrial parts of China are under a lot of pressure, as well.  Here in Beijing, there aren’t any signs of an economic slow down.  But, China tends to always show its best side.

The preperations for the 2008 Olympics last year really beautified the city.  The parks along the highways, as well as major intersections, have colorful flower plantings that are always replaced before they get old or die out.  Any scrap of paper that manages to get away, is immediately picked up by the many street cleaners.

I got a suprised when I arrived.  I hadn’t heard from my landlord after I advised her that I would be coming to town.  When I got here, I found out that she is closing her service apartment business.  I think that business is not good and the baby is a reason to change directions.  I’ve been staying in a vacant apartment that my friend, Bill, is sub-letting.  Tonight the guy moves in, so I will find a new place to stay.

        Jenny and her Fiance

Jenny and her Fiance

It is the May Day holiday in China.  My friend Jenny, the medical student,  had her future husband in town from Shanghi to meet her parents.  She wanted me to meet him, as well.  He is a 30 year old software engineer with a very promising career ahead.  I like him.  There is no date for the wedding, but I hope I can attend.

          Lao Ren and Ms. Wong

Lao Ren and Ms. Wong

Yesterday,  the two people who were with me when I had my accident and I took a motorcycle ride.  I didn’t know that Lao Ren had a small house in the country.  It is about 30 kms. north of the city in a small village.  Of course, the urban area is approaching, but there are still fields of crops to walk through and the noise of the city is far away.  It has two rooms which face a courtyard that serves as a garden and motorcycle parking area.  Ms. Wong made a nice lunch and I had a nap while they did some things around the house.  It was a very pleasant afternoon with two very good friends.


Happy Easter !!

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Happy Easter from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  The weather is a wonderful 24 C. (75 F.) with some high thin scattered clouds this evening.    We arrived yesterday afternoon.  Esther flew in from Lima on Delta through Atlanta on OnePass miles.  For some reason she got Business Elite all the way which is a great deal for me at  only 17,500 miles.  I lucked out and got First Class on Continental from Houston, as well.

This is a much needed vacation for me, after a wonderful trip to Hamburg last week, I returned to Houston to a tough week.  I am re-financing my house which means getting bunch of old house and income documents together.  I spent 4 days tearing my house apart looking for the file with the surveys and previous closing statements on the house.  As I went through the old paperwork, I shredded the things I didn’t need and sorted the stuff to keep.  I should have done this years ago, but there never seemed to be a pressing need until now.  What a mess!  I ended up with 4 trash cans and 4 huge bags of shedding.  Thursday morning, I finally found the file I needed at the bottom of a box of junk that hadn’t been touched in 15 years.  The rest of the day Thursday, I worked cleaning the mess I had created.  Then on Friday, I decided to both shampoo the carpet and cut the lawn.  All was going well until I went to get a beer before going cut Linda´s (my neighbor) lawn.  The beer and everything else in the refrigerator was warm.  I quickly dispersed my critical items like meat and fish to the garage freezer and the neighbors.  I soon discovered that the coils were frozen because I left the door open a couple of nights earlier.  While everything turned out OK in the end it cost me a lot of time and I only got 2 hours sleep Friday night.

The next day Puerto Vallarta, things started off a little rough as my apartment at the Sheraton is undergoing renovations.  I was surprised to discover we had been moved to an apartment with no balcony and overlooking the trash filled vacant lot next door.  After some discussion with guest services, they changed us to the apartment directly below the one I own.  While this was a perfect solution, they needed an hour for cleaning and preparation.  We went to the lobby for free tequila and guacamole.  I drank 6 shots while waiting, but then I slept until 8:00 PM when Esther woke me up to walk to the market.  She is very understanding.

 Easter Sunday we when to the old church just off the central plaza in the old part of Puerto Vallarta for a traditional and very beautiful Easter service.  Esther suggested we go to lunch above the old central market.  The market has moved and the tourist oriented stalls selling tee shirts and souvenirs have taken over.  Upstairs the traditional restaurants remain to feed the locals who come to find good food and the memories the past.  We had a lunch of shrimp soup and grilled fish that was outstanding.  With drinks and tip, the price was less than $14.00.

 The impact of the recession and the drug war publicity is apparent by the number of people at the pool and in the traffic in the tourist shops.  In past years, there were lots of families escaping the late spring cold weather as well as many Mexican families enjoying their Easter vacations.  But, this year there plenty of extra lounge chairs by the pool and the small shops seem to be empty.  It’s too bad because this city’s economy relies on the visitor’s trade for survival.

 It is evening now and the sun is settling below the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.  I have been careful to use sun block, so I am not suffering with my standard first day sun burn.  Tomorrow morning, we will go to the obligatory timeshare presentation so we can get the free and discount stuff at the resort.  We both like the Mexican Fiesta and dining at the hotel, but it is very expensive.  This way we get a free buffet breakfast as well as half price tickets for the Fiesta and a half price dinner.  Also, I like to match wits with the timeshare sales people.

 Our plans this week include a day at a small village about an hour by bus north of here called Sayulita.  The beach is sandy and the water is comfortably warm for swimming.  There are just enough people to support good restaurants as well as shopping, but it is still quiet and relaxing.  Another day, we are plan to go to San Sebastian del Oeste which is a 3 hour bus ride into the mountains above Puerto Vallarta to a quiet crossroads.  From here we need to hitchhike the last 12 kms to an old mining village.   The village, which was founded by four Spanish families 400 years ago, has been isolated until recently.  We were there several years ago and it is like going back in time.  I will tell you more about this later.  Now I want to post this, so you can follow my travels.    





Bangalore and the Air Show

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It’s the morning of St. Valentine’s Day and I had my night’s sleep on the Mumbai to Delhi train.  I’m headed to a wedding in Delhi tonight.  I hadn’t planned on the train ride, but this is an adventure I will do again, very soon.

When I got to Newark, the agents told me I didn’t have a chance on the Delhi flight since it over by 20 passengers already.  At the last minute everything changed and I got a BusinessFirst seat for the 15 hours flight.  I arrived in Delhi last Sunday evening as planned.  After two nights with Santosh and his family at their house just south of Delhi, I got up at 3:00 AM to take the early Jet Airways flight to Bangalore.  The point of going to Bangalore was Aero India 2009 which is India’s national aviation exposition.

When I got to the information desk outside of baggage claim, I discovered my reservations were at a hotel two hours from the airport and almost that far from town.  I canceled that one and form a small lodge in the city with a simple room and bath overlooking a garden. After I got situated in my hotel, I explored the city.  It is more modern and cosmopolitan than most Indian cities and, which like most of urban India, is awash with private development and infrastructure construction.  This normally beautiful city is blanketed with the dust of economic growth.  On Wednesday, I took a day trip to Mysore which is a city and former capital of one of India’s princely states about 150 kms south of Bangalore.  This quiet city has a wonderful palace and gardens which was the residence of the maharaja until independence in 1947.  The original palace burned in the late 1800’s so the existing one is a restoration, but it is a great$ example of the lifestyle of the Indian nobility of the previous era.  They don’t allow interior photos, but you can get and idea of the grandeur from the outside views.

My plan was to attend the air show for two days and return to Delhi on Saturday, but that all got changed.  First, the air show was totally focused on defense and one day was enough for me.  There were some things to look at, but after a dozen missiles or electronic counter measure systems, I was bored.  Second, I found out the wedding was moved from next Tuesday to this Saturday.  Now the pressure was on to get back to Delhi.  All the flights to Delhi showed full, but I got up at 3:00 AM Friday to head for the airport and try for the first Jet Airways flight.  Having now luck getting on that one, I looked for an alternative.  I decided to use my only ticket and head for Mumbai since the flights looked better from there. I would have to buy another ticket from the Continental desk for the onward journey.  When I arrived at Mumbai at 10:00 AM, I found that Continental opened at 5:00.  That was too late for any of the open flights.  I checked and found a sleeper train 5:30 that got to Delhi at 10:30 Saturday morning.  This gave me plenty of time to get to the wedding and the train would be a new adventure for me.

Normally the Indian trains are sold out weeks in advance, but they hold back a quota of seats for foreign travelers.  You must go to a special counter, show you passport, and pay in a foreign currency.  Without this system I could never gotten a reservation.  The trip has been remarkable. For around $30, I have been treated to a wonderful trip.  It started with a tea service with a sandwich, sweets, and juice.  Later, we had a hot dinner, the porter made my bed and I went to sleep. Mine was the upper of two bunks which, except for having to climb up, was quite comfortable.  My sleep was affected by the train bobbing along the uneven tracks, rattling through the switches, and multiple station stops.  It was like an airplane in light to moderate turbulence all night.  I was prepared with a 180 ml bottle of Old Monk rum and some mango juice which seem to aid me in my sleep.

This morning, I planned the next stage of my adventure.  When I arrive at the Delhi station, I will buy tickets to Jaisalmer and Jodhpur in western Rajasthan.  I’ve discovered that the overnight train trips are a great use of time.  You get the whole day to see things and there is no hotel to deal with in the night. Delhi station is approaching so I’ll write more later.



Machu Picchu Adventure

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It’s after mid-night on Thursday and it has been a long as well as interesting day. We left Cusco for Machu Picchu about 40 hours ago. We got up early Wednesday and drove an hour and half to Ollantytambo to take the train. This where the train from Cusco stops to pick up passengers from the Sacred Valley destined for to Machu Picchu. We had a short delay when my 4×4 ran low on water climbing the steep hills out of Cusco. A lady running a tienda, or small shop, gave us some water and we were back on our way.

When we got to Ollantytambo, we booked rooms for tonight at a small, but comfortable hotel with a nice garden and a safe place to park the 4×4. We dopped off our landrey at a tienda near the main square. and headed for the train. All went exactly to plan and we were on our way to the town down the mountain from Macchu Picchu called Aguasclientes. My first visit here was about 14 years ago. The town is now about four times the size now with suvenier shops, resturants, internet cafes, and hotels everywhere. It is even a lot different since Kristina, Stephen, and I visited 4 years ago. I have always liked to go to the hot bathes that the town is named after, but this time Ron and I found it crouded with drunken South American college kids on their summer break.

This morning we got up at 4:00 AM to catch the first bus up the hill. After a leasurely breakfast, we walked down to the bus stop to find several hundred people waiting in line. But, It was well organized with more than enough buses and we got to the ruins just as the riising sun was peeking through acient Sun Gate. Eventhough this is my fourth visit to Macchu Picchu, I still fined it facinating and wonderful. The integration of design and materials with the physical setting is without equal. The engineering and fine workmanship on these huge pieces of rock is amazing.

Ron decided to climb Huaynaya Picchu which is the mountain behind Macchu Picchu. I fell from the path on my trip with Galen and Linda. I thought I’d climb up the trail until I got tired, but pressed on to the top. It took me 4 hours to go up and down. I was exhausted, but I make it. ron was surprised and none to pleased to see me on the top. His comment was “You stubborn old fool!”. But, the view was magnificent with the green landscape of the rainy season and the bright mid-day sun.

After we got down the mountain, I took a short nap on a grassy area among the ruins while the llmas grazed around me. Durng the day there are usually several thousand of turists that leave Cusco on rhw train early in the morning. They spend 3 hours at Machu Picchu and get back to Cusco in the evening. The guard told me that the farmers were protesting and no trains were operating today. This is a wonderful place, but had a 7:00 PM train with a hotel waiting for us in Ollantytambo. We had no idea what was going to happen.

At the stantion, Perurail advised that they were inspecting the track and repairing the damage caused by the protesters. Their plan was to get every one with a ticket out on a train tonight. The station looked like a refuge camp with hundreds of people sitting, sleeping, or playing cards with backpacks and luggage scattered everywhere. Some of them had been waiting since 5:30 in the morning, Our first choice was to just stay here for the night. But, Perurail advised otherwise since psotest were expecting to cancel all the trains tomorrow, too. We left the station for dinner and returned by 6:30.

At 9:00, they started boarding the train by departure time with the 5:30 AM passengers first. We were the next to the last group to board, but we got seats. The passengers on the last train rode for 2 hours in the dark asile with other passengers climbing over them to get to the toilet.. We decided to would continue tomorrow. on trains whold operated tomorrow as well. the train left at 10:15 and arrived in Ollantanytambo close to mid-night. The place was filled with buses to take the Cusco passengers on the 2 hour ride to Cusco, but not a local taxi in sight.. At least we had a hotel and beds close at hand. A half mile walk ended our 20 hour adventure.


Update from Arequipa

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It is late Saturday and this will be our last night in Arequipa. We arrived late in the evening on Thursday after two days on the highway from Nazca. The highway from Nazca to the coast traversed the most barren desert that I’ve ever seen. For about seventy miles there was no sign of life except for a reed shack every ten of fifteen miles where someone had attempted to made a living selling something. The rest was wind swept sand and rocks with out trees, brush, or even a cactus. When we got to the coast, it was still desert. But, we did see an occasional fishing village along with the beautiful coastal rocks and bright white sandy beaches. As we followed the road south along the coast, the wind was blowing off the ocean and sometimes the sand dunes covered half the highway like snow in a blizzard. There were huge trucks coming towards us and all we could do was wait for them to pass.

Wednesday night when nightfall hit we made are way to one of the few towns with commendations called Atica. This is little more than a wide spot in the road which has a small fishing fleet, feeds the truckers coming through, and supports the mines in the area. These are both formal and the “informal”. The meaning of that struck home when I saw a money exchange sign which also exchanged mercury and gold for cash. The informal mines have no government sanction or control so there is no regard for miners health and safety as well as the environment.

The next morning we pressed on to the thriving agricultural city of Arequipa. With a population of less than a million, it is the second largest city in Peru. The center of the city in alive with people, both locals and tourists, shopping and conducting their business with the many government offices. Esther said it is like was Lima 40 years ago before the decline of its downtown area. Here they preserved many of the colonial homes and buildings together with the churches. The most unique thing is the Santa Catalina Convent which is like a small walled city covering 5 acres with streets, plazas, homes, gardens, churches, and a cemetery just two blocks for the main square. During its history it was the home for up to 500 cloistered from aristocratic families and their servants. While the girls entered the convent at the young age of 12 years and remained there until they died, they did lead a comfortable lives with individual houses and up to three of their servants to attend to their needs. The facility, which is 400 years old, was just opened to the public in 1970 and still is home for 27 nuns in a non-public area.

Arequipa is city rich in history and beauty which we wanted to see, so we took a double decker bus tour on Saturday. While I’m not a great fan of tours, this 4 hour ride covered the whole city and some of the surrounding countryside and was really worth the time and money. The city is completely different from Lima. It’s the central place for a rich farming area in the valley and the mineral rich mountains in the hinterland. I didn’t see any shanty towns or poverty that seems to cast a shadow on Lima.

Esther flew back to Lima tonight since she has to work on Monday. Early tomorrow morning Ron and I will drive over the mountains for 200 miles to get to Puno. After that we head to Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.


Wednesday in Nazca, Peru

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Ron and I arrived in Peru late Friday night after more than 24 hours in transit.  Ron came from Los Angeles and I flew in from Lima.  On Saturday, we finished preparing the 4×4 since it needed some adjustments and the new tires mounted.  We’ve traveled a couple of hundred miles and the thing is running great.  We did manage to have an excellent lunch at my favorite cevichi restaurant called Sonia’s.  It turns out to be one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorites, as well.

Sunday was a day for touring the city center.  Our first stop was the Church and Monastery of San Francisco which still has 35 monks in residence.  It’s around 400 years old and was the home of up to 300 monks in the past.  In addition, there are more than 30,000 people buried in the catacombs beneaththe church.  On the tour we saw rows of graves which are filled with bones and are supposed to be up to 30 feet deep.

While we were wandering around, we found a new museium that houses a collection of mineral samples from mines in Peru.  A mining engineer, ________, collected a fantastic assortment of rocks and someone restored a wonderful old house for the display.  The build was the home for an aristocratic family until they rented it out for the US Embassy in 1924.  The museum also has an outstanding collection of pre-Inca pottery from the coastal plains.

After a quick trip to the current US Embassy to replace my temporary passport, we headed south.  For lunch we stopped at Cerro Azul where Esther and I camped at New Years.  The quiet fishing village has returned to its normal tranquil status after the New Year’s fiesta filled the beach with tents and people celebrating the holiday.

We drove through Pisco on the way and I was shocked at the distruction of the earthquake in 2007.  It looked like most of the city was distoryed.  Worse than the damage was the fack that little has been rebuilt.  There are huge areas of vacent lots with temporary plywood shelters for people, but there was little evidence of reconstruction.  I didn’t get any pictures, but we will return this way and I’ll have pictures for you then.

We stayed the night at______ which is the launch place for boat tours to __________ and the home of the ______ Reserve.  Ron was really sick with turistas so he slept while Esther and I when to the Islas.


In Lima for New Year’s

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1998 Montero - diesel

1996 Montero - diesel

I arrived in Lima on Sunday the 28th to be with Esther for the New Year’s holiday and to prepare the 4×4 for the trip next week with Ron.  The 4×4 was in very good condition went I bought it two weeks ago, but there are always things that need attention.  It got a full tune up including injector cleaning, a new timing belt, front brakes, and two new tires.

On Tuesday, we traveled 140 kilometers south of Lima to a small fishing village called Cerro Azul.  We have been here before and a normally quiet village tranforms into a mini Woodstock on New Year’s

The Sunset

The Sunset

Eve.  The beach fills with people camping and as midnight approaches the latin rock bads start playing.  Party continues on into the weekend as more and more people arrive from Lima. 

New Year’s Eve day we relaxed on the beach and walked to  the village fish market as well as the new municilpal food market.  The old market was damaged beyond repair in the  earthquake two years ago so they built a new one.  You can still see the effects of the earthquake and tidal wave that followed had on the village.  Many of the homes and shops were heavily damaged and some remain unrepaired.

        Esther at "The Beach House"

Esther at "The Beach House"

At midnight the party was rajing around us while an umbrella of fireworks exploded.  The band up the beach was playing  a type of rock with latin overtones.  Our once quiet beach was a sea of people’s tents.  While there were mostly young people, whole families with children, grandparents, and dogs were enjoying the weekend which is the traditional start of the Peruvian summer season.  We went to bed around 2:30 and the band was still playing went we got up at 7:00 the next morning.  Since Ron was flying on a buddy pass, I had to fly back to Houston that night to accompany him to Lima that night.  On our way back to the city, we

By the Campfire

By the Campfire

stopped for a visit and lunch with Esther’s family,uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends, at their beach house.  It was a perfect New Year’s.

Our Neighbors

Our Neighbors

Tonight, I fly to Houston on the red-eye which arrives at 6:00 AM.  Ron and I will return on the 4:00 PM flight toLima.  On Monday morning, we start driving to Pisco.  Check back in a few days for more updates.


Happy Holidays !!!

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Welcome to Vern’s Travels

On Christmas Eve I am wearing Khadi (Indian homespun) amd riding my Bajaj

On Christmas Eve I am wearing Khadi (Indian homespun) amd riding my Bajaj

I have been putting off learning how to build this site for too long.  Last week, I set a goal of getting some words published before the end of 2008.  This is my start.