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.