Monday, November 25, 2013

Joining us tonite......The Parents

I am incredibly fortunate to have very cool parents.

- They are game on for anything
- They like to drink
- They never complain
- They like to drink
- While fast approaching their 80s, they are fit and active
- They like to drink

When they read this, I can hear them mutter, “she is making us sound like alcoholics.”  It’s NOT all they do, but at the right time, they can scrounge for the wine opener like terriers.  I am also incredibly fortunate to have a captain that agrees to a month long trip with my folks.  I LIKE my parents, and after the inevitable rocky patch during my teen years, I believe we have grown to appreciate the strengths and put up with the weaknesses of each other.  My mum is a gamer, and my dad has become quite funny in his later years….who knew?!  I have NEVER been embarrassed by my parents, and as such they have been given invitations to visit me in all the places I’ve lived over the last 30+ years, meet all of my friends, and yes, drink through all the good (and a few bad) times.  They have struggled through epic snowstorms, brain numbing cold, seemingly endless construction projects and long distances.  They have slept in attics and in dreary and dodgy hotels, and we all have been rewarded with memories to last us all for our remaining days.  For all you parents out there reading this, if you wonder why your offspring don’t invite you to hang, consider if you left your “cool” behind when you became a parent, and remember that no one likes a complainer or whiner. 

 Last year, along with my sister, we all rendezvoused in Guatemala (captain included), burning through a few Central American countries, driving in road rally conditions (we would have placed in the Guatamala – Dakar race), survived robberies and sea assaults on neighboring borders.  2013 gave us another opportunity to cross off a bucket list item, Machu Picchu, Peru.  

As anyone knows, a country always has more to offer than just one destination, and if we were going to “do” Peru, we were going to “do it to death.”   I had a spent a few months fine tuning an itinerary which would have us never needing to head back to Peru again, as we would have been able to say that we’d done it all there. 

Day 1 - Lima Presidential Palace and Marching Band
I reckoned that if I was going to keep everyone happy (and that included the captain) I needed to satisfy everyone’s tourism desires.  Ron was keen on anything morbid, so we spent most of our first day looking at bones and torture chambers in downtown Lima.

Bones and More Bones
This is a crap photo but we actually weren’t supposed to take any – oooohh, contraband pictures!  And yes, all those slightly blurry things are bones, and this was only one chamber unearthed under the church.  One room just had skulls; one room femurs.  There were some 70,000 fortunate souls who got to be buried here, but the indigenous need not apply.  
Torture Techniques of the Inquisition
This is what happens when the captain disregards the Admiral’s requests.  
Translations depend on who you are.  The guidebooks say that the meaning of Paracas is raining sand.  The locals will tell you that it really means raining shit.  They ARE referring to the sand, but the fact that it gets everywhere due to the wind, makes for the true intent of the word.  Paracas is south of Lima along the coast, and the home of “the poor man’s Galapagos”, the Ballestas Islands.  

Being on the water is ALWAYS fun
Off to see the Penguins!
Sand Candelabra is 150 years old, despite the wind and weather
Reminiscent of Cabo
First Penguins!
Pretty Birds
Sea Lions in Peru are just like the ones in Mexico and Oregon
I have a love affair with jellies.  I'm not too keen on swimming in the same cove with them, but when we all respect boundaries, I'm ALL about them.  The shoreline and water in Paracas was teeming with them, in all shapes and sizes (mostly jumbo), and I was enchanted.  

 If you are interested in staying in Paracas, the newly opened Zarcillo Paradise is a great place.

It’s located just steps away from where you jump off the bus, and a short 10 minute walk to the newly renovated waterfront, but the real reason to stay there is a guy named Alex, who when he saw our feeble attempts to make a Pisco Sour, stepped up and showed us how to do it the Peruvian way. 

Peru, home of the Pisco Sour
Key Ingredients
Making Simple Syrup
Alex, our new best friend with the final product
The first of many Pisco Sours, but one of the best
And so…..the drinking begins. 

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