wordsmakesentences

Peruvian police and a Puno parade

I´ve made my way from Arequipa to Puno.   I made a few friends the last day that I was in Arequipa, one of which was a police officer who gave me a good understanding of the Peruvian police force.  Initially, all seemed normal, as the policeman kicked a guy out of the bar for singing too loud, and then made another leave because he was smoking too close to a woman.  At that point, he may have tired of his duties, as he became interested in posing for pictures…

Peruvian police get-up

Peruvian police get-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then allowing random foreigners to pose for pictures in part of his uniform…

Do you like my hat?

Do you like my hat?

And next became very tired and decided to catch a few zzzz´s on the barstool…

Peruvian police rest-up

Peruvian police rest-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess the good part is that there wasn´t any violent crime occurring so that he would need to be awake??

My bus ride to Puno had less picturesque scenes than the one to Arequipa, but did have a few pretty moments, just the same.  To whit:

House on the side of the road

House on the side of the road

Today I got to see a parade that included a marching band and school children in the main square here in Puno. 

Babies marching

Babies marching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty babies

Pretty babies

Babies with balloons

Babies with balloons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bought a decent hand mirror from a woman on the street today, and it was marked for 1 sol, which is equal to about 33 cents.  I gave her 5 soles, and when she went to give me change, I told her not to worry about it.  She looked so amazingly happy.  Many people here are so poor and have so little.  It´s unbelievable the small amount of money that they are able live off of.  But, many seem so happy, at the same time. 

I like Peru, and I´m already getting sad about having to leave.  Tomorrow, I´m taking a boat out to the Uros and Taquile Islands on Lake Titicaca.  I´m looking forward to it, and also preparing myself to be out of breath whilst walking up the steps on Taquile… I have a serious case of altitude sickness at this 12,000+ feet.  The good thing is that Cusco is a little lower elevation, so I´ll be acclimatized and ready for my Machu Picchu trek by the time I leave Puno.

Happy trails.

One part party, one part the essence of Route 1, two parts amazing, with a dash of scary

So far so good for this white girl in Peru.  I had a bit of good luck to start my trip.  I sat next to a great Peruvian woman from San Antonio, Sabrina, and her son on the plane ride into Lima.  After our flight landed at 10:30pm, I ended up going with Sabrina and Jason and their cousins to another one of Sabrina´s cousins´60th birthday party.  It was awesome.  They sang, they danced, they sat around in a circle and told jokes, and they served awesome food.  It was a good thing to see the Peruvian culture first-hand from the get-go. Very nice people; it was refreshing to see such a large group of family members gathered together, having fun, being close.  I was super tired when I finally got to my hostel after 3am. 

Manuel´s bday - Lima

Manuel´s bday - Lima

Thanks to my new friend Nadia who took pictures

 

 

 

 

Bday party

Bday party

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I spent Saturday exploring Lima and preparing for my 16 hour bus ride.  Lima is okay, not the place I was looking forward to seeing most, and so I´m not bummed that I didn´t adore it.  It´s a whole lotta city and not a whole lotta charm.  Good and cheap food, though! 
 
I checked out of my room in enough time to take a cab to the bus station to get my bus. I fell asleep as soon as I could in my seat, and when I woke up at 6am on Sunday morning, I looked out my window, and about two hundred feet away from me I saw huge waves breaking and folding up onto the beach.  What a great surprise to wake up to!  I spent the next three hours looking at the window at the water, on a road that quickly reminded me of Route 1 near Carmel, but with higher cliffs, closer drop-offs, worse drivers, and some breathtaking valleys.  Those three hours of viewing that alone were worth the bus ticket.  By the time I arrived Arequipa, mid-day Sunday, I was glad that I made it alive and glad that I got to see that part of Peru that I wouldn´t have if I hadn´t taken a bus.
cliffs o´death

cliffs o´death

Yes, this was taken from my bus window.

spraying his crops

spraying his crops

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arequipa is exactly what I envisioned a beautiful, tranquil, old town in South America to be.  Most of the buildings are spanish colonial, and the monastery I toured yesterday was built in the 1500´s.  On top of that, in Arequipa´s backdrop stands three volcanoes, all of which are over 20,000 feet.  It´s Peru´s second largest city, so there are a lot of restaurants, people, and nightlife.  Some of which caters to tourists, although there aren´t that many tourists here now, but not enough where it doesn´t keep it´s natural feel.  This is a place I would live, and I want to stay longer!  My hotel is the former home of an archbishop, and it´s lovely. 
Arequipa hotel entrance

Arequipa hotel entrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from center of town

View from center of town

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