Sunday, August 10, 2008

Chincha to Lima to Home

We left our hotel in Chincha early on Saturday morning, and started making our way toward Lima. We made a couple of stops along the way. The first was an interesting experience. Jose Hipolito Unanue was a Peruvian of some prominence that built a huge mansion, pretty much a castle, that is somewhat of a tourist spot now. It turns out he built his wealth by illegally trading African slaves. Parts of the castle that are open include tunnels to the dungeon that held slaves, the auctioning block and paddocks. While the property must have been spectacular to see when it was in pristine condition, it has not been maintained for many years. It is in a pretty terrible state and will continue to crumble away. Honestly, to me it felt a fitting end for that type of place.  Our second stop was at the coast for a lunch near the beach. We walked along the beach, some of the crazier guys went for a (very cold) swim, we walked down the long dock, and shopped a bit at the tables some locals had set up with trinkets. Since it is winter in Peru there were very few others out, but it was still a pretty place. We even saw some dolphins and a sea otter frolicking in the water (what else do dolphins do but Frolic?!).Then we headed into Lima for an afternoon shopping at the artisan markets, finding alpaca sweaters, blankets, t-shirts, purses, and fun other items to take home for gifts or souvenirs. Lima is a busy city that I would have enjoyed seeing more of. I appreciated the chance to see even a bit of it. After dinner we headed to the airport, where we had to part ways with a vital part of our team for the last 10 days - our translators. Pauola, Dave, Claudia, Aldo, Gabriel, Christian, Emily, Raquel, and Gordy truly became like family to us as we relied very heavily on their assistance with the language. Then, after two long flights and a bus ride, we are back safe and sound, with many memories and stories. Thank you to everyone for your prayers! I'll still have one more Peru-orientated post tomorrow with pictures of some of the food we got to try.

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