Saturday, May 26, 2018

Peruvian Adventure Day 18 Home?

Day 18 Returning home

Our last morning in Peru and 18-0 for great weather!  One last beautiful sunrise.

After breakfast, we said our goodbyes to Ricardo and left for the airport.
Before, leaving, though, we had to try out the special chair in the lobby.
It fit Jeri a lot better than me.  I wound up getting gored!

As we passed though Puno, we spotted a puma.  It was actually an enormous Puma statue perched high over the city.  I'm afraid this is as close as we will get to a Puma on this trip.
In order to break up the trip to the airport, we did a side excursion to Sillustani, about a 40-minute drive from Puno. Sillustani is a pre-Incan cemetary set on a hill above Lake Umayo. The "chulpas", huge cylindrical stone towers, were used as graves for Colla (Aymara people later conquered by the Inca) and Inca nobility.

Lake Umayo

Building stones ready for construction

Ramp used to build the tower

Opening into the Chulpa
The openings in the tombs face east, where it was believed that the sun was reborn by "Pachamama," or Mother Earth, each day.  The stone around the opening had 12 angles that mimic the Incan Cross.
Many of the chullpas at Sillustani show pre-Inca characteristics that were later redressed with Inca stone blocks. 
Then we were back in the minibus for the trip to Juliaca Airport.

The trip back to Lima was uneventful.  We had (we thought) about 7 hours to kill before our flight home, so our travel agent, James, had organized a visit to the studio of a famous Peruvian artist, Victor Delfin, before dinner in the   Barranco district of Lima.

Delfin was the sculptor of El Beso ("The Kiss"), the stature we admired the 1st day we were in Lima.
Small version of El Beso
Delfin, 86, is considered Peru’s most accomplished artist. The youngest child in a poor family from a fishing village in northwestern Peru, Delfin graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Lima in 1958. He served briefly as director of the Puno School of Fine Arts and then as an art teacher in Chile. Forty-nine years ago, Delfin established an eclectic art studio in the seaside district of Barranco, and he has been there ever since, producing art that has won many awards and honors.
Though Delfin was not available to meet with us, we did get to meet his "muse", Ana Maria Ortiz, whose face can be found in numerous paintings around his studio and gallery.  S
Ana Maria Ortiz

Ana Maria Ortiz

Ana Maria Ortiz

Self portrait of Victor Delfin

Self Portrait wood cut

After leaving the studio, we fought the evening traffic in Lima to go to Cava, a well known seafood restaurant on the Pacific coast.  While we sat at dinner , enjoying the ambiance, I got a text from American Airlines telling us that our 10 pm flight was now pushed back to 1 am!  Dinner was excellent, but somewhat rushed due to us needing to get to the airport.  Dave and Carole's flight was on time at 10:40.  While we stood on line to check in for the flight, we were informed that it was now delayed until 8 am tomorrow.  Yikes!!!!
Rich and Suzie got onto Carole and Dave's flight on United, and Jeri and I were able to catch a Delta flight through Miami at 1 am.  This gave us a chance to get a bit of sleep on the plane.  Unfortunately, the ordeal was not yet over.  We landed in Boston, on time, and caught a Dartmouth Coach at about 3.  We thought we would sneak out of Boston before rush hour.  The Memorial Day Weekend was apparently starting a day early.  It took 4 hours to get back to New London.
Fantastic journey, but lousy trip home.  Oh well, 1st-world problems.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Peruvian Adventure Day 17

Day 17 Lake Titicaca birding and boating (kayaking)

Dave W. and I went out early this morning with Alberth to do some birdwatching.

We started out on shore spotting waterfowl.

And then walked into the nearby fields to find additional species.

We were very fortunate to find a burrowing owl who was nice enough to pose for us to get some great shots.

We then met the rest of the group for breakfast where we sadly, had to say farewell to Molly and Dave.  They were going to catch an early flight tomorrow back to the States, and were going to spend the night at the airport in Lima.

After our goodbyes, we all went out for another session of birdwatching, this time by boat through the reeds near the hotel.

Titicaca grebe

Titicaca grebe eggs

Titicaca grebe hatching

Titicaca grebe hatchling

Titicaca grebe hatchling


This afternoon, Jeri and I went kayaking, and the Woods joined us in a canoe.  Rich and Suzie (wisely) stayed on terra firms to take photos.  The morning was calm, but by the afternoon, the winds had picked up, and there were whitecaps on the lake.  We were glad that the hotel had dry gear for us.

By the time we got back, we were pretty soaked and cold.

One of the sinful pleasures of Titlaka, was a hot bath with mineral salts and flower petals, which they would draw for you.  It was real nice!

Before dinner, we took advantage of viewing our last Titicaca sunset.  On our way home tomorrow morning.