Semana Santa

I can’t believe that I am so terrible at posting! This is the last time you’ll hear that from me, because I promise to post at LEAST 2-4 times a month from now on. We had a rough patch there, and not much going on in our lives, so it was harder to come up with things to post!

Peru is a very interesting country, and I’ve decided that Lima does not showcase much of what this South American country has to offer. There are a lot of horns and angry people. There are homeless men fighting on the street. There are plenty of people trying to take advantage of tourists, and there are lots of hiked-up prices. The infrastructure isn’t that great, and the management in our apartment is really bad. These things combined to make Zac & I second-guess our choice. We’ve decided to stick it out for the full year anyway, but we’re surely going to be spending more and more time out of the city, despite having Saturday classes.

As you all know, yesterday was Easter. Here in Peru, the dates and celebrations are a little different. They don’t do much of anything for Easter on Sunday, but they have a 4-day weekend, and consider Friday the biggest day in the holiday. In fact, most Peruvians refer to Friday as “Easter.” On that day, most shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs are closed, and Thursday and Friday are national holidays. It was great to have a 4-day weekend, so we decided to get the heck out of the noisy city for a quiet vacation only 30 minutes away in Punta Hermosa.

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Tiny beach with a lot of umbrellas.

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Punta Hermosa is improving.

We headed down with a group of 5-8 people, depending on the day. It was really nice down there, and revived all of our feelings about the country, inspiring us to plan more and more trips like this!

This quiet little beach town was definitely geared towards Peruvian tourists, but most of the prices were actually lower than those in our district of Miraflores. That was surprising, despite a very overpriced guest house. It’s okay, it was nice to just leave the horns and whistles and car alarms behind (mostly).

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Zac!

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So great!!

The guys all did a lot of surfing, and I even joined them out there one day. I basically sat on my gigantic longboard for 45 minutes praying that no waves came my way. And lucky for me, they didn’t! I’m kind of scared of the ocean anyway, but with a 8-foot board under me, I was pretty terrified that we would both get totally smashed up. The waves were small or nonexistent, so everyone else was kind of bummed, but I felt like I was on a huge raft out in the middle of the ocean, which is great!

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Sunset

We got to see the sunset a lot, we barbecued on the terrace, and we had a lot of laughs.

Sunset with La Ballena rock formation in the background. (The Whale)

Sunset with La Ballena rock formation in the background. (The Whale)

Shopping for the BBQ at the Market

Shopping for the BBQ at the Market

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We even drank beer on the street! We walked past a bunch of cops in front of a church on our way to watch the sunset, beer in hand, and they didn’t say a word to us. We’d seen so many people do it that we figured it was allowed. They even sell beer cans on the beach for 5 soles ($2.50).

Oops!

Oops!

 

Well, on our way back from the coast, we saw this sign, and realized that they just weren’t enforcing the rules for some reason. Our Peruvian friend Maria says it’s because we’re white. We pass through a gate to get to the beach, and we were never stopped or searched, no matter what bags we were carrying, but we saw plenty of Peruvians getting their bags searched intensely.

On Saturday, we headed over to Zac’s student’s beach house about 10 minutes down the road for lunch. Well, a quick lunch at 12:00 turned into an all-day affair. We were there for almost 6 hours! It was a little strange, but man, the hospitality was great!Here in Peru they have this grilling box called a Caja China, which is actually pretty similar to an oven. It’s a wooden box, lined with metal on the inside. You put the meat inside, then cover it with a metal lid filled with burning charcoal. It was delicious, despite getting sucked into a 6-hour “lunch” with a client while our friends enjoyed the beach!

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The Caja China

Punta Hermosa has a little island that shoots out into the sea, and is basically covered in mussels and bird poop. We did some climbing out there in the poop-free areas, and it was interesting to get a view of the “city” from the ocean. We were also able to watch the surfers and the sets rolling in on 4 different beach breaks.

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Punta Hermosa Isla

Birds responsible for the kaka.

Birds responsible for the kaka.

That’s about it! We didn’t do anything too crazy, but we were able to relax and not use a computer for 4 days! The group below is the original crew that arrived together Thursday and stayed until Sunday. Trevor (Boston), Zac, Caitlin, Emilio (England), and Eric (Germany).

Our last sunset

Our last family sunset.

Additionally, here are a few posts that Zac & I submitted to the TEFL Alumni blog for a little extra money. This is another reason why I haven’t been posting here – too much time writing for money! Thanks for following and you’ll hear from me again soon. Happy April Fool’s!

A Varied Palette in Peru (Caitlin)

Jumping Off the Edge of the Earth (Zac)

First World Problems (Caitlin)

Preparing for the Worst (Zac)

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Categories: Peru, Teaching English, Travel | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Semana Santa

  1. Caitlin,
    Much enjoyed scanning over some of your posts about you and your “novio’s” settling in adventures in Lima, and specifically Miraflores. You write well – and very honestly as well. Makes me a bit – well, not homesick – but missing the environs of Peru. I was there for four months in 2011 (a sort of church mission out in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho teaching English – sort of – to kids at a school of the Anglican Church) but staying in Mira Flores on weekends.
    If you should care to see care to meet up with a different set of English speakers in Lima at some point ( I realize you and your boyfriend may not be church goers) there is something of a “Brit” community of good people at the Cathedral of The Good Shepherd (Catedral Del Buen Pastor) near Ovalo Gutierrez – on Santa Maria and Av La Cruz?, and they have a couple of good church bazaars every year with food and different booths as well (including a lot of used books in English). There is also a fairly talented group of amateur thespians (English speaking peruanos and Brits) who put on two productions a year there. Mostly comedic stuff as I recall. The are called “The Good Companions.”
    Should you want to see the very large but poorer district of San Juan de Lurigancho, the blue micro (mid-sized, not the little sized) bus. SM-24 will get you out there safely the full distance and back in the daytimes (not running at night) for one and a half or two soles. Trip takes thirty minutes or 45 if it is rush hour. Leaves along Ovalo Gutierrez.
    Well, keep posting. I enjoy reading them.
    Robert in New Mexico

  2. Pingback: Stopover in Lima + Things to Do | Running The World Travel

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