Temple in center of Miraflores, LIMA - constructed 1,000 years before the Incas.
The End…The Beginning…Birthday Greetings
I am starting this ending blog while we are in the Lima International Airport. We had a very good last day in Lima…in Peru…in South America. After our traditional instant coffee, hard bread, margarine, mystery marmalade and fruit (the blender broke, so no juice), we headed off for Huaca (temple) Pucllana, which is this adobe structure/temple situated in the center of Miraflores. It was constructed 1,000 years before the Incan Empire. It was ‘discovered’ in 1983 and bit by bit by bit, is being reconstructed. The juxtaposition of this ancient monument with the city skyline of Lima tells volumes of the civilizations in Peru.
From there, we took a taxi to a dodgy part of Lima so Ansley could buy some contemporary Latin musica…and of course another copied DVD for S/.3 (about 1 dollar). Then, back to the center of Miraflores and a walk to the touristy Larcomar (by the coast).
Along the way, we walked through ‘Kennedy Park’ and noticed a lot of very friendly cats in the park. We asked one of the workers and she told us that over 100 cats lived in the park. She said that
Andy, Shari and Ansley at Huaca Pucllana
Photo taken courtsey of Marleigh McBratney Dunning
many were abandoned and lived there; and a variety of volunteers brought food in for them. The cats have this little haven in the middle of the city; what fun for us and for the girls to look for cats in bushes, behind monuments, in trees and everywhere else. It made us think of our wonderful seven cats...
Lunch at Pizza Hut…and then we visited the artesan markets on Calle Petit Thouras for the last time. Later in the day we went back to Kennedy Park. Around 5:30 pm, there was a small artesan market and we made some final purchases, trying to spend down the remaining Nuevo soles we had left. Back to the hostel (Hostel Rodas I) to repack a bit….lugged all of our gear down the stairs and waited and waited and waited and waited for a taxi….finally one stopped by and in went all of our gear…about 45-minutes later we arrived at the airport….adios a Lima.
The check-in went smoothly, but from there we had to pay the impuesto (tax) to use the airport…$31 USD per person!!!! OMGranadilla!!! WTFrutas??? Where does that money go? Beware all you folks who plan to leave
Huaca Pucllana and city skyline
Ancient temple in foreground and modern Miraflores in background
the country out of Lima….
We boarded the plane at about 11:15 pm and tried to get some sleep…fat chance on that! Fortunately the plane had TV screens behind each seat and we could eat either listen to music or watch a movie. We touched down at the GW Bush Houston International airport and spent the next hour going through customs, picking up luggage, getting luggage x-rayed, taking luggage to another location and last but not least, finding a birthday brownie for Ms Marls!
At around 8:50 am, we boarded the plane for Portland and touched down around 11:15 PST. Picked up a rental car and settled into our hotel (Hotel Modera). From there, we wandered down to Pioneer Square for lunch, then over to our favorite bookstore, Powells. We had ordered some books, while we were in Cuzco…chapter books for Marleigh, a book for Ansley, and a book for me. So, we spent quite a bit of time at Powells, looking for other books of interest. By then…even though it was only 4:00 pm PST, the lack of sleep and all day’s events in Lima caught up…so we came back to the hotel to rest.
Cat Park in Miraflores
wonderful sign in cat park (Kennedy Park), Miraflores, LIMA
The next day, after nearly 12-hours of sleep (and still tired), we had breakfast at our favorite cafe in Portland (Little River Cafe), packed up our belongings, loaded the rental car and walked up to Pioneer Square. Ansley outgrew the majority of her clothing during the four-month trip and we were in luck as Forever 21 (or XXI) had some fabulous sales. From there, back to Powell's book store where we met up with Nancy and Justin who were in from the east coast for the week. How great to see family!!!
And so…here we are…at the end of our nearly 4-month trip. First off, thanks to all of you who have been following us. Next, thanks to all of you who helped make this happen for us. Cascades Academy of Central Oregon (CACO) for allowing us to have the spring yard sale and too all of you who donated your belongs to our cause; to CACO staff for allowing us to pull our girls out of school for nearly 4-months; to Robyn Freatman and band members for hosting a house concert, to folks who came to our summer camp; to Kinley and Juri for having some
art and cooking camps on our property, to Brian and Amanda for looking after the property, to Tammy and Todd for keeping the farm running and to Annie for being a surrogate parent to our pet family....Percy is already pining for you and the cats wonder when you are coming back... and to family and friends for supporting us…it just wouldn’t have happened without all our help - THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU…
And what an experience we have had…from our language classes and a homestay in Quito (thank you Marianna Gonzales and familia for the wonderful homestay and language classes, …to the misfortunate theft of Andy’s wonderful camera, to our absolutely wonderful time in Banos de Agua Santos (thank you Jody and Boby and Yesi and everyone else who made that experience so memorable that we WANT TO COME BACK), to our exploration of Cuenca and Vilcabamba, Ecuador, to our amazing history lessons in Chiclayo and Trujillo, Peru…to our amazing teaching experience in Arequipa (thank you Carmen and to all of you at Traveller Not Tourist), to the chance (perhaps not) meeting of Yovanna, Oscar, Fabiola and family...we sure hope to see you again sometime (and Marleigh says
Happy Birthday Marleigh
Marleigh and Hedwig at the GW Bush airport in Houston, TX. Notice that Hedwig has a chullo (peruvian hat) and chompa (peruvian sweater)
"HOLA" a Fabiola) - to the wonderous time we had in Cuzco and the amazing trip to Machupicchu….
And to all of the people we have met along the way, people we have stayed with, children we have taught, families we have met; oh the personal connections run so deep…of course none of us want it to end. Special thanks and fondness to all of the families we have met on our travels - Stephanie, Ariel and Jordan; Nancy, Steve, Shae, Tully, Marianne, Todd, Peg, Nico -- and to our new Portland friends Rhonda and Robert (we would love to take you up on your offer to come and visit). You are all welcome to come to Bend and stay with us anytime you would like...
We hope that this is not the end, but the beginning of something new. Exactly what that is, we are not sure. We will settle back into our lovely lives in Bend, Oregon, our very comfortable home and lives, get back to work and to school - but there will be more; perhaps Spanish lessons, intercambios, volunteering in the community and sharing what we have learned with others. And we hope that some day, some time, there will be another journey in our future. Our lives have been indelibly touched by this amazing experience and by what we have seen and done.
And what a way to end…on Marleigh’s 9th birthday. A cozy night in Portland, a trip to Powell’s bookstore and a reminder of why we live in such a beautiful place. The travel blog stops here, but not our journeys. Con amor, con besos y abrazos a todos. Muchas gracias a todos y esperamos que revolvamos otra vez a Ecuador (a Quito, Banos, Cuenca y Vilcabamba) y Peru (a Arequipa, y Cuzco, y la valle sagrado y Machupicchu) y que tambiem esperamos que pudamos visitar otras lugares tambien…Nazca lines, Puno, Lake Titicaca…y mas.
Shari, Andy, Ansley and Marleigh
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