Friday, September 17, 2010

Peru to LA

Our trip to Peru came to an abrupt end. Steve became ill and we had to make a hasty retreat to the USA. Here is the scoop.

Our first few days in Lima were fun. Steve was tired and dragging a bit. I thought it was because I was making him go to museums. Lima has some great displays of artifacts from Indian cultures including the Incas. One of the museums we visit had amazing pottery, gold, textiles AND some very erotic pottery. Yes we do have photos but Google would probably censor them....OK, I will show you one

Should you ever visit Peru, be sure to visit the Museo Larco.

Later that same day we visit the San Francisco Church and Monastery. Built in 1546, it is one of the oldest churches in Latin America. And it has catacombs. Seems it was an old Roman tradition to be buried under your favorite church. Hundreds of century old bones have been exhumed. What do you do with all those bones? Show them to the tourists!

Steve is hanging in there and going along with the tour guide's plans. He is tired and a bit clumsy. Anne is clumsy, Steve is not. The next day during a visit to Starbucks Peru, he drops his cup of coffee all over himself.....Captain Clean does not do things like that. HMMM??

We rest up a bit at our hotel
We discuss the situation. Should we return to the USA? Steve wants to stay. He needs a rest, that is all. So we leave Lima and head for ICA, about 5 hours south via bus. Once we reach ICA we jump in a taxi and head to Huarachina.

Huarachina is an oasis nestled among enormous sand dunes. Dune buggy rides and sandboarding bring hordes of tourists to this small town. Climbing the dunes makes your thighs burn and your calves scream. We make it part way up one dune and then we are "toast". Back down at our hotel we enjoy a late lunch with a friend.

He is very bold as he steals french fries off Steve's plate.

The next day we catch an early bus for a two hour ride to the town of Nazca. Nazca is famous for large ancient drawings in the desert known as geoglyphs. The drawings are actually made by removing the top red dirt and exposing the whiter ground underneath. You can only see the drawings from a plane..... a small plane, a very small bumpy plane.

Up we go. Steve takes pictures. Here is the famous "spider" drawing. Amazing.

How is Steve feeling now? Pretty good. How is Anne feeling? Not so good!!! Those white bags do come in handy.

Anne cheers right up after some lunch but Steve is feeling weaker. He is especially feeling weak in his left arm. He has a bulging disc in his neck and his left arm sometimes bothers him. Carrying a backpack and sleeping in not-so-comfortable beds is surely bothering him. Maybe? We discuss going home again but Steve thinks we should wait another day. So we leave Nazca for Arequipa.

Arequipa is an 8 hour bus ride from Nazca. We climb 7,800 feet into the Andes mountains where this beautiful town lies beneath the snowy peaks of El Misti. It is cold and we are tired. We find a taxi to our hotel room and get tucked beneath the warm wool blankets.

The next day Steve feels terrible. His left side is weak and he needs help getting dressed. His fine motor skills in his left hand are gone. We have a problem. Fortunately there is an airport in town. We decide to get back to Lima ASAP, re-evaluate our situation and if possible head to the USA.

We arrive in LA 40 hours later. It is 1 am. Our daughter meets us and we head to San Diego. At 3am we walk into Scripps Encinitas Emergency Room. At 4:30am Steve has a CAT scan. The reason for his problems is now obvious. He has a large subdural hematoma on the right side causing left sided symptoms. From Scripps Encinitas he heads to the trauma unit at Scripps La Jolla. It is now 6:30 am. By 8:30 am he is in surgery.

A week later he is home. He has recovered all his motor skills. He will recover completely.

We now look back to June. The fall he took while cleaning the boat has caught up with him. At the time we were concerned but having no signs or symptoms of a concussion we thought he would be fine. We now know a chronic subdural hematoma can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

At home, showing off his battle scar.
What a difference a haircut makes
We will be in San Diego for awhile. Not sure how long. Steve is already itching to get back and do some cleaning on the boat. Gotta get right back up on that horse.....I mean boat.

Anne and Steve

Carlsbad, CA

Friday, September 03, 2010

Lima Peru

We have jumped ship temporarily. A trip to Peru has been on our agenda for at least a year and why not go now? Lima is on the southern side of the equator, 12 degrees south, 77 degrees west. Our boat is in Curacao at 12 degrees north and 68 degrees west. A short 4 hours and 30 minute plane ride via Bogota will give us a break from the relentless heat and 30 days of mystic adventure in the land of the Incas. From 32 degrees Celsius (90 F) in Curacao to 14 degrees Celsius (57 F) in Lima. Break out the fleece.

We tie up Fine Line nice and snug. Takes some time to get her ready. Hurricanes usually do not come as far south and west as Curacao but just in case....

5 pm at the airport we have a farewell drink and rest up for our journey.

Avianca airlines to Lima via Bogota Columbia. A nice ride

We arrived in Lima at 0130. Our driver is waiting for us and soon we are tucked away in our nice cozy guest house. The next day it is time for some exploring. Hiking shoes out and ready to go. Ooops, looks like Anne's 20 year old hiking shoes are not going to make it. They just don't make things like they used to. Guess we are going shoe shopping.

Our first stop, MiraFlores. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, MiraFlores is a hopping cosmopolitan suburb of Lima. Parque del Amor lies along the Malecon. Great walking and sightseeing. It is spring time here so lots of lovers are out and about.

The city of Lima is steeped in fog called garua. From April to October the sky is gray and overcast. It is just like being in Southern California during June Gloom when mist from the cold Pacific Ocean drapes the coast line. Around 1 pm the sun peeks out and makes everything come alive. It is short lived, however, by 4pm the gurua is back.

Lima is known for it's cuisine. The selection of fresh fruits and vegetables rival any California market.

Lunch at Mangos. On a terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our view includes not only the obvious ocean but flying by our window at regular intervals are humans strapped to parachutes....crazy fools. Out to sea we spot three whales swimming south.
Lunch is amazing: cerviche, canchita, maize and sparkling lemonade.

Steve tries out a fried pork sandwich (got the statin drugs with us). A bit dry with all the bread but the meat is tasty on its own.

This city reminds of Manhattan. Bustling, lively, outdoor cafes, taxis....a bit noisy. A place that will awaken your senses.
Next we will visit the colonial heart of Lima, the Plaza de Armas. Museums, churches, stately mansions, more food.....AHHHHHH!
See you soon,
Anne and Steve
Lima Peru