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Tomorrow morning, very early, we head to where we are probably out of any communications loop for a week. So we thought we’d take a stab at a brief blog about the trip so far.

Ben drove us to the Detroit airport, along a very slippery I-94, with cars off the road all around us, where we got through security and on board perfectly. Our airplane then moved away from the runway and sat for more than two hours. Atlanta, the location of our transfer, had been closed and all flights into it were stopped.

The 3 ½ hour transfer time we had in Atlanta evaporated, by the time we finally landed, to only 45 minutes. So we had to rush to get on that plane, but barely made it. It was a behemoth, but we had planned carefully and had seats next to each other but no one else. Let’s just say it was an uneventful flight. Good in my case for two novels and some fitful napping. (And enough food so that I didn't have to eat the PBJ I brought with me, although as we sat on the runway I was glad to have it in my pocket!

In Lima we cleared immigration and customs without any hassle, except for waiting in line. Then we located our OAT travel contact by his yellow OAT sign (see pic, above). Not too busy in the Lima airport at 1 am.

We then sat in a small restaurant area and waited while he scooped up our other two fellow travelers arriving about the same time. Except that one of them never showed and the other, Larry from North Carolina, was minus his luggage. (As we write this, he still is!)

Pic above – Sheila on the street of our hotel. Our hotel, El Condador, is two hotels, about a half a block apart, so we’ve been constantly walking between them as some of our group of 21 is on one, and some in the other. Pic below – Lima, out our bathroom window. We are in the Miraflores district, considered probably the wealthiest and safest. Getting here from the airport took us through the red light district with small children juggling for tips in traffic and children not much larger engaging in prostitution.

Since we got to our hotel at 2:30 am, we slept in until 11, and met with our group to have dinner at an indoor-outdoor restaurant/café a couple of blocks away. Good food, colorful place.

Then we rode a private bus to the national museum of archeology, a beautiful but old and in need of maintenance facility with some grassy courtyards. It was bring prepared for an evening wedding while we were there. We got refreshed on some Peruvian history and prehistory. The most interesting pottery we saw can’t be shared on this blog as it is not family friendly. Or, rather, probably leads to families, or at least conception. Certainly there is a twinkle in someone's eye.

On Saturday night we rode to a neat place that is cut away into the concave side of the broad cove/cliff face that Lima is on top of, downtown at least. It looks like nothing walking up to it, but then you come to the lip and there are shops and restaurants and lots of lights and people down below, inset into the cliff.

We had a “traditional” Peruvian buffet and watched a good show by a troupe of about 20 dancers, who did everything from tango to cowboy dances, and some African stuff. At one point, which is where the audience most got into it, they did a dance that involved the men and women dancers using candles to light fires in their crotches or their butts, and then kind of “bump” them out.

This morning, Sunday, we took another bus ride and visited several very interesting places. There were no other tourists in these places

One was a fish market on the beach, which was just setting up for the day and we could see families gutting and cleaning fish and putting them out on display. Terry had never before had the chance to get close to pelicans. (See above and below.) He was surprised at how large they are. Those bills could take your ear off without them leaving the ground!

A short ride down the beach, we stopped at a cliff called The Monk's Leap, which gets its name from a story about a monk and a beautiful aristocratic lady being sent away by ship. He leaped, but didn't survive. Sheila didn't leap, she did survive.

Then we stopped at a small food market and bought some food gifts for our last stop of the day – at what they call the Shantytown. These kids' mom was right around the corner selling small things from her shop.

Shantytown is a place in the sand dunes where half a million people are squatters and live mostly in shacks they have built, in the place we visited, without water or electricity. We stopped at a women’s meal coop, basically, and made some food donations to the women who run it. They feed about 100 people a day for about 60 cents each.

The above photo is Sheila with two of the women; the one below is 180 degrees in the other direction. Not an aesthetically beautiful place, but it has beautiful people in it.

Then we returned to Lima, where Sheila and I took a long walk followed by a nice meal in an outdoor restaurant, and where we are now about to take siesta before a night on the town sampling pisco sours, followed by getting up Monday at 4 am for the domestic flight to Iquitos and the Amazon. Hasta luego!

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Comment by skinner on January 21, 2009 at 6:01pm
Terry, are you going to update your Peru trip blog? I would like to see more...'specially some disc throwing pics along the Amazon!
Comment by Ben Calhoun on December 29, 2008 at 8:45am
Be glad you're not home! The power has been out for 29+ hours and I'm using up my old laptop's battery now. The basement is flooding- not quite sure what to do about that but a Roto Rooter guy is coming at 9:00.
I spent 6 hours at work in the cold dark waiting to open the store but the power never came on there, either, so all that food will have to be thrown out. I work at 10 today, but who knows if the power is on downtown. DTE won't even let you call and speak to a human being- recorded message says they can't even give out an estimate, so it's going to be DAYS.
I haven't showered in 2 days, no running water, it's 44 degrees in the house, the fridge food has spoiled due to yesterday's record high, and the dogs are shivering.
YAY Michigan.
How much should we pay to get the basement drained? It was 5" deep yesterday and will freeze over tonight.
Comment by Donnie Brooks, Mini Disc Golf Federation on December 28, 2008 at 5:23pm
Terry and Sheila, Thank you for your humanitarian efforts and sharing with all of us your unique adventure. I for one admire people who get the world picture and you are in that catagory. Peace and goodwill to both of your during your trip.

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