We arrived in Lima Thursday 20-July-2006 in the evening and spent Friday there as well before heading off to Ica Saturday morning.

Ica is about 270Km (160 miles) south of Lima. We took a bus that takes about 4 hours. We had some concerns about how the kids would manage, but they did fine. The trip cost 50 Nuevo Soles per person (about US$16) - which was double the weekday rate.

Our niece was celebrating her 15th birthday, which in Peru is a big deal. An age when she progresses from being a girl to a woman. The party was in a hotel with lots of guests.

In South America, parties start late. The invitation was for 22:00, but Gabriela did not come down the staircase until midnight.

Then there were some speeches and dancing. As one of the uncles, I got one of the first dances with her.

Then there are cocktails and some finger food, along with music and dancing. A dinner was served around 02:00 and the party progressed until the wee hours of the morning (05:30 – 06:00).

Ica is a very lovely place. It is clean and sunny. My brother says it is sunny 365 days of the year. In the winter, as it was now, the sky becomes overcast in the evening, but the next morning, sometime between 10:00 and 11:00, the sun burns off the cloud layer and the day is nice and bright and warm.

While in Ica, we went to see the Huacachina Lagoon and the desert in Paracas. Ok, ok, the whole area is a desert, but the coastal area around Paracas is very beautiful – you can even take a boat trip out to see porpoises, sea lions and penguins. I was surprised to know that there were penguins in the area - they are a specific species called Humbolt Penguins - since I expected them to be found much further south on the South American coast.

View out of our hotel window
View from the back of the hotel
Parade of horsemen
Brother's home
Park in front of his home

All images are copyright of me.


freckled-one said…
Ica looks like a lovely city. Did you get a chance to walk through the church? It's a beautiful building. Your brother's house is so modern, are the other homes in the neighborhood the same?
It's so beautiful... Sometimes I just wish I have all the money in the world to fulfil my dream of travelling around the globe. Photos of other countries, cities, and exotic places never fail to thrill me....

thanks for the pics! they brightened up my morning in HK! :P
What a nice story and lovely photos - sounds like you had a great time!
Interesting that the big deal age is 15 and not the 16 it probably would be here. (although mine wasn't) Very different house of your brother's...neat design.
Beauty sunset pic! I would have thought it wasn't down south enough to have pengins either.
Glad your kids were fine...kids are fairly adaptable usually!
Richard said…
freckled-one: there was a mass going on at the time. I wanted to stay, but Sofia didn't. I did take a few shots of the inside. It was a nice bright church - unlike many of the older churches in Peru which are very dark inside. The older churches also have rather macabre statues of saints: they all look like the are suffering (not a happy face among them), this is not helped by the rays which emanate from their heads (look more like golden daggers).

elvina: Feeling better, I guess. Remember not to overdo it in HK. Travelling is nice. I have never had much of a bug for it, so I have never traveled much, but the places I have gone are special to me. Lots more pictures coming. Don't forget to post some pics from HK.

run around paris: Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! Yes, I did have a good time, how can one not have a good time when one is with family?

MOI: In Peru, homes are almost always made of cement. Home design is interesting. The general layout is to build a wall around the entire property and then build your home inside. There is little distinction between inside and outside (because it hardly ever rains) – generally inside is where you have a roof or ceiling and outiside is where you do not. Usually, they will start by building one level. Then, as the family grows, they will add other levels on top. Or the children may buy a floor and build their own home atop their parents after they get married. If you look carefully at the first two photos I published on Monday, you will notice that steel construction rods stick out from the top of the homes. This is not because they are lazy or too poor to finish it off, it is because the leave it exposed so they can attach and build another floor. (If you squint real hard at the brick section, where it looks like there are two unfinished windows, in the central brick column you will see three rods sticking up).

Homes in Peru are rarely finished affairs, they are always growing, building one atop the other. So, as I said, the unfinished look is not a result of laziness or poverty, it is simply a consequence of the organic way they continue to build and extend their homes.

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