Trujillo in a Weekend

The city of Trujillo, an easy hour flight north of Lima, is a great weekend destination. Trujillo is called the city of eternal spring. In the depth of Lima winter, I went looking for some spring. Flying up on a Friday evening, the pickup from the airport was easily done by the hotel located on the central square. The airport is located 20 minutes from the city and you even pass one of the tourist sites on the way in — Chan Chan — before passing a modern mall and convention center.

The archaeological site of the Huaca of the Moon and the Sun is a mere 20 minutes outside of the city so easily visited. The new site called “El Brujo”, is only 63 kilometers to the north but due to the road conditions, it takes 80 minutes. I’d recommend going to these two sites in one day, with lunch in the coastal town of Huanchaco, eat at Big Ben.

Then go for a walk along the Huanchaco malecon (boardwalk – sidewalk) and take your selfies with the reed boats, “caballitos de totora” — reed horsies, so called because the fishermen ride astride the boats, instead of sitting in them. Back in Trujillo, enjoy, on Saturday evenings, the free marinera (a type of dance) performances in the main square, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join in! Then walk down to one of the famous restaurants for dinner. The photo of the Waldorf salad is from the famous restaurant with the balcony, El Celler de Cler.

On Sunday mornings, the main square is blocked off and the town dignitaries walk about in a procession. This is a good time to get photos of the square. Later, go to Chan Chan.

When you buy pottery reproduction souvenirs, make sure that the item is stamped as a reproduction so that you aren’t accused of buying cultural patrimony. The reproductions are some of the highest quality I’ve seen, as souvenirs go.

Then back to Huanchaco for lunch. The whole malecon is shoulder to shoulder with restaurants. Try the special “aji de gallina” of this area, made with crab. Or stick to ceviche which will be some of the best you’ve had.

Then, catch your flight back to Lima.

How to Parallel Park a Ship

As it’s hurricane season, I’ve been thinking back to my time in hurricane countries. When I was in Port of Spain, I enjoyed mornings watching the ships. s6HhejqZjTneQZHV7T83n8hEu4BoIPB9llcOKD5-bNFZA2kDIVwrlvQO3rwZlu9tQlV1Bar_zcaOUPJkurtQUPojqZ7VrxoVB9YYTsMW-Gx3qzMcuj0nvsJ5je6Ic2fcbArlDsSplZcpkm_FH0Ad6zOG6rhulMs6OOVkO_50loDrjKlt8Otl4dN5MCOne day I watched this and I wondered, how do you parallel park a ship?

Well, you don’t. You push it in with the help of “tug” boats.

 

 

Porpoise Watching in Vancouver

Actually, it was whale watching. Except that we didn’t see any whales. We saw three orcas, or killer whales. Orcas are the largest member of the porpoise family. But, it was a nice boat ride and Steveston is cute (where they filmed Once Upon a Time).

MEi6-vd6hk0TVaTuD94JumJgWEJLyyg4-T3czPqqD3VGlbU0IUZJdYVud3ClX0qE8w9svbUXK5QaQFPpdqbnwszpDnHAKULnivpkvSFHpjqQM9w4YJEHyQ_o-0j0eXZcW5q0PM193kfXldg0G3zT_IqNIwDBIPG9OcjwyAtbOYRMXJ2dbDTAh_GyS_At 140 Canadian dollars for the five hour boat trip, you can decide if it’s worth it. I enjoyed the rough waves and the bouncy roller coaster ride. We took our own snacks and drinks which helped the time go by. Plus, the waters around Vancouver are beautiful. The photos of the orcas were not very impressive as taken on my iphone. On the other hand, we got closer to some of the other wildlife which was easier to photograph. And a lot smellier.

sCa3r7GJxm2InJm-Ux-6Lp5ZRL1RxcuFJi8ZgrUEoG45dTASi4m1mnOBoUjRONbHP658Zs_-gGN2gruIYo6-I_PQjMz7gQpXQJC4JLiT1_RabNfefHErj2fwqTSftF-Hp9kcKtxb70DZBT9KLcRzvBu7CbcseHN_xrJDetA6PSOCFRs7SvihOWAr93Strangely, the night before, our waiter told us not to go whale watching as she had barely escaped going on one of the boats that tipped over and sank. Why would one share that story?

Seeing the Blue Footed Boobie in the Galapagos

The blue footed boobie.
The blue footed boobie.

For some it’s simply the name that makes them giggle. I was actually excited to see their blue feet. When I did see the birds, I was more delighted than I expected. They were adorable.

Our mid-luxury boat.
Our mid-luxury boat.

The Galapagos is a major tourist destination (and on many a bucket list) and I’d recommend it if you like birds and wildlife. It’s not a foodie destination. Some recommend going on a “land cruise” where one stays at a different hotel each night on a different island. I stayed on a “mid luxury” boat in a cabin with a window and private bathroom (about the size of a telephone box). It cost $1,500 for three nights and four days (first day getting there plus tortoises) and the last day seeing baby animals in the mangrove forest and then flying out by 10 a.m. With the flight from Quito (which stops in Guayaqil for an hour making the trip longer) costing about $500, you can see how much the trip cost. Also, there is a $100 and a $20 fee for the islands. But, the food is included on the boat. Tips for the crew and guide are extra.

The sea iguanas are plentiful as is their funk.
The sea iguanas are plentiful as is their funk.

We did see lots of birds plus sea turtles, sea lions, sea iguanas, land iguanas, more birds, giant tortoises, tortoise babies (we could have done with one less tortoise siting), and eagle rays, and sharks (white tipped and the black tipped). There was snorkeling so one could swim with the sea lions and the sharks… oh, and lots of birds.

A baby sea turtle.
A baby sea turtle.

Day Boat Trip Out of Dhaka

Our proud prow.
Our proud prow.

It is possible to take a one day boat trip out of Dhaka. We used a company that charged around 2,500 Taka per adult if there there at least 20 adults. The boat is spacious (and shaped like a peacock!) and we had it all to ourselves. Lunch and several touristy stops were included: we had a quick walk to an old estate, a stop for a swim (dolphins were also promised but alas), and a visit to a village where the laborers make “jamdani” saris. The “jamdani” clothe is a woven gauze and very expensive due to the labor involved in weaving it.

The country estate.
The country estate.
Jamdani weavers working on saris.
Jamdani weavers working on saris.

I enjoyed sitting on the rooftop deck, in a comfy chair, watching the river float by. Plus, there is a toilet on the boat. So the day out included two hours in traffic, six hours on the boat, and an hour back to Dhaka.

Grab a chair in the shade and enjoy the breeze.
Grab a chair in the shade and enjoy the breeze.