Friday, March 13, 2009

The Pity Party is Over

Well, everyone thanks for putting up with my Pity Party. I was really bummed at the time that I posted and I was being overly dramatic. Me...dramatic? It certainly didn´t hurt that I got to go on a mini vacation to relax and forget all about Franky & Ricky. I went to Mollendo, a city right on the Pacific Ocean. It was beautiful and very "off the beaten path." This is not the city the average tourist visits. I only saw one other white person and I talked to her...she had a U.K. accent. People stared at me a lot more, but that was okay. I had pink hair once, I can handle a few odd looks. This is Mollendo.

I visited 3 beaches on my vacation. Mollendo, Mejia, and Catarindo. Mollendo and Mejia are both cities with beaches. Catarindo is just a beach. I lived in Mollendo. Mejia is where the "beautiful people" of Perú vacation. Catarindo was my favorite beach. Here is Catarindo.

The Pacific is a very Mighty Ocean. I cannot believe how different it is from the Atlantic. The sand is dark brown instead of white and so hot I actually had burns on my feet. Obviously, as you can see it is a very rocky landscape. The water is darker, colder, and I swear saltier. I like to think I am a pretty strong swimmer, but I couldn´t even stand when the waves would crash. There are 2 options: fall into the water under the wave, or walk with the current. The oddest feeling was the waves crashing into shore pushing you and the tide going back out to sea pulling you out.

The nice thing about Catarindo is that the cove creates a relatively tranquil ocean. I say relative because the waves were still something. Here is video of Catarindo Waves.

And the view of Catarindo from my beach chair under an umbrella. The chair/umbrella combo is kind of the thing.
No matter which beach though, I think my favorite part was the Pelicans. These birds are HUGE! This guy stood all the way to my hip.

The breed is actually the Peruvian Pelican, I did my research. They fly in flocks of about 10, which is even stranger to see. Huge birds in huge flocks. They dive into the water and scoop up fish. One of the only other breeds of Pelican to eat like this is the Brown Pelican.

I love Pelicans. Here is the Castillo de Mollendo that I could see from the beach.

I am not entirely sure the history of the Castle, but it is privately owned and in total disrepair. It is really a shame, it probably was one of the most amazing places I have ever been.

Here is where we walked in. I joked that I wanted to buy the Castillo in order to fix it up. Most people found this pretty funny.

It didn´t take me long to figure out that most people thought I was serious though too. The assumed wealth of Americans is crazy. Even if I bought the place, could you imagine? What a Money Pit.

However, even in it´s Money Pit state, the Castillo is gorgeous and impressive. Inside, there still seems to be a lingearing air of grandeur. That and pigeon poop.

That grandeur makes it all the more difficult to understand why the Castillo is in this state. It is privately owned. I cannot imagine owning such a property and letting this happen to it. Here is a skylight, in a few areas original tile and paint are still visible. This was an enchanting place at one time.

Here is where the stairway should have been. I would have really loved to see the 2nd and 3rd floor, but there was no longer a way.

I feel like this must have been a ballroom or something. This room was so huge. Standing at the window is Anita and Cesi, the friends I stayed with on vacation. The spray paint is an elegant touch to the room.

Here is the balcony. In some areas the balcony was leaning so precariously I think I could have pushed and pieces would have tumbled down the precipice.

I really feel like some one, or some organization should protect and restore the Castillo. I cannot imagine that it will be too long before Perú no longer has this treasure.

Being in Mollendo reminded me of home a lot. First, the main church is Immaculate Conception Parish, just like in Sheboygan.

I went to church with Anita and people came and left the service whenever. If you had to leave half way through to go to be it. If you couldn´t come until Communion because you over slept, that´s fine. Church is very different here.

Bright green on the outside and pink on the inside. I didn´t rememeber to take a photo of the inside, but I am going to try and ask a friend still at the beach.

Another thing that reminded me of home...trains in Perú. This is PerúRail. Someone please show my Dad.

Another really cool thing I saw were the street musicians. Every night I would hang out at the Plaza. Most people do this. These are 2 musicians playing Folkloric Music together. The man drumming is also playing a traditional flute and singing. Pretty impressive.

This was just funny to me. Anita ran into a friend she knew. While they were talking I couldn´t help but notice this crowd. What were they doing? What was going on over there?

They were watching a soccer game on big screen TV´s at the Electronic Store. I couldn´t believe they all just stood there.

I leave you with a video. The audio is what is important. Those are my neighbors for the entire week. I didn´t exactly sleep well this vacation.