Archive for November 4, 2012

Sunday Travel Tales

A small beach where I lived for several months in 2000/01 is the gateway for tourism to the Ballestas Islands about 17 miles off the coast of Peru. The islands are a story on their own, but this is about the beach.

Playa El Chaco was divided in two, on the left you had restaurants and some places to stay, on the right were the families of the fishermen. The dividing line was the floating wharf that served for tourist departures and fishing boats.

The floating wharf and ever present pelicans. The end of the dock rose and fell with the tides.


The monument high on the dunes – image credit AV


Playa El Chaco has a history, right in front of where I lived (the centre of this photo) was where Simon Bolivar landed to liberate Peru. There is a large monument on the dunes behind the village.

The village was very rustic, many of the houses had no roofs; they were not necessary as it never rained. The only adverse weather the region experienced were the Paracas Winds that swept across the Paracas Peninsula and over the harbour in August and September.

The beach was the playground for the kids, they’d chase and tease the pelicans with fish and swim amongst the fishing boats.

The families all worked, the men fishing, the women making and selling artifacts that represented the islands, all manner of sea lions craft from sea shells, and the kids would wend their way through the throngs of tourist and around the restaurants hopeful of making a sale, or better still enticing a tourist to the stall area on the village side of the wharf.

It was near these stall that my local bar was located. Made of bamboo it was a focal point for the locals.

Juan Luis perched in front of the bar, the artisans’ stalls can be seen in the background – image credit AV

Even five year old Juan had to work selling for his mother.

Playa El Chaco was an interesting interlude in my travels. In the morning I would get a collectivo taxi to Pisco, 21kms to the north, and work with a tourist agency. I did some planning work for them, reworked their advertising propaganda, and many times was required to accompany groups of tourists to the islands as a guide.

The afternoons were free. A leisurely cerviche lunch, with beer, a nap and a walk along the beach reflecting on life.


I am totally numb after last night, so totally, that I have switched off.

It has nothing to do with the three gin & tonics I had yesterday afternoon, nor the beers that followed.

We had music in the praça last night, lots and lots of very loud music.

The botequim had the Boa da Samba van again; I wrote about this on my recent post An Idyllic Thursday. Normally when this van comes along, I escape for more peaceful climes, like a good restaurant, but last night I was skint. This public holiday lark plays havoc with ones finances, hence the skintedness.

So, I figured, it wouldn’t hurt to spend one night listening to the music. It started around 6pm, I couldn’t hear the TV, I couldn’t hear my mother on the phone, the bass reverberated through the house; by 7pm I had a thumping headache. I tried going for a walk to sit on the other side of the park, that was no relief, so back home. All the windows were shut, Lixo was confused because even his ‘cat-window’ was closed. By 9:30, I was praying (remember I am an atheist) the music would stop at 10pm as programmed and that they wouldn’t do encore after encore.

10:03pm, peace and quiet. It was so quiet you could hear the silence.

NOT this Axe

During the week, I saw an interesting Tweet regarding the masculine deodorant Axe by a girl. “The only way you’ll conquer a girl with Axe, would be to spray it in her eyes to incapacitate her!” I don’t use Axe, it is beyond my price range, but it made me wonder if that was really the case for a lot of perfumes.

Quite frankly, I hate perfumes and makeup, and high heels and breast implants, and sexy lingerie and body piercings; in fact there’s not much about the world of female fashions that I do like. I like my women to be natural, nude is far more sexy than lace.

Last week I also saw an interesting ad on TV, shampoo that has caffeine… Now what would I want shampoo with caffeine for (apart from the fact that I’m bald)? You’d lie in bed trying to get to sleep and you can’t because your hair wants to get up and play! Stupid pratts!

They really do produce some useless shit.

Two days until the US elections. I am waiting to see how stupid Americans really are.

You have a choice between Obama, who has destroyed all meaning of the Constitution; and Romney who has back peddled so many times that he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going.

In my opinion, if you vote for the Democraps or the Repugnicans, you’re a fool. There are other options for intelligent people.

Sigh! But we all know what is going to happen.

I’ll be back later with a Travel post, this post was actually meant for yesterday but with the thunderous music last night that just wasn’t possible.


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