Tuesday, July 7, 2009

June 24,09
We left our house in Molalla at 3:30 yesterday morning. We arrived at El Refugio in Vichayito, Peru at 8:30 this morning local time. Overall a 27 hour trip door to door.
Our driver from the airport, Victor, got us to within 50 feet of the gate to El Refugio only to find the road blocked by a huge mound of sand. The bulldozer driver cleared a path for us, but Victor was soon stuck in the sand that remained, tires buried. Victor then takes off on foot in the direction of the resort, cursing the bulldozer and its driver, leaving us in the car. After several minutes Victor returns with a a chain, has it hooked up to the back bumper, and the bulldozer then pulls us out. Once out, Victor rams into the bulldozer, curses once again, jumps out to pull the chain off, and backs out the dirt track to find an alternate route.
We later found out the sand is an ever-present hassle to deal with during the winter months. The resort sits right on the beach and the winter winds blow the sand into drifts against the fences and across the roads. The sand is constantly moving and the winter winds only makes the sand more invasive.
Once settled into our bungalow, we nap and try to re-energize after the long trip. This and a shower, without hot water, and we're out to enjoy the sunshine. During the afternoon, we lazily sit by the pool and watch the birds ride the air currents. They hang in the air, sailing like a kite in the wind with no need to flap their wings. They appear as if in a photo as they seem to remain motionless in the sky above the ocean. Later, we watch a group of pelicans, perhaps thirty in each grouping, for a line and then skim over the surface of the ocean as it rolls with the waves. They dance along and at some signal unknown to us, they fly upwards, regroup and start skimming again. A few fishing boats are in sight, spreading their nets for another catch.
The sun sets at about 6:30 and we marvel at how the colors change. Even the shape seems to morph from round to oval, then a squarish shape and finally disappears beyond the horizon, leaving its glory alive in the clouds for several minutes more.
Dinner consisted of seafood; chicharon (battered and fried) for Doug and a chaufa (seafood fried with rice-Chinese style?) for me. I found a tiny squid, body and tentacles intact, amongst the rice. It was a bit disconcerting to see and recognize the whole animal, but when eaten in its entirety was quite tasty.

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