Tahiti to Peru Day 20, Thursday, March 21st

We are on the way home and starting the day early. We woke at 3:30am and crowded into a small private van at 4am heading to the airport. I had the front passenger seat with the most room even with the seat moved forward. The driver drove like a mad man who I guess is because there was no traffic.

I had trouble communicating with the counter agent about checking the luggage through to Washington, DC after going through Orlando, FL. I lost that argument. After going through security, we went to a TGIF Fridays restaurant where everyone got their first coffee of the day. I was the only one having breakfast. Babs and Kitty went souvenir shopping to tie up loose ends.

We take our airports for granted and are lucky not to climb ramp stairs to enter an airplane. Our flight to Orlando on LATAM airlines was smooth. We lucked out and had no one in the seat between us. The meals were meager but edible and Babs purchased wine to compensate for the lack of taste. The flight attendants were wonderful.

When we arrived at Orlando we cleared customs, retrieved our luggage and then found out we had to go to another terminal. This meant taking our luggage out of the customs area and checking it with American airlines. The person assisting us (I was in a wheel chair) talked to the LATRAN personnel and said that they would get our luggage to American. He then took us to the other terminal and deposited us at the American ticketing area.

We checked in at the American counter, explaining that we left our luggage with LATRAN without getting new baggage claim tickets. The agent, named Grace, copied our LATRAN baggage tickets and promised  to try to have the luggage transferred to this flight. If the luggage didn’t make it she would forward it to us.

We barely made our flight, getting to the gate just as boarding was to commence. The flight home was uneventful but the seats were narrow and uncomfortable. We were lucky that it was only a 2 hour flight. The flight attendants were pleasant but I’m sure were older than my 73 years. In an emergency, I’d have to help them out!

We lucked out with our baggage which did make it onto our flight. It was raining and I had planned to use Uber to get home but none was available. We ended up with a $93 taxi ride home which I did not mind one bit!

Babs Says: I am changing a MLK Jr. quote to fit my feelings to-night: Home at last, Home at last, Thank God Almighty, We’re home at last. And so is our luggage.

 

 

 

 

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Tahiti to Peru Day 19, Wednesday, March 20th

Once again we woke at 6:30am without an alarm! We ate at the breakfast buffet which includes one ordered entrée. That’s how I get my egg fix.

Exiting our van, there was a Peruvian food truck parked at the curb.

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The van to our first museum.

It is a public museum which traced Peruvian history from 5000 years ago. The above crypt stone was one of the few original relics displayed. The majority of the displays were of reproductions.

The most fascinating thing was that chiefs were buried in the fetal position and their body surrounded with humans who were sacrificed to be buried with him. There were also beautiful textiles and pottery. It is hard to believe that such beautiful things could be made with primitive tools.

Babs posed with a stuffed llama as we left the museum.

In the park across the street from the public museum art had been carved from the stumps of fallen trees.

We continued the tour by driving to the private museum which had beautiful grounds

This museum had thousands of authentic pottery items. There are no reproductions. Almost all of the artifacts were stolen from graves before laws made it a crime to rob the graves. This is a private collection which can be sold. The bump in the road is that the collection can’t be broken up nor moved.

There were also several rooms exhibiting brass, silver, and gold jewelry, nose end ear rings, breast plates, and head dresses.

There was also a large area devoted to erotic pottery. Skip this section if XXX rated pottery offends you. Some of this pre-Inca pottery is graphically “off the charts” and is noted in a historical perspective only. However it should be noted that Peruvian school groups have this room included in their tours.

We left the museum and returned to the hotel for lunch. Babs had a hamburger, and I had a pork and noodle dish.

Following, Babs, Frank & Kitty left on a tour of Inca ruins which was about 30 miles outside Lima. Along with them on the tour were a couple from Australia who kept had a chronic hacking cough. First they toured a small museum.

They drove around the ruins sites. Archeologists are still uncovering relics.

The buildings for young girls awaiting to be sacrificed to the Sun God were rebuilt. Next they went to the sun god area. There was a long steep walk to the top. Babs almost made it  but had to stop short. Frank and Kitty made it to the top.

They are amazing structures but a heavy rain might wash it all away because they are constructed  of mud bricks.

The ride home was a long hot ride, air conditioning apparently is not used, and traffic was terrible.

We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. Babs had her same seafood and rice dish. I ordered a hamburger medium rare and it came well done and touch as shoe leather. I sent it back and it came back super  well done, and probably spit on by the cook. I ate the fries! After dinner, Babs told me the hamburger she had at lunch was so bad she couldn’t eat but a bite. Thanks for the heads up, Babs!

Babs Says: Those Incas must have been extremely fit specimens, carrying water, mud, blocks for miles to build their cities. I would not liked to have been a young Inca girl. They were offered a human sacrifice! Why just girls??!!

 

 

 

 

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Tahiti to Peru Day 18, Tuesday, March 19th

We were up at 6am and I took a shower so I wasn’t ready  until 7am. When we called Frank & Kitty they said if we wanted the tour we had decided on, we would need to be ready to go by 8am. To make that work I’d have to forgo breakfast. I am a diabetic and said that wouldn’t work for me. So we decided to walk down to the pacific ocean. We were told there is a mall there with restaurants serving authentic Peruvian food.

After having the breakfast buffet we walked the 10 long blocks to the mall. I have balance issues and the down hill walk was very difficult for me. The grounds were well kept with views of the pacific and play ground for children.

The mall is below grade with two levels but no elevators. Frank & Kitty found ramps that went to the lower levels which turned out to be mostly high end clothing shops. There were also a Starbucks and a Duncan Donuts.

Disappointed, we headed back to the hotel. We stopped at the only “tourist trap” type store that we passed on the way down and purchased some souvenirs to bring home. In an attempt to possibly find other souvenir shops we took a different route the rest of the way back to the hotel. That produced no better results but was easier on my knees because it was walking up hill.

Almost back to the hotel, we came upon the Alfresco restaurant so we stopped for lunch. Babs and Kitty had the calamari, Frank S. had seafood cioppino, and I had octopus and crispy calamari ceviche’ served with sweet potato. Both entree’s’ were excellent.

On the way out of the restaurant we snapped these photos.

Back down at the pacific there is a park called Lovers Park. I didn’t have it in me to make the walk down there so I too a nap. Babs, Frank & Kitty walked to the park to check it out.

The park had statues of lovers in various positions.

The park is known for viewing the sunsets over the pacific.

We ate dinner in the hotel dinning room and then to the lounge for piscos. Babs says they were great!

Tomorrow we have tours booked so we’ll be up early!

Babs Says: Foreign countries do not have all the accommodations for physically challenged people that are available in the US. Frank Spadaro was the accommodation for Frank O. getting him up and down ramps, curbs,etc.     Thanks, Frank

 

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Tahiti to Peru Day 17, Monday, March 18th

We were still asleep when we arrived at the Peruvian port. Port noise woke Babs up and we were dressed and ready to go at 5:30am. The port is huge. We are docked next to a mammoth CGM lines container ship with containers stacked ten high across the width of the ship. Before breakfast we spent time on our veranda watching the containers being unloaded.

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A tug boat stood while a refueling ship pumped fuel into our ship.

Breakfast was in the Terrace Café buffet. Babs had a made to order omelet. I had a plate of fresh fruit and scrambled eggs. When we finished, we went to the Marina lounge to retrieve or passports and wait for our group to be called to disembark.

It’s called hurry up and wait. We were almost the last group called  to disembark and claim our luggage. We had hired a private van to take us to our hotel, the Radisson Miraflores. Our route took us thru slums; them Miraflores a very nice area.

We arrived at the Radisson and had to wait a couple of  hours for our rooms to be ready. I guess the desk clerks felt sorry for us and upgraded us to a junior suite on the 10th floor. From our room we could see the pacific ocean.

We booked a city tour and then ate lunch in the hotel restaurant which was located on the second floor. Babs had a chicken, ham, and grilled cheese sandwich. I had a club sandwich, and my cousin Frank had a burger with a stack of fries.

Shortly after lunch a minibus picked us up at the hotel. There were Spanish-speaking guests on the bus with us and each group had their own guide. We traveled past some ancient ruins, century old olive groves, libraries, presidential palace, and government buildings.

Outside the museum square we posed for a photo.

We toured a mission/ museum with an outdoor court.

The mission had several religious  shrines, alters and catacombs with relic bones which could be viewed.

One of the shrines above was Lima’s patron saint, Saint Rose of Lima. The mission was directly adjacent to the cathedral.

Walking back to our van we passed this Pisco bar and went in to try pisco sours. My cousin Frank purchased a bottle of Pisco sour. They also offered sampling of Coco leaves, but we passed on those.

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We had dinner tonight at Restaurant Alfresco which offered both fresh seafood and traditional Peruvian dishes such as guinea pig. The calamari was the best that I have ever had. My entre’ was this traditional rice and seafood dish. Babs had sea bass. Both were yummy!DSC04238

Most entrée’s were accompanied with potatoes. That is not surprising considering that our tour guide said that potatoes were the national vegetable and Peru had 3,000 varieties including sweet potatoes.

It was a pleasant evening walking back the three blocks to our hotel.

Tomorrow we will either walk down to the pacific or book more tours.

Babs Says: A first for me. As we got off the ship there was a person holding placard saying Mr. & Mrs. Orifici, Mr. & Mrs. Spadaro. Felt like some kind of VIP.

 

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Tahiti to Peru Day 16, Sunday, March 17th

We were up at 6:30am and had coffee n our stateroom. After breakfast at the Terrace Buffet we returned in to our stateroom where I began to pack my suitcase. Babs went to a lecture on boobie and friget birds then returned to read.

Lunch was also at the Terrace Buffet with Irish fare because it is St. Patrick’s day. We ate corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew, and soda bread.

Returning to our state room we finished packing because our bags need to be out in the corridor for pick-up by 10pm. One good thing about packing this time is that we don’t have the worry about distributing weight because tomorrow we are not traveling by air!

At 5pm we met in our stateroom for “happy hour”. We finished our bottle of champagne and a bottle of white wine furnished by Tinker & Vidal, accompanied with spring rolls, a cheese tray, and crackers.

Our final dinner together was in the Grand Dining room where we posed for a photo with our favorite maitre d’.

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After returning to our stateroom we put our suitcases out for pick-up. Haven gotten ready for bed, Babs readied to enjoy her last Manhattan on our veranda in style! A girl can never be sure who she’ll see.

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Tonight will be our 11th straight night at sea without setting foot on land. For my part, that is way too much time rocking and rolling to and froe. It is also noteworthy that except for the ship at Pitcairn Island and ship and jet at Easter Island, I did not see another ship nor plane since leaving Fakarava. That leaves one with an odd feeling.

My travel tip is: if one wants to be sure after spending a lot of cash that they will see Easter Island, take a plane!

Tomorrow we will arrive in Lima and begin another phase of our journey.

Babs Says:Enjoyed my last crème brulee until we cruise again.

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Tahiti to Peru Day 15, Saturday, March 16th

Today we were up at 6:30am and had coffee in our stateroom. We were told the closer we got to land the more the swells would subside. Wrong again! Seems as though the seas are rougher.

We dressed and went down to the Grand Dining room for breakfast. Babs had her western omelet and I had fried eggs with lamb chops. Afterwards I retrieved my netbook and headed up to the computer lab. Babs went to an Asian cooking demonstration.

Both Babs and I had no luck. The computer conductivity was non existent and the Asian chef from the Red Ginger specialty restaurant, burnt his pan!

Lunch was hamburgers at the Waves Grill.

Babs went to an exciting llama/ sloth lecture and I went to our stateroom to watch the television news channels.

Dinner was at the Polo Grill where Babs had the lobster and I the rib eye steak.

After dinner we went to the bar with Tinker and Vidal for a cocktail. As soon as we sat down the bartender handed me a “no dog”.

Tomorrow our last day at sea!

Babs Says: I can understand why sailors of old got in fights, drank too much grog, and went raving mad. 12 days of not stepping on land, fish, or birds, (and they had horrible food, no TV, or other entertainment) is driving me stir crazy!

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Tahiti to Peru Day 14, Friday, March 15th

This morning we had coffee  in the room and watched the swells rock the ship. Today the Grand Ding room opened at 10am because there was a brunch from 10am t0 1pm.

We went down at 10am and there were only a few people there so Babs went around the various stations to take pictures. In addition to the food displays there were ice carvings done by the staff.

Babs ordered crepes and I ordered pooched eggs. I considered ordering soft boiled eggs again but thought better of it!

 

After brunch Babs went to hear a talk on whales. I returned to our stateroom to watch the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. When Babs returned we went to the buffet and ate a light lunch.

There was a contest to see who could make the best boat from things found around the  ship. Some pretty ingenious boats were made. The rules said that they must float. Unfortunately the pool was to rough to reasonably expect them to float.

Before dinner we all went to the Horizons Lounge for 2 for 1 drinks and hear one of the entertainers from the ships musical performers.

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Dinner was in the Grand Dining room. Babs had crab cake ( not nearly as good as those I make). However her shrimp wrapped in zucchini was good. My choice was Cornish hen in cracker crust. It was nothing to write home about.

After dinner we just returned to our stateroom. When we turned on the news we were shocked with the New Zealand mosque massacre.  😦

Tomorrow more of the same!

Babs Says: It always amazes me how the food at extravagant buffets (ice carvings, floral arrangements, artistic food arrangements) never tastes as good as it looks.

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