Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Independence Day, Peruvian Style

The Darcourt Family and Friends

July 28th is the 'Dia del Patria'--the day that Peru celebrates its independence from Spain. We managed to show up on our friends, the Darcourts', doorstep for the weekend of Independence Day.

They invited us to join them at their 'summer house' in Chacalacayo, in the foothills outside of Lima. Ani and Edy have recently completed a major renovation that turned their summer house from a 2-room bungalo into a bungalo complex big enough to house all their kids (and a few friends).

Independence Day, Peruvian Style isn't much different than American Style... BBQ, Music, Friends, Kids, Drinking, Swimming, even a little Karaoke. We did it all.

Chickens in the Smoker

The 'Kids' Get into the Pisco (a Peruvian liquor)

Dogs and Old Friends

Our Gracious Hostess, Anamaria

One day during the long weekend, Eduardo cajoled everyone into making an expedition into the mountains. We loaded 3 cars full of people and set off up the unpaved roads. The destination is a small town on a mountain, where the main attraction is a place where people have seen UFO's. A favorite thing to do on weekends is go camping on the mountain to see the UFO's. (Personally, I think there must be a little loco-weed growing up on that mountain!).

Edy Checks the Communications Equipment

The Valley We Drove Up

Everyone except Edy and Ani (who had been there before) thought it would be a nice drive for a couple of hours. But after about 3 hours of driving on rough, one lane dirt roads hanging on a cliff on the side of a steep mountain... including several hilarious and dangerous 'two cars meeting on a one lane mountain road' episodes, we finally arrived at San Pedro de Casta, a small village way up in the mountains. It was totally unexpected... Being so remote, we expected a sleeply little town. But there were tons of backpacker/hiker type tourists, all trying to get up to the camping place (another 45 minutes hiking up the mountain).

The central square was filled with burro's and backpackers. The locals were hustling backpackers... They would load up burros full of camping gear, and the backpackers would walk... slowly... up the mountain, following the burros.

On Top of the World Again

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