Just passing through...

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

We arrived in Piura knowing full well that in all likelihood we would be stuck there for the day. It's a small little town and although there is not a lot to do or see there they do have a cinema and so we settled ourselves knowing that at worst we could go see a few movies!
We went straight to the Cruz Del Sur bus office when we got off the border bus. We had to say goodbye to Chris and Joss for a third and final time. They got on our bus last night but are going to spend some time in the north of Peru at the beaches and hikes.
One: we don't have time to do loads of hikes.
Two: we are not beach people and don't want to lie for days in the sand.
And three: we are perfectly contented following our own plan, whoever different from everyone else's that might be. If we have learnt one thing on this trip so far it is to just do what we want. If were not really sure, and we know it is going to cost quite a bit of money, or use up quite a bit of time we have got wise to counting the pros and cons and at this late stage in the game as we are realising that New Zealand is coming up fast and Tahiti is going to just about clear us out, we have started to really pick out the highlights! It might just mean another trip in another lifetime, the Galapagos Islands, Angel Falls, Medellin and Cartaghena in Colombia, Antarctica.... to name just a few! But to be honest I think it keeps the trip exciting knowing there are places that we will be able to come back to.
Anyway I now, once again, have gone way off the point! I tend to drift quite a lot these days but I put it down to thinking quite a lot these days also! So when we got dropped off in the centre of town near a ATM machine we got some Peruvian Soles and headed to the Cruz Del Sur office a few blocks away. It turns out that we could have gotten an earlier bus out of the city that would have gotten us to Lima in the late evening tonight but unfortunately if we had done that we would have to find accommodation in Lima for tonight, as well as sitting in separate seats at the back of the bus (the back of the bus means the continuous whiffs of the toilet!) so we decided to wait and take the bus shortly after 6pm that would be an overnight direct to Lima.
We left our bags in the bus office and headed to find some breakfast... a really nice restaurant was open and fairly busy for a Sunday morning so we sat in there for a fair amount of time, enjoying the blood, guts and gore of a TV programme on Latin American drug barons! As we finished up and made our way back to the main plaza we noticed quite a few army and police Land Rovers and trucks pull up, after some inquires we found out that on the second Sunday of every month the military people from the area parade as a show of strength and power. We were lucky enough to arrive just in time! We picked perfect seats outside of the cathedral and sat to enjoy the show!
When everyone had arrived there were hundreds of army personnel; navy, Air Force, woman secretaries, cadets, sailors, musicians.... the array of uniforms was very impressive!! Conor and I kept saying to each other how we would have loved to see wee Tariq's face at the amount of them, complete with their weapons and vehicles!
The parades lasted over an hour and there were speeches and music and, once again at the end of the anthem the crowd all shouted "Viva Peru!" a shock for Conor and I but very patriotic! After the main parade it was the turn of the local children. We were even more lucky to be able to witness this colourful display of cuteness as we happened to drop in on "El Día del Niño", the Day of the Children!
Children about to turn to teens right down to babes in arms and pregnant women joined the parade, which also seemed to have a political "pro life" message. All of the children were dressed up, some in local and traditional costume, some as fairy tale creatures and others in the uniforms of their heroes! It was actually quite an emotional spectacle, and I realised how much I miss being in the classroom or working withthe kids.
After all the excitement we still had time to burn, I enjoyed sitting on a shaded bench in the plaza reading my book and people watching. Conor went one further and went people exploring!! A local man took an interest in one of the only two Gringos in the town and took him to the local tourist information to show him all of the interesting things and beautiful beaches that are only a few hours from here. Such a pity that we won't have time to see them. He did however get the number of the Doctor and his family that were kind enough to show him around, although, for a short time I did think he had been kidnapped!!
After lunch we headed to the cinema to pass the last of our hours, it was such a good decision. The movie was good and the air conditioning was welcomed. We actually had a really nice time in Piura and it wouldn't have been the end of the world if we had have stayed here a few nights, but we are both excited to get on our bus to Lima.... Peru is going to fly by there is just so much of this country that we are looking forward to and excited to see!!
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