Liu and I spent the morning in the markets before meeting Nilda and Rosa for lunch. Ana Maria, a busy social worker, could not take another day off - so, in her borrowed car, Rosa drove us along the top of the ocean front escarpment to show us another view of Lima. New hotels and a modern sea-side shopping complex bordered a large, well manicured boulevard. Along the boardwalk, we ate freshly made ice cream, drank hot chocolate and watched kids play on big, colourful coin operated rides. It could have been anywhere, except for the endless desert beaches, precipitous grey cliffs and a dryness that makes your throat tighten and your eyes sting. I wouldn't spend so much time describing the delights of Lima were it not for the vast difference in living conditions we were to see later on.
That evening, Ana Maria joined us again and we were taken to another fine restaurant, known for its chicken - roasted over charcoal and spiced just right. We had become connoisseurs of dark chicha - the fruity non-alcoholic corn drink - and ordered large glasses full. We toasted each other and said once again how much we three strangers had enjoyed our time together. We promised to stay in touch. We exchanged gifts and addresses and warm, affectionate hugs before going back to the hotel to pack for our trip to Cuzco. Liuba and I talked again about our three hostesses and how much we would miss them. Who'd have guessed that a chance encounter on a flight to BC would lead to such a wonderful relationship and two full days of fun!
- More guff about the amenities at the hotel.
- More twaddle about her hosts.
- More of her inability to ask where she is; her lack of curiosity defeats the purpose of travel writing. I know that I'd be less inclined to go to 'some park somewhere next to some place else' if I didn't know anything beforehand. If I were told about Parque Salazar and given a potted history, I would be more sanguine about seeing it for myself.
- The promise of more paternalistic bum-fodder about the people she's ostensibly there to serve.
- More talking about food and drink.