Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peru in June 2011

Until just shy of one month ago, I had never been out of the country-- (O.k., I'd been to Toronto once but that doesn't really count as they take American currency and I didn't need a passport to come or go). Earlier this year my husband and decided to take a trip to Peru. Ten years ago (and before we were married) he served a full-time mission there for the duration of two years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He always wanted to go back, and take me. So, I finally get a stamp in my passport.

We did not do "the tourist thing" since my husband had several contacts there and has maintained a solid grasp of the language since living there. So even though we missed out on places like Cusco and Machu Picchu, I feel blessed to have been able to see a closer glimpse of what life is really like for a Peruvian, at least in the city of Huanuco, which is where we spent most of our time.

So I will warn you now, there are a ton of pictures here. They are only posted here in such great number my popular demand. Instead of attaching a heavy dialog to every photo, I will let your experience of the trip be a photo essay (only supplemented intermittently  with text.)

Also, a special thinks to my dear, dear sister-in-law, Anita Ervin who also documented her summer vacation with my four children. There adventured can be seen on her blog: swervinervins.

the kitchen of the Chuy home- our first night in Lima
I am such a sucker for hanging laundry

view off the kitchen balcony- Chuy home

Same balcony, other end of street

This pic cannot fully describe how crazy the driving is in Peru, wish it could.
Typical  residences on a street in a richer part Lima.

After unsuccessfully getting a seat on a bus to take us over the Andes, we decided to fly from Lima to Huanuco.
Smart choice: 8-9 hour drive vs. a 45 minute flight. (We learned later the next day that the bus we were trying to get a seat on was delayed on the mountain pass several hours due to a car accident a distance ahead of the bus.)
View of Huanuco from the air.
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The doors to peoples' homes are right off the sidewalks.

Typical street in Huanuco.

The Luna family, whom we stayed with in Huanuco, live above the family-owned auto parts store, so to go in or out, we needed to walk through the shop. This is the entrance.
This is the view from the dining room table.  Amazing to see all these rooftops.

To get around, you either walk, or take moto-taxis.

The Luna family: Carla, Omar, and Frenanda

All of these people are standing on the sidewalk looking into an  appliance store watching the soccer game.

Me and Niel.

Fernanda, my sweet little friend. 

The Internet cafe.

Our living room, the bed room and bathroom are up the stairs.


I had the most wonderful birthday party ever.

With the way they drive, it is no wonder the children's are running for it in the school crossing sign!

Yummy food. (especially the cuy...aka. Guinea Pig. MMmmm.)

Rotisserie Chicken is a very popular and very delicious meal. 

My favorite and most trusted bathroom in all of Peru.

Up at the Hacienda de Shismay. We stayed here for two nights.

at Shismay. Omar and Carla accompanied us for the afternoon, and had lunch with us.

We chased some pigs. Omar caught one so we could hear it squeal.

A little family walking to get firewood.

Staking the pigs down by the road.

Nial and his new favorite instrument, the charango.

Again, a sucker for hanging laundry.

Warming up before breakfast, and a big drive up the Andes to see a lake.

I cannot believe we are making this drive in this old car. Seriously, we were off-roading in a  little Toyota!

These pictures demonstrate how Niel was feeling right about now.

These are very isolated dwellings that are used in season. People bring their livestock up here to graze.                            

No altitude sickness here.

Niel and our guide.

Probably my favorite picture of our trip. I think I am holding in Niel's sick guts (from motion sickness).

We left the car behind and are on foot at this point. An enormous rock slide covers the road.

Don't know why we are feeling particularly victorious here, just feeling good.

never did catch anything but it as fun teaching our guide how to cast a line with a rod and reel. We took with us telescoping poles from the states and gave them away, one to our guide and one to the owner of Shismay.

It wouldn't have been the same if I didn't get a picture of myself with my head out he car window... Everybody's doing it.

We waited for three days for this wild steed.

Our last morning at Shismay I finally got my chance to horseback ride.

This Peruvian Paso was about as wild a horse as I have ever ridden. Apparently, only the owner can ride him, but I got a chance anyway. Was I scared. Not until we actually got going (the owner lead him on a VERY short rope) and I realized the only way he could get the horse to slowdown was to make him turn (sharply- as pictured above). That, and the fact that during the entire ride the owner was chanting and whispering to the horse: tranquillo. tranquillo. Translated: CLAM DOWN. CALM DOWN.

Would I do it again?

Our last meal at Shismay. Coca tea. Soft goat cheese. bread and fried yucca. Delish!

A woman spinning yarn.


We are back in Huanuco from off the mountain at Shismay. We are
getting ready leave this amazing and generous family to take an overnight bus  back to Lima to meet  back up with the Chuy girls, Brenda and Madeline. and then off to AMERICA!!!!!!! (and my children!!)

Brenda and Madeline Chuy and Me and Niel.

Back at home.

Happy Simon in a Peruvian sweater.

Wesley trying to thread up a trompo.

And of course, Mallie with a glass of milk.
(Nice sweater.)


  1. My sister-in-law is Peruvian, She and my brother went back for a visit about a year ago, I'll have to show her your blog- the pictures are great!

  2. Thanks for posting all the pictures! I was dying to see them :-) I am getting claustrophobic looking at those mototaxis.

    Oh, and I can tell you never took Spanish :-) Feliz Cumpleanos, Julie!!

  3. I enjoyed following along in your adventure. Thanks for sharing!!


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