Monday, 9 March 2015
09.03.2015 - 09.03.2015
The ship sailed into the busy port of Callao just as the sun battled with the fog which obscured the city. There was little time to wait as we were scheduled to rendezvous in the Wheelhouse Bar at 08:00 for our three hour city tour. The driver of our coach looked very familiar, I suspect he may have been the same as yesterday's. Our guide tried valiantly but her school taught English was difficult to understand at times. She admitted that she'd never even visited an English speaking country.
Our driver managed the difficult task of navigating through the chaotic rush hour traffic. Our first stop was the spectacular UNESCO World heritage site of the Plaza Mayor with its magnificent Cathedral and the Presidential Palace. Our tour continued past many opulent hotels and splendid examples of colonial Spanish buildings. We stopped at the "Indian Markets" for our last opportunity to stock up on unique Peruvian keepsakes and presents. It was barely past 10:00 and many stalls were still closed. Jenny spent a lot of time trying to track down that perfect item.
Back on the coach for a short trip to the area of Miraflores where we wandered through the "love" park and looked down to the Pacific Ocean below. Due to the lack of rain any plant life requires daily watering. An army of gardeners and a fleet of water-tankers keep the many public gardens looking great.
Back to the ship by just on 12:30 for a refresh and a substantial lunch in the Horizon Court Buffet. Lots of images to review and these brief words to write. We intend to fill in some time with a siesta and will head down to the Theatre for a 17:00 folkloric show by local dancers. Diner will be delayed.
I decided to forgo the siesta and climbed up to Deck 19 to watch the port operations. Of particular interest was the unloading of some form of yellow granular product from a bulk carrier using a clam-shell attached to the crane. The pattern of pipes and manifolds on a tanker also intrigued me. It appears that there are about 32 separate sets of pipes. Unfortunately the tanker was in the adjoining berth and I wasn't able to take an overall photo.
There was also a significant Peruvian Navy presence, I counted over a dozen vessels. There could have been more, most of them were double parked and a fair distance away.
The folkloric show by "Tierra Mia Peru" was fantastic and easily the best we've experienced. The six multi-talented musicians played the haunting melodies I associate with the 'pan pipes'. The drummer performed a solo using what looked like a wooden crate and just his hands. Just the music would have been terrific but there was also a troupe of dancers, two principle - one male, one female and a chorus of four males and four females. They danced with grace, vigour and lots of energy, each of the four sets in different and beautiful costumes.
The show went for a full hour so it was after 18:00 by the time we arrived in the dining room. Despite the late start and no doubt due to the lack of people dining, we were out of there before 19:00. Walked along the promenade deck to see the port lit up with a multitude of lights. 'All Aboard' is 20:30 and we should be on our way to the start of three sea-days by 21:00. I'm likely to be asleep before that happens.
Three sea days on our way to Puntarenes in Costa Rica.
f you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony