Life's a Beach

Now I'm walking on sunshine, whoa
I'm walking on sunshine, whoa
I'm walking on sunshine, whoa
And don't it feel good
Hey, all right now
And don't it feel good
Hey, yeah
                                           Kimberley Rew 

Today was pretty good. We had some minor struggles getting dressed properly, and Aodhan insisted he wanted his other book that is put away because of his behaviour. In the end, he wanted the beach more, and he complied, and we were able to get over to Yesenia’s house by 7am. 

We took a taxi to the bus terminal, and paid about 20 soles each for the bus to the Mollendo. I thought Aodhan was going to have a bit of a fit over his seat at the back, but he followed the boys to it with no problem. 

The bus ride to and from Mollendo, goes through volcanic desert terrain. I’m not sure how people out here survive. There’s not much in the way of anything green growing, so they can’t really do any farming. I saw a few small factories, such as an asphalt one and I think one that makes aggregates for road construction, and maybe cement. I guess a lot of these people work in the factories. The people use these inter-city buses as public transportation, flagging them down on the highway to go to work or to market. In one small town we saw the little taxies that are build out of a motorcycle. they are really fun to drive in. 

The beach was great. We rented two chairs and an umbrella for 5 soles each, and the boys played and drew. A sweet little dog followed us around. When the boys dug up some big soft shelled beach beetles, the dog was glad to eat them and our apple cores too!

We stayed at the beach for a couple of hours and then went to a local restaurant to eat fresh fish and chips. It was quite good. We went back to the bus. I had made sure we bought tickets early so that we would have the front seats, but Aodhan complained that that was only on double decker buses, and wanted to sit further back. Lord help me. I did point out there was a TV, and we asked the conductor if he could put on a movie for the children. He said he would get one at the next stop. The movie he chose for the kids, remember the other two boys are only seven and eight, and sitting right at the front, so he couldn’t miss seeing them, was “Six Bullets”, a story about selling children into sexual slavery. Nice, and here I’d been thinking of a comedy or something. 

We came home, and I didn’t want to fight with Aodhan about showering tonight, so I made him promise that he would have a shower in the morning. I know he will argue about it then, but he will not be really tired and cranky, and we will not be waking up our host family. Aodhan watched TV for about half an hour, and then fell asleep on the sofa. I told him to put pj’s on and go to bed, and he did. Alicia slept with him for about half an hour or so until he was asleep and then I put her out for the night.

On the bus to Mollendo

The little communities along the way are so spread out, each person has a big yard, perhaps for farming? It is only spring, but here things grow all year around. 

Looking over the beach strip at Mollendo. Maybe later in the summer the water park will be open and we can go. There are four beaches down the coast. You can just see the beginning of the first one in the photo. In the summer (December until March), it would be covered with umbrellas and chairs, small inflatable pools and toys and children and adults playing and swimming.

Aodhan running from the giant waves

Aodhad drawing with his new canine friend.

Aodhan explaining how big the waves are, and probably all about tidal waves and wave forms.

Jose showing off his jumping. Aodhan is impressed. The dog clearly is not.

Drawing on the beach.

Discovering shells and small beach creatures.

Running from the waves.

Aodhan, happy with his beach chair.

Two forlorn souls

Aodhan at the restaurant. They gave us a bowl of toasted corn as a snack. I haven't seen this before. It's like popcorn inside, but the kernel hasn't popped. The kernels are just fried in oil and then salted. It's really good.

Our delicious fish and chips dinner. Pescado con papa frites. The menu said "Sole" 

Arequipa Driving tip #4: Not dangerous at all, racing down the highway behind a "peligroso" or "dangerous truck, passing another "peligroso" truck. Oh, did I mention the no passing sign that the red truck is hiding? At least this bus didn't have the beeping speedometer so he could go well over 100km/h.

The little motorcycle taxis. I wish they had these in Arequipa or La Paz, I so want to take one again. They are only in the really small rural towns. They are actually quite comfortable with a padded double bench seat in the back. 

Arequipa driving tip # 5: If your side of the road is inconvenient and you are driving a bus full of passengers, just slip into the oncoming lanes and drive straight at the traffic. The cars will go around you.