Monday, January 11, 2016

Peru 2014 Day 10: July 2- Some Fountains in a Park I Barely Got Through

Peru 2014 Index

The morning began with family time.  YAY!

Abuelita discovered how much she liked my use of my Mom’s pancake recipe in the waffle iron at home.  Since she didn’t have a waffle iron, I made actual pancakes…

For the first time…
In my entire life…
Using unfamiliar kitchen stuff and ingredients…

There was a great deal of faking the measuring in non-regulation scoops and spoons before Rosa provided an assist by suggesting we mix everything in the blender.  Following some premature flip and oversized flapjack disasters, I finally got the hang of bubble watching and made a decent breakfast.

Rosa left us on our own again to play games and fail at letting Anabelle use the phone card to check in with some friends and family at home.
Her trip to the bank and to mail the post cards revealed that postal rates did not follow the trend of the massively lower cost of living in most of Peru when compared to home. Next time, we’ll save money by purchasing extra souvenirs, or maybe a car, for people instead of sending note cards.

Abuelita cooked up the snails for her and Rosa’s lunch.



Anabelle rated them as, “Goodish, I guess.”  High praise indeed.

I found myself having the beginnings of some tummy troubles, even though I only ate a small, non-snail filled sandwich.  I really shouldn’t have had that veggie burger.

To prevent my possible stomach issues from ruining our planned trip to a fountain filled park, I decided to not eat or drink anything the rest of the day, keeping my stomach empty and therefore stable.

This was a terrible idea - in hindsight.
Or, if you happen to be Rosa- who has seen me reach crazy hungry and/or disturbingly dehydrated land before – in foresight.

A medium sized, fairly empty, and more importantly clown free, bus took us back to the Inka Market to pick up Rosa’s Peru Jacket.

Rosa’s local negotiating skills found a decently priced cab to bring us to Parque de la Reserva, the largest fountain complex in the world.  Its thirteen fountains, plus a couple more in the section through the toilet tunnel (more on that later) varied in creation date.
This led to a mix of technology stretching from computer controlled, light augmented, laminar flow masterpieces, to pools with spinning rusty metal things splashing statues. 

All of them were artistically attractive and Anabelle was completely thrilled.  There were water arches to walk under, rainbow displays to view, and laminar flow shooty uppy ones to mistime running through.

Somewhere between the Inka Market and when we finished our first look at the fountains, I passed from, “You don’t look that good,” to “You look like a ghost.” It was enough to make me extremely nervous about the vulture who was hopping around between some of the fountains. 

A tunnel ran under the highway connecting two fountained areas of the park.  It was dedicated to explanations about the importance of water conservation…
In the world’s largest fountain park…
In a city built in a desert.

Hey, they meant well.

As a demonstration of what they were talking about, there was a toilet bowl in the tunnel with a giant DO NOT USE sign. I guess, since the public restrooms there required the purchase of a ticket to enter, they wanted to be extra clear about that.

We finished looking at all of the displays way early.  The Disneyesque musical projections on the fountain show started at a quarter after seven, leaving us with over two hours to kill.

Anabelle had one of her favorite Peruvian dishes at an outdoor stand: salchi papa. That’s fried, sliced hot dogs over French fries.  I’m not sure what makes that a Peruvian dish, but that didn’t really matter, as Anabelle preferred the samples of it she got in the States to the one in Peru.  I continued my intake deprivation plan, concerned that if I didn’t, I could end up spending our life savings on toilet tickets.  While at the table, Rosa called the cab company, and was told we couldn’t give them a time, but had to call fifteen minutes before.  Planning ahead is not a hallmark of the Peruvian mindset.

Side note:  Peruvians are more affectionate in public.  Not in a sucking face in the high school halls between classes way, but in a holding hands walking down the street way.  It was sweet to see the number of couples who came to the park to sit together and snuggle on the benches.

After she ate a little, we went back to see the fountains that lit up in different colors at night. Anabelle managed to get herself trapped in the center of the Dream Labyrinth Fountain.  It was a series of vertical laminar flow jets in concentric circles.  She weaved in and out through the ones that were starting and stopping at about knee height.  When she got one ring from the center, they all fired to about six feet in the air.  She did manage to make the middle eventually, but it was a complex, time consuming, and soggy trip back out.

Right next to that was the Fountain of Life.  I overcame my lack of energy to belt out a tribute to the opening of the Lion King based on the title.  Anabelle did not appreciate this. 

None of us appreciated the kids who thought it was funny to run their hands through the now lit up water tunnel, soaking us as we tried to walk through for pretty light pictures.

Of course, the single evening we were both outside and wet was the night that the temperatures dropped to the crazy cold range.  Anabelle’s jacket was saturated and she ended up in Rosa’s (and for a brief bit, mine over Rosa’s) while she dried off. 

The depths of the poorness of my decision beginning to reveal itself, I sat down near a tree while they waited leaning on the front row rail for the show.

I came forward to stand with them in time to see the spectacle start in a flurry of spray, awesome projections of dancers, lasers and powerful music.

Then the crowd seemed to close in on me and spin rapidly around. 

My blood sugar chose that moment to tank completely.  I excused myself before passing out over the railing.  Fortunately, my daughter merely thought I went to the bathroom and didn’t panic. I sat on the grass leaning on my new favorite tree, and infused myself with a granola bar to generate enough energy to stand before rejoining them for the end of the presentation.

We passed through the tunnel again to use the exit by the now colorfully illuminated Rainbow Fountain.  In that section there was also an upside down house, with no explanation.  That’s a fairly odd thing to find on two separate vacations.

Rosa called the cab and was told they didn’t come to the park. Why they didn’t tell her this along with the “call fifteen minutes before” information I can only ascribe to being a cruel prank.

A walk of several blocks brought us in range of the cab company in front of the illustrious Weiner University.

No joke I could make here could trump the reality of that one.

The cab arrived quickly (Yay!) and I zoned out for most of the ride home, allowing me to not notice what I presume were normal levels of chaos and terror outside the windows.  Anabelle did the same thing by singing a farm song.

Everyone took excellent care of me when we returned home.  Abuelita went down the street to get me some PowerAde to go with the Power Bar Rosa had brought over to hopefully rehydrate and reenergize my drained body.

Anabelle made me a sweet little card and sat by my side as I faded in and out of bizarre Illuminatus based dreams on the couch.  Satisfied that I was all right, she went to sleep.

Then I threw up everything I had ever eaten since I was five years old.

Rosa brought me some of her childhood remedy for such issues, Andrews Bicarbonate, and I rested on the couch, not going to bed until I was sure I was finished.

Until I woke up at Four AM for another round

Click To Continue. 

Peru 2014 Index

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