We took the bus for the first time this morning. It was an adventure indeed as the driving here is out of control. It reminds me of Guatemala where traffic signs are only a suggestion and if you want to cross the road you pretty much have to walk in front of oncoming traffic. The bus ride was only 1 sol per person or roughly 33 cents. A real deal!
One of the very first things I did this morning was search for the famous park in Miraflores with cats. I have read a lot about this park and have seen a lot of videos concerning this very important place. At first I was a little nervous because I was afraid that we would arrive and find a lot of sick and starving cats, but my fears were alleviated once we arrived. It turns out that they take very good care of the cats here. There are vets that stop by often to check the health of the cats and there is also security that patrols the area to make sure that the cats are safe and that they don’t bother the local restaurants. Moreover, there is a program setup where if someone falls in love with one of these little guys they can adopt them. All the cats are given the vaccines and are spayed or neutered so that the population doesn’t get out of control.
We headed down to a place called Claro where we purchased two rechargeable SIM cards. Claro is a little more expensive that the competition, but we wanted to make sure that we have coverage in smaller areas, and they said that they have the most in the country. Last time we traveled to Mexico we decided to go with a smaller company, and we ended up regretting it. Both SIM cards set us back about 27 dollars. Not too bad!
From the park we found a nice little restaurant where we could watch the cats and have our dinner. I don’t remember the name of the cafe or what we ordered, but it was really good. We had a potato-like French fry that was really tasty and some kind of sample platter that gives you a sample of the local tastes. We also tried the famous Pisco Sour and another type of Pisco Sour with Coca Leaves. They were both really tasty and had their own unique flavors. I think I like the original better. It kind of reminds me of a Margarita but without the salt. The egg makes it a lot smoother and takes the edge off. While we were eating we made a friend. One of the little cats made her way over to the restaurant and was asking for food from each of the tables. I made the mistake of giving her a little treat, and she would not leave my side. I was a little embarrassed and I got a much deserved scolding from Alisa. The waitress informed us that even though it is illegal, someone must have dropped off the cat in the park recently. It was really young and had not yet learned that they have to stay in the park area where the volunteers feed and take care of them. She was really cute and of course I wanted to take her home with us.
After our meal, we returned home to put the leftovers in the fridge and headed back to Miraflores.
While we were close to the cat park, I saw a young couple looking at the cats as well. The girl looked like one of my own students so I headed over to see if that were the case. As soon as I said hi, she recognized me right away. We talked about our plans, and I told her that I was happy that she took the opportunity to head to Latin America and have an adventure over the summer.
We walked around until it was dark and discovered that in the cat park they have a artisan market. It turns out that the market has been there for over thirty years. We bought a bracelet and I bought a couple of trinkets for my students back in Oregon.
We headed back to our Apt. around 8 pm in an overstuffed bus that up until this point has been really fun. It is not so much the bus itself but the way that people drive here.