Cats in the Park

Whilst walking through Parque Kennedy in Miraflores, Lima, recently, I commented to my friend that there seemed to be a lot of cats either in or around the park. IMG_0099     DSCN0800

Everywhere I looked there seem to be cats.DSCN1004 Oops!! Sorry, wrong park.

DSCN0801 ( They look remarkably similar to me.)

It seems though, the cat population of Kennedy Park used to be more than 100 and was a popular attraction to both tourists and a significant amount of locals. There is however, an opposing faction, people who don’t like cats. They have campaigned to have the cats removed and if necessary, put down. It would appear that a local priest is one of those unhappy with the presence of the cats and was even, allegedly, accused of killing or kidnapping some of the unfortunate creatures. Which he denies. Also, allegedly, he prevented the rescue of a cat which was trapped in the church tower.DSCN1066

Many of the cats have been adopted and now live in good homes. Those remaining being totally oblivious to the divide they have created in public opinion.   I have to include a pic of the house cat where I live. IMG_0209 Scrawny yet endearing. How could you not like a cat?  They are right up there with guinea pigs for me.

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Lima From The Bus

I had hoped to go on a sea kayak trip today, a new experience for me. However, the sea has got up and the tour operators have said that it is not going to possible until next week. I am happy that they are safety conscious, being a novice, and so I decided to take the bus tour of Lima. It was probably the coldest day of the two weeks I have been here and there was a hint of rain but I had to do something.

So, onto the big red bus. It cost 65 Nuevo Soles, which is about £15, I think. Probably average for this sort of tour,(I chose the basic one although they do a variety). It departed from Kennedy Park which is in the main part of Miraflores close to the City Hall IMG_0113[1].

The first stop was, Huaca Pucllana, which I visited last week. From there we headed through the suburbs to central Lima where there is quite a mixture of old and new architecture. The streets were filled with traffic, giving an opportunity to take in the views.

Some of the older properties are well maintained, DSCN0644_298  others need more than a lick of paint.  DSCN0639_293

The highlight of the tour was San Francisco church and monastery, including a walk through the catacombs. Unfortunately, photography was banned inside the building and as you can see, this rule is rigidly enforced.DSCN0662_316 The monastery contains many works of religious art and has magnificent carved ceilings. It also contains a library of more than 25,000 books many of which are centuries old.

The catacombs contain the bones of some 70,000 people who were buried there. The bones have been dug up and stacked in neat piles according to which part of the body they belonged.   DSCN0658_312 View from outside the monastery.

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Settling In

I have moved into a penthouse suite near to the hotel in which I was previously staying. When I say penthouse, I mean it is perched on the flat roof of a house. And when I say suite, I mean it is sweet, well sort of. It is basic to say the least but has a bed, use  of all the usual facilities and comes with a tv and wifi. Not only that, it costs just US$300 a month, which is not bad for accommodation in Miraflores.

I have mentioned previously, how friendly the local people are, so I was not surprised when, as I was walking back to my hotel after dinner the other night, whilst waiting to cross the road, a young woman politely smiled and said hello. I responded in kind, as I am keen to exploit every opportunity to practice Spanish, and we struck up a conversation.

We crossed the road and continued walking and talking until, after a few minutes she asked, “would you like a massage?”.

“No thank you”, I replied.

“Something else then?” she asked.

“Thank you for your offer but no”, I said.

“Don’t you think I am pretty?” she asked.

“Well of course I do.”,  I responded. And she was.

Her hand then moved towards my nether regions, “muy grande!” she exclaimed as she accidentally touched the spectacles case that was in my pocket.

At this point I became more insistent, finally managing to get her to understand that I was not interested and she switched her attention to a passing hombre.

I can’t help wondering what would have happened if the situation had been reversed and I had been trying to grab someone by the spectacles or similar. A night in the cells at least, probably.

The sequel to this is that the following day, I was in Kennedy Park in Miraflores, where free wifi is available. I was chatting with my daughter back in England, when a man came and sat nearby. He said hello and I replied. He started to talk about the park and the wifi, during which time I was still chatting to my daughter but not wanting to offend, I was responding to him.

He then asked, ” would you like a massage?”.

” No I would not!!”, I replied as assertively as I could.

“I am looking for a good time,” he said to me. In English this time.

“Well you won’t bloody well get one from me!”, I said, thinking, “If he tries to touch my spectacles case, there is going to be trouble”. But he just got up from the bench and walked away. What annoyed me most was that he switched to English, thinking I had not understood him. I understood only to well but I still enjoy the friendly open outlook of the people here.

Fountain in parque Kennedy in Miraflores/Lima,...

Fountain in parque Kennedy in Miraflores/Lima, Peru. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)