Eco Truly Park, somewhere north of Lima

April 28, 2014 § 2 Comments

It’s crazy how much can happen in a week of traveling; the families that you adopt, the horizons that you see, the experiences that you have, and the things that you learn. It’s wonderful and overwhelming and beautiful and makes you appreciate every single minute of it.

So, I didn’t stay at the Eco Truly Village as long as I anticipated; eight days was enough. While I am very happy that I went, it did not meet my ideal expectations.

EcoTrulyPark4

Aesthetically, the village grounds themselves were very artsy and a pleasure to stroll barefoot through:

And the buildings were colorful and an architectural breath of freshness from all of the industrialization of Lima:

Did not like all of the dogs running around, but I did befriend a couple of the cats:

EcocTrulyVillage7

And there were interesting things one would stumble upon on the beach, like this whale bone that would comfortable seat two people and still provide a little table inbetween for a mini picnic:

EcoTrulyVillageBeachWhaleBone

Outside of the bush gates though, life was less glamorous and a tad bit hopeless:

EcoTrulySandDunesShoe

We were about an hour and a half north of Lima, but in the middle of nowhere. While driving out of the city

(which was a very hot and long adventure in itself):

LimaRimac

, I was shocked to see how abrupt the change from city slums to nothingness was. All of a sudden, you look out of the window and see a 90-degree drop and the ocean on the left side, and an endless row of sand dunes on the right side. And out little eco village was nestled in the midst of this emptiness, on the edge of ragged cliffs and these great mountains made out of sand:

EcoTrulyParkOfficial

Sand, beach, sand:

Which made outside walks very atmospheric, especially with the constant fog that clouded the first five days:

The closest “town” was a 20-minute walk away, in which you passed an endless assembly of barking dogs and potentially-abandoned houses:

So, as far as an escape into some kind of oasis to get healed and cleansed, I’m sad to admit that the place made me feel more dirty and sick than the opposite. I was particularly excited about the beach, but even that was smelly and completely covered with trash (though I am sure that Easter Weekend’s 4-day-camping-vacation for hundred of Peruvians did not improve the situation):

EcoTrulyParkBeach

I can honestly say that the entire experience was based on the people that I met rather than on the place itself. From the daily morning yoga classes, to the spontaneous hikes and climbs, to town outings, to singing and dancing in the temple, to long conversations under the stars, to private workshops and chocolate picnics, the group of people that shared their days and nights this week was a perfect balance and made the whole thing very fun and fulfilling.

The day before Easter weekend, we all got into a crowded taxi and zoomed upcoast to Chancay, the nearest town with stocked stores and a sign of life. Not only did we try a sugar-based assortment of street food (thanks, Andrea, for giving us no choice), but we witnessed all of the Peruvian Easter festivities- giant, elaborate floats, theatre in the main plaza, and the ceremonial procession (accompanied by several uncoordinated bands and fireworks):

Another day, we were given a break from our workdays and treated to a day at a nearby beach resort– which was not at all what I had in mind, but was a blast. Bamboo furnishings, a huge pool to ourselves, things to climb, balls to throw around, music to dance to, sunshine to lounge to. And parrots to stalk!

And the first semi-colorful sunset to accompany the beach walk back to our village:

EcoVillageBeachResortSunset

Which were followed by other glimmering sunsets over the Pacific Ocean:

EcoVillageSunsetCliff

And more beachside walks to accompany them:

EcoVillageBeachResortFootsteps

I decided to leave early with some of the other people and head to Cusco for the mandatory Machu Picchu trek. By that time, I was so drained from a week of upset tummies (can’t particularly complain about the food, but I don’t think that the water purification there was stellar), and not being able to sleep on mats, and a really congested cold, and a fever, that the bus ride back and sleepover at the Lima airport is kind of a blur. I do remember the dawn flight from Lima to Cusco though, which was absolutely breath-taking. Flying so close above the Andes, with the sun just coming up and coloring everything. You can see all of the trails that the Incas built- how many thousand years ago? It’s funny to think that I was researching and teaching about this tribe and this place to my high school kids a couple of months ago, and now it is laid out right in front of me:

FlightLimaCusco

But now, it is time for a three-day Rest Break in Cusco. I checked into the perfect hotel for such a thing:

Cute and colorful and quaint and artsy and quiet and home-y feeling, but with all of the modern amenities (ie: beds with warm sheets and warm showers). Three days of just sleeping and eating bags and bags (and bags and bags and bags) of cookies and drinking coca leaf tea while laying in bed and watching giant hummingbirds flutter around all of the flowers outside of my own room. When I’m feeling a little bit more bold and strong, I slide down the railing to the courtyard and browse the library rooms for books in interesting languages.

In a couple of days of rejuvenation and fever-curing, I’ll be ready to tread outside of these walls and go tackle those treks and hit those nightlife nooks of Cusco. But until then, I am thoroughly enjoying these lazy days of organizing memories and scribbling down stories : )

EcoTrulyWaterTruly

PS:  Still battling with this new camera and formatting… excuse the awkward spacing and dimensions; order shall return soon!  Click on the thumbnails to actually see stuff.

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