Here Comes Gramaw!
Adios, Peru

Exclamation Point

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Winding down our fabulous three-week trip to Peru, we knew beforehand that after the fun-but-hectic itinerary we'd need a couple of days to relax and unwind before we came home.

 

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A vacation after our vacation...and our travel planner picked the perfect spot for that, the Arennas resort in the Pacific seaside village of Mancora at the very north edge of Peru.

 

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Just inhaling ocean breezes always immediately relaxes my whole body...

 

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Our room was literally steps away from the beach...

 

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...and, it being Peru's vacation off-season, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves!

 

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Oh, and after weeks of being soggy with jungle sweat or shivering with mountain chills, the weather was PERFECT!

 

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So our final two days in Peru, we spent napping on our veranda or taking long walks on the beautiful...

 

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...but very rocky beaches. Not a good swimming spot, but absolutely gorgeous...

 

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...and perfect for long, leisurely strolls, that proved to be filled with surprises.

 

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On our very first afternoon in Mancora, as we meandered down the shore at the water's edge, Kim stopped and excitedly said, "Terry, there are whales out there!"

WHAT???  Of course, I pooh-poohed it at first, and just as I was telling him he must be imagining things...

 

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THIS!

 

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Now I'm certainly not a whale expert, but I've watched enough National Geographic shows to know a humpback when I see one...or several! We couldn't believe our eyes!!!

 

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And I was very thankful that I had my camera with me!

We stood on the shore and watched, awed and amazed, for several minutes until the huge sea creatures swam out of sight.

 

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We were still incredulous about the whales when both Kim and I saw, at the same time, what at first glance looked like a coconut floating in the waves...

 

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...which we watched and Kim decided must be a sea lion. He didn't float long, soon quickly disappearing under the waves...

Another delightful surprise!

 

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Bird-lovers that we are, Mancora did not disappoint!  

In fact, unique sea birds were the one type of wildlife we expected to see at Mancora...now they had already taken a backseat to whales and a sea lion.

 

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Frigatebirds, which we had rarely seen, were everywhere.

 

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And lots of pelicans.

 

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And oodles and gobs of boobies...both of the brown variety...

 

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...and the blue-footed booby.  Look at the gorgeous color of those feet on a not-so-attractive bird! God is an amazing Creator!

 

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Upon closer inspection, those big rocks were covered with...

 

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...strange sea life...these ughy things were breathing and pulsing with life....

 

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...and literally thousands of sea crabs.

 

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There were painted ghost crabs too...

 

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...the kind like you see on cartoons where their eyes are popped up from their little heads!

 

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A couple of hours later that afternoon, just before the sun went down, Kim and I were relaxing on our veranda...

 

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...and between the palm trees we saw them.

 

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More WHALES!!!  We're pretty sure it was a different group...the others had long since passed through. We'd been watching all afternoon for another appearance, but they seemed to be gone until this group began frolicking right outside our room!

 

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A mother and her calf...waving "hi" to us!

 

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I can't even begin to tell you how thrilling that was for us! Totally unexpected...we had no idea there was even a possibility that we might see some whales in Mancora! It took us completely off-guard...

 

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...and as we watched the sun set that evening, we felt very, very blessed to have witnessed such magnificence in such a magical place.

 

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As morning broke, the whales outside our room were replaced by fishing boats...both modern and primitive.

 

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Although we kept our eyes peeled all day long, we wouldn't see the phenomenon of the whales again. When I mentioned them to the reception clerk Jesus (don't you love a clerk named Jesus?!), the only employee of the resort that spoke English, I'm not sure he even believed us. Just another couple of crazy Americanos....

 

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Although we never saw the whales again, we did have another surprise in store for us.  On our morning beach walk, we saw a large brown figure laying in the sand ahead.  We had seen a couple of big dogs the day before, and I'm a bit afraid of big dogs I don't know, so we assumed one of them was taking a nap on the beach.  Not wanting to startle him, we kept a wide berth...

 

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...until we realized it wasn't a dog at all, but a sea lion!

 

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Perhaps the same one we'd seen swimming the day before...no way to know. But he was dozing lazily in the sun as we walked by. Another total surprise!

 

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He did snarl a little warning at us before he crashed back down to finish his nap.

 

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I could spend hours just watching the birds wheel and dive!

 

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Later that day we would see Mr. Sea Lion swimming near the shoreline once more...

 

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A perfectly beautiful, relaxing day in a beautiful spot on the globe...

 

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...and a nice way to spend our final nights in Peru.

 

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Without really planning it, our Peru vacation was definitely ending with...

...an exclamation point!

 

 

Comments

Emily Whaley

Mom, those pictures of the whales are amazing! What a great way to end your trip!

Terri Chapman

Absolutely beautiful!!! God planned the ending just that way for you !!!! :)

Thanks for sharing

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