Day 339: Mollendo, Peru
The best thing about blogging is the people you meet online who become great friends despite never meeting them in person.
At times you are fortunate enough to be in the same city and in Cusco I met up with Mica from KayPachaTravels.
She’s also in her 30s and a former chef. After a few beer she made me dinner.
Needless to say I liked her immediately.
I met up with Mica again in Mollendo, a small beach town outside Arequipa.
I was happy to see it wasn’t a touristy beach slum polluted with barefooted foreigners refusing to bathe and instead was filled with Peruvian tourists.
We learned that we had arrived on Sunday, the day after a huge party and the last weekend of Carnaval.
However, the festivities hadn’t ended and there was much to enjoy as the beach was packed.
Along the way we saw teens pelted in paint and learned that it is tradition to assault people in coloured paint and spray foam.
It’s amusing to observe – from a distance.
But as we searched for a spot on the beach that wasn’t overrun with children a teen walking by slapped me in the mouth with green powdered paint.
I was shocked and so was the teen when Mica proceeded to tell him off.
I had no idea the severity of the prank until Mica turned around and I saw the look on her face.
My teeth were completely green, my face was green, the powder had run down my body and it was now green.
I could not see any of this.
Mica, worried that it would stain asked some people how to remove it and they offered me their kiddie pool to wash it off.
After conceding I would be slightly green most of the day we continued our way down the beach.
And then Mica was hit.
Fortunately with just a bit of spray we were able to laugh it off as part of the local festivities.
But I wondered if people were staring at us because we were the only foreigners there or because I was as green as the Irish hostel I had berated earlier that week.
That night I showered and tried to remove the rest of the paint. We put some nice clothes on and went to a concert some speedo wearing lifeguards invited us to.
But within 5 minutes of arriving I was slapped in the arm with white paint and Mica had foam sprayed in her face.
Our sense of adventure wasn’t as great so we decided to seek solace away from the action at an oceanside bar.
Besides we didn’t need to meet up with the speedo sporting life guards as we had already seen all they had to offer.