The Diving Monk

Our apartment looks out onto a point of land and David wanted to know what was over there. On Sunday, David’s day off, we hired Jose Luis to drive us over to the point. It was very lovely. The point is in Chorrillos, a neighborhood of Lima. It is has a beautiful park with two large statues surrounded by reflecting pools. I guess it is very pretty at night. As it is along the ocean, there is a lovely walkway.

Once through the town area, we followed the road to the end where there are several restaurants. One restaurant is called the El Salto Del Fraile (the Jump of the Monk). The legend goes that there was a young orphaned boy who was taken in by a family with a young daughter about the same age. They grew up together and were very much in love. It was their belief that when they were old enough, they would get married.

The parents felt it was better to separate them and enrolled the boy to become a monk. The young girl was very lonely. After awhile, the monk received permission from the cloister to meet with his young love. He sent her a message through her maid.

The meeting took place on a Saturday afternoon at 4:00. It was a wonderful event as their love had never died for each other. She wore a large hat that was held in place by a large white kerchief. They met the following Saturday, where they observed a ship passing by heading for Chile. On the third Saturday, the monk arrived at the meeting place on time. Again, the ship was passing by. He looked through his telescope and thought that he saw the girl on the deck. She looked so close and when he reached out to touch her, he lost his balance and fell to his death in the sea.

Today, there is a lovely restaurant built on the cliffs, in the vicinity of where this story supposedly happened. Also, there are “diving monks”. Local young men, dressed in a friar’s costume dive from the cliffs, which is a good 30 feet or more! They definitely earn their tips.

Coming back through Chorrillos, we stopped to walk along the Malecon. They have moto-taxis in that part of town. A moto-taxi is a large “tricycle” apparatus built from the body of a motorcycle. Jose Luis flagged down one and off we went for a quick ride around the square. On our tour, we saw a procession for “El Senore de los Milagros”. I mentioned this in an earlier blog about the miracle of the fresco not being destroyed. Well, every neighborhood has their own processions at various times throughout the months of October and November. This was on a much smaller scale than the one in downtown Lima, but it was the same idea of dressing in purple and carrying the image of the crucifix through the streets.

The day ended with a cup of coffee and glass of wine at the Chef’s Café on Larco Street

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