The pre-show dinner I enjoyed at Heirloom Vegetarian restaurant may have just changed my attitude about vegetarian cuisine. Enjoying fish and shellfish, meats, specially charcuterie, and having an aversion to the texture of many  grains and beans I have tended to avoid places serving only vegetarian foods.

The Settlement Building on Dunlevy Street in the Railtown district east of Gastown, is home to the Vancouver Urban Winery and the Belgard Kitchen, as well as Fresh Tap, Postmark Brewing and the Roaring Twenties Wine Co.

As I was traveling with someone from California  we determined after much on-line searching that the most cost-effective way to get to Lima, the capital of Peru, was a LAN Peru Airways direct flight from Los Angeles Airport to  Lima International Airport - Jorge Chávez. The direct flight is about 9 hours. Our flight left at at 9:15 in the evening and got us into Lima at 8:50 the next morning. Peru is 2 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.

The Amazon river is the second only to the Nile as the longest river in the world, stretching 6296 kilometers from its origins high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. The Amazon runs through Peru and Brazil  to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean near Belém in Northern Brazil. Although second in length,  it carries more water than any other river including the Nile, and is responsible for 20% of the fresh water carried into the oceans, more than the next seven largest rivers combined.

One of the things that can ruin a great vacation is traveler's diarrhea. And when going to countries where enteric diseases such as typhoid and E. Coli are even more common causes of travelers' diarrhea than salmonella and campylobacter, it makes sense to do all you can to avoid getting sick.

The most perfectly planned travel can be ruined by an unanticipated illness or injury. Obsessive as I am I found it absolutely essential to check out all possible health precautions so I would not "check out" on my jungle trip.

Bet you are wondering about the dance shoes. Dance shoes - in the Amazon jungle? Well read on!

One of my sensible and pragmatic daughters-in-law, on hearing my plan to cruise the Amazon River through the Peruvian jungle,  looked at me bemused and said "why?"

I really did eat a  piranha on the Amazon River - it didn't eat me because it was a vegetarian. Really.  I thought  - piranha - big, sharp teeth, man-eating carnivore. But did you know that in the rivers of South America there are more than 30 different species of piranha? And some eat primarily vegetation.

Vancouver BC: On a miserably cold, rainy night we took the Skytrain from downtown Vancouver out to Douglas College in New Westminster. We went to see a student production of Charles Mee's adaption of Euripides' The Women of Troy. I was overjoyed to experience a production that was so much a visual and auditory delight that it made our sodden trek out to New Westminster more than worthwhile.

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