Published: April 6th 2007April 6th 2007
adobe type construction, right in Miraflores
I had a lazy morning since I got back from Nasca really late last night. I had breakfast @ 0800hr but couldnÂ´t quite decide whether I wanted to explore the city of Lima or go back to bed. I chose the latter but did get up later to check out of the hotel and wonder around Miraflores.
I walked to Huaca Pucllana, a pre-Inca pyramid in the north end of the city. As today is Good Friday, most shops were closed, the streets were quiet and traffic wasnÂ´t that heavy. Huaca Pucllana appeared closed too. While I was trying to take some photos from outside the gate, the security guard came out and spoke to me. In my very broken Spanish, I understood that it would be open tomorrow but he was nice enough to let me in to take some photos. The site is still under excavation with heaps of dirt. What is currently present is mud brick or adobe style of construction.
Afterwards on the way back, I found a grocery store, and since I only have 20 soles left I decided to get some lunch and dinner here. I came out with some buns, sliced
or bridge of Sighs, right in Barranco
meat, carton of orange juice and some bananas, all under 10 soles. Sweet!
Since I still have plenty of time to spare in Lima, I decided to check out Pachacamac, a pre-Inca and Inca construction approximately 30km from Lima. On the way there we stopped by the bridge of Sighs or LoversÂ´ bridge in Barranco. I thought there would be a lovely story behind it but according to the guide some guy committed suicide here over some girl. How romantic! Further outside the city along both sides of the highway were cluters of shanty towns. I heard that in a city of 9 million people 2 million live around here. Pachacamac was a huge disappointment, maybe because the guide was only marginally better than my Lonely Planet, whjich is not saying much. Without the history to go with the ruins, there really wasnÂ´t much to see. The sun temple was of adobe construction, which was somewhat surprising to me. Another building, mammacuna, was reconstructed but I wasnÂ´t allowed in because I wasnÂ´t with a local guide from the site. In retrospect perhaps it would have been more exciting to visit LimaÂ´s Plaza de Armas.
Chinese restaurants here are
not terribly exciting
all named Chifa Â¨insert restaurant name hereÂ¨because chifa means to eat (literally Â¨eat riceÂ¨) and has been in use since the early days of Chinese immigration to Peru.
I chilled in the hotel for the rest of the day, putting in entries in my travel blog. I got a taxi to the airport with about 3hrs to spare, thinking that I had checked in online and all I needed to do was print out my boarding passes. However, there was no checkin kiosk and we all had to line up to first clear some sort of security before even getting to the checkin counter and I didn't even have bags to check! The only consolation was that they didn't care much for liquids in carry-on luggage.
When I got back to Edmonton it was -1C and going down to -11C tonight. Welcome back to Canada.
Just some quick observations about Lima and Peru in general:
> 90% of LimaÂ´s vehicles most likely will fail emission testing in Canada, and I suspect most people here have more than average amount of soot deposits in their lungs.
Despite trash strewn along streets and highways, persistent peddlers trying to sell you things and rip you off if you didnÂ´t know better, there are still many lovely places and great people in Peru and I would recommend it highly as a travel destination.