A Travellerspoint blog

Lima and its culture


Lima is so noisy, there is construction going on everywhere here. I tell you guys, they are not big on OH&S here, no scaffolding, only a dodgy rope around the waist they tie to a pole and there support beams is normally just a couple of planks of wood around the side of the construction. Wouldn't be in construction here for quids.

I did a Lima city tour in my 1st afternoon. We saw Ancestral Lima and visited a place called Huaca Pucllana. Which is smack bang in the middle of town and was build in the 4th century AC, it was constructed as a holy city and we learned about their society and rituals. They were big into sacrifices in those days. Because every 10 years of so South America has the El Nino, which is massive rains and crazy weather and they also have earth quakes so they didnt do sacrifices much but when natural disasters happened they thought their god was a little shirty with them so sacrificed people to make him happy again.

We then went to Colonial Lima and saw San Martin Square and Plaza Mayo which is like a massive square with beautiful buildings. Lima is really an amazing place guys, I love it here, ill be back again, there is only a small amount of skyscrapers, and it is made up of 45 districts each with its own Mayor. But in Colonial Lima they have a really good Mayor who has cleaned up the streets, its so clean, safe and everyone is happy and polite to us Gringos. I was even walking around with my camera out and it was perfectly safe. The other interesting thing about Lima is that the sun only comes out 3 months of the year. It is always cloudy no blue sky, so they paint everything these bright colors to bring some life into their town. The other thing is the street vendors, they are everywhere, anything from pens to peanuts, you think of an item of food or any other item and you can find it at a street vendor. But you don't buy from them because they have fake notes and the stuff is not of good quality. Well that's what my tour guide said anyway.

I also visited the Convent of Saint Francis which has all of the underground catacombs, They were a pretty solemn but unbelievable experience. They have the bones of about 25,000 people down there and we were allowed to walk into it. I'm glad I had a tour guide because it was a maze down there and would have been easy to get lost.

This is getting long and I have only described one tour, I better type faster and explain in less detail hehe.

For dinner I went to this Restaurant called Junius and it included a traditional Peruvian dance show. The food here is so nice, its spicy and kind of like Indian but not um sort of like curry sauces but everything is spiced. But not hot, just heaps of flavour. The show was really good too. Had a couple of beers and tried a Pisco Sour, they go mad for that here, and WOW you think our liquors are strong, this stuff knocks your socks off. Its like a brandy with lime taste and is intense. I don't like it much but you cant say that to people here. I also had a shot of Pisco straight and that was like being 15 years old and invading your old mans liquor cabinet and making a rocket fuel.

Anyway I had an all day tour on day 2. We went trough Barranco which is the Bohemian part of town, its like all actors and artists and musicians and is all painted so bright and its really hard to explain I will show you guys pictures when I get home. We then went onto the Sacred city of Pacacamac and to get there had to pass through what we know as Shanty's but which they call New Towns. It was pretty emotional in all honesty, it bought a tear to my eye. It is made up of people from the highlands coming to Lima for work but who are so poor they cant afford housing so they have these towns they set up built from any material they can get their hands on. I am telling you all, I write this with a tear in my eye because seriously, we dont know how lucky we are in Australia and im glad I have seen this because it makes me appreciate everything in my life.

Pachacamac is amazing, its about an hour out of Lima and when you get there you feel like you are in the middle of a desert. Its sandy, rough, dry and about 15 degrees hotter than Lima. Its an old citadel with ancestral shrines built in the 4th century. It was built to be dedicated to their local deity's and is like a pyramid type structure made from mud brick which they call adobe. We saw a few sites here including the Temple of Pachacmac, the Sun God shrine and the palace of the chosen which is woman who were chosen to be sacrificed. They are chosen at birth and it was meant to be a great honor, they lived in this citadel on their own with no male contact and the family's didn't have a choice if the Incan prince and royalty chose their daughter because it was an honor. To accept it made your family rich and looked after, you got a higher social standing but to refuse led to becoming lower in the social ranks, even to the point of possibly becoming slaves. I got heaps of pictures of this place and it is 4 times the size of Machu Picchu. It was taken over by the so many groups overt time including the Wari who were a crazy warrior class and destroyed a lot of it but the Spanish came and restored a lot of it and so did some other society in between the Spaniard's and the Wari.

In the afternoon I did a museum tour which was pretty good and then went and had some drinks last night and watched the football. Peru vs Paraguay. It was a draw, and they go crazy for football here. They were supposed to win because it was at home and Paraguay were without 2 of their best players

Anyway I am going to stop this here, if this pc crashes im in trouble and it is pretty old.

Ill keep in touch in a few days when im in Cuzco.

Cheers guys


Posted by gasheppard 08:22 Archived in Peru

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