Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Archaeological Sites in Lima

It seems the more we travel, the more we are into archaeological sites.  This time we went to Pachacamac, just to the south of Lima, and Huaca Pucllana, right in Miraflores; both somehow escaped us before.  While I distinctly disliked the tight control of ambulation at both sites, personal takeaways were huge.

1. Cotton came from Peru.  While cotton was also independently domesticated on the India subcontinent, it took the longer fiber of New World cotton to derive at the cotton we have today.  My ignorant mind somehow had Egypt as the home of cotton, ugh.

2. I had understood before that unlike Mexico City (built right on top of the conquered empire), Lima was founded in a completely new place, though with advice from Incans.  However, I learned on this visit that both Pachacamac and Huaca Pucllana were built by the Lima Culture which predated Macchu Picchu by a millennium.  Though the Incans didn't continue at Huaca Pucllana, they were living at Pachacamac when the Conquistadors arrived.  Lima has a very unique climate, while it averages less than 0.3in of annual rain, it's foggy/cloudy for at least half of the year.  Having just come from the blazing California desert, I am relishing the sunless days.

With advice from the helpful, and seemingly always open, Barranco Tourist Office, we caught Bus L to Lurin right on the Plaza and in an hour later, after a change to a local bus, we were in the Pachacamac Site Museum - lots of English signage and helpful staff.

Site Museum - Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

The site itself is rather desolate. And large.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

Looking back to the museum.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

A cotton plant in the site demo indigenous plants garden.
Cotton Plant - Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

The Mamacones Enclosure, a highlight according to the usual guides books, was left unstable in a recent earthquake and can only be seen, not visited. You can see the distinctive trapezoidal Incan doorways.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

One of the 16 pyramids on site. Pachacamac was primarily a religious pilgrimage destination with 16 pyramids and one main temple; the Temple of the Sun.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

The North-South road.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

This is the modern road that allows foot and vehicular traffic access to the far reaches of the site.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

A residence that was sacked by the Spanish.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

View to the Temple of the Sun (Templo del Sol) from our lunch spot. It is NOT a pyramid but a temple built on top of a promontory.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

Ongoing archaeology at the base of Templo del Sol.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

View from Temple of the Sun to the nearby modern town of Pachacamac.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

View from atop Templo del Sol south along the coast and Pan-American Highway.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

And the view East to towards the Site Museum.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

The most imposing side of the Templo Del Sol which faces the sea (Pacific Ocean)...
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

...with this view today.
Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac - Pachacamac, Peru

And we take the Metropolitano home.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

The Metropolitano is also very convenient for visiting Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site in Miraflores. Get off at Angamos.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Huaca Pucllana features a 7-level pyramid built out of millions of adobe bricks.
Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

The site is surrounded by roads and buildings and not subjected to conservation until 1981. Visits are by guided tour only (included in the admission).
Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Jar with shark motive. The site was a temple dedicated to controlling saltwater and freshwater resources.
Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

And again cotton in the native plants garden.
Cotton - Huaca Pucllana Archaeological Site - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Arriving in Miraflores just after the rush hour, we were finished with Huaca Pucllana by 10:30 and set off to look for an electric kettle - no luck - and walk back south to Barranco, about 3 miles along the Malecón (coastal greenway).
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Tremendous lunch at a vegetarian restaurant: soup, segundo, juice, yogurt, and dessert.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Then over to the Malecón where we sat and watched paragliders for over an hour. A lot going on at this particular landing pad: tandem flights for tourists plus locals practicing and learning.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Miraflores, Lima, Peru

This guy with the blue chute never got off the ground. He was just working on controlling his chute in the manner of flying a kite.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Tandem.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Walking south on the Malecón to Barranco.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

No visit to Miraflores is complete without a visit to Larcomar Shopping Mall.
Larcomar - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Looking south from Miraflores to Barranco.
Looking south from Miraflores to Barranco, Lima, Peru

Looking north from Barranco to Miraflores.
Looking north to Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Onto Peru

In San Diego the day after the wedding we bid goodbye to all our old and new friends and drove the Avis VW BEETLE straight for the CBX (Cross Border Express).  It looked liked a small airport.  From the rental return on the US side, you walk straight into the terminal.  After filing out a customs form and buying your CBX ticket, you walk in some corridor - I completely missed the fact that we were supposed to be on some bridge - and you are deposited into the Tijuana airport. 

We flew on Interjet Airlines, lots of legroom in economy, transited in Mexico City, and then we were in Lima.  Since the Airport Bus does not go to Barranco and it was getting dark, we took the easy way of a prepay taxi (Taxi Green) contributing to the already very congested roadways of Lima.

Lima has changed discernibly since we were here in 2010 and 2011.  Though not the quite the high rise forests of China, the amount of economic activities is nevertheless impressive.  We chose to base ourselves in Barranco this time, as it is touted by all the guidebooks and recommended by our friends, mostly because we had expected to overlap some Barranco 145-year anniversary festivities.  While the charms of Barranco didn't escape us, my heart is still with Centro Historico.

Two interesting natural phenomena happened when we were in Lima: 1) We experienced a 4.5 earthquake, centered right off the coast of Lima, from our 4th floor apartment 2) On Oct 25 the noontime sun was exactly overhead, creating zero shadow, the closest we have ever been.

The balcony of our 4th floor apartment, just a minute from the Plaza and the Metropolitano BRT.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

Plaza de Barranco; the town center. Most evenings we enjoyed the 145-year anniversary events going on there.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

Feliz 145 Anos - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Just a few steps from the Plaza, the Bridge of Sighs is popular day and night.
Bridge of Sighs - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Many murals around Centro Barranco.
Abbey Road Mural - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Mural - Barranca, Lima, Peru

One evening event for the 145th Anniversary featured a hard rock band. Nice!
Barranco, Lima, Peru


Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Another evening, a singer-songwriter and rapper. And there were always several buskers.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

On Saturday there was a contest to paint a portrait of beloved Peruvian singer Chabuca Granda. We stopped by several times to check on their progress, and later the winning paintings were on display.
Painting Chabuca Granda - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Painting Chabuca Granda - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Painting Chabuca Granda - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Painting Chabuca Granda - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Also, Saturday evening was Museum Night and all the Barranco museums were free. The MATE, Mario Testino Museum, had an amazing collection of Testino photos. Beautifully displayed. No wonder he's world famous.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

And the Museo Pedro de Osma, housed in the Osma family mansion, was a stunning venue with an array of special activities
Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Inside another old mansion, now the art gallery 80m2 Livia Benavides.
80M2 - Barranco, Lima, Peru

80M2 - Barranco, Lima, Peru

We also had some very good vegetarian meals in Barranco, all veg-friendly although not 100% vegetarian restaurants. Lunch at La Bio Cafeta.
Vegetarian Lunch at La Bio Cafeta - Barranco, Lima, Peru

At Sr. Roos. Super friendly and featuring a Vegetarian Menu del Dia.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco, Lima, Peru

Not to forget the very friendly family-run Barranco Burger diner with a full array of non-meat burgers.
Barranco Burger - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Barranco Burger - Barranco, Lima, Peru

Seemed like we were always walking by this old mansion.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

And this Art Deco gem.
Barranco, Lima, Peru

--------------------------------------------

One day we rode the Metropolitano BRT to Centro Lima. That was the day the sun was directly overhead at noon. Here's my attempt to capture the moment in a photo, an orange traffic cone with no shadow.
Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Between the BRT and Plaza de Arnas is this Art Deco McDonalds, and below my photo from 2011 = yellow ;-).
McDonalds - Lima, Peru

Edificio Jesus Nazareno - Lima, Peru

The Plaze de Armas was tightly policed to say the least.
Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Our main sightseeing goal was to visit Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo which we somehow missed in 2011. The highlight of our visit was a climb up to the top of the Bell Tower.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

View of the Basilica on the way up the Bell Tower.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

A look down into one of the tranquillo cloisters.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

To the old train station and Rio Rimac.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

View to Plaza de Armas.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Into a chapel.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

The Convento library was very cool.
Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Only the band was allowed in the Plaza de Armas for the noon Changing of the Guard ceremony.
Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Centro Lima has many vegetarian restaurants. We had lunch at Manantial Restaurant Vegetariano.
Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Looking to the Chinatown Barrio Chino Gate. The amount of commerce in Chinatown was amazing.
Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

Looking to Lima Desamparados Railway Station.
Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

The railway station building is now the House of the Peruvian Literature.
Former Train Station - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru

House of the Peruvian Literature - Centro Histórico, Lima, Peru








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