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Peru : Back to Lima

from the rainforest to the city

Thursday 30th August – Back to Lima

We thought we would have a relaxed morning as our flight was early afternoon, but it turned out we had to leave just before breakfast and cruise/bus back to Puerto Maldonado airport at once so the first flight people could go. Now, I understand the economics of this to the lodge (only one trip by boat for them), but for us it felt like a wasted morning as we ended up spending 3/4 hours hanging around a small airport (two gift shops selling the same things and one food shop, by which I mean pies). I did suggest to the lodge that it would have been nicer for us to have a morning activity at the lodge (we’d pay) instead of a hot, stuffy airport. After we’d got really bored I began talking to the shop owners (in dire Spanish which I don’t speak) and we ended up with a discussion of what made a pie and what was a pastry (and which he should sell as which).
Finally our plane arrived and we were able to board. The flight went back to Cusco (wow- what a landing- the pilot landed in a steep dive down the mountains followed by a VERY STRONG brake). We collected some more people and headed back to Lima to arrive in the early afternoon in Miraflores again (almost the same room in the hotel!). We went for a walk along the main road to find the chocolate shop we’d wanted to visit (Xocolatl) but it was shut, annoyingly. We had already booked at the slightly exclusive Huaca Pucllana restaurant (it was suggested that booking on the day was unlikely) and asked the hotel to get us a taxi at 6. They forgot. We waited and waited until I had to say something. Oh, sorry madam. To be fair, they did get a taxi at once (and paid for it in recompense) and phone the restaurant to let them know we would be 20 mins late. The restaurant was in Miraflores, so not a long drive and it was beautiful. We ate outside in the pre-Inca Wari/Huari ruins of a huaca, which was all lit up as evening fell. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. We went for seafood (I had swordfish) as it was fresh. We must have eaten 4 or 5 courses with a super local wine and were totally stuffed. It was pricey compared to other places we’d eaten, but it was nice to finish our Peruvian trip on a nice meal. For the wine- we had a local red, Ocucaje Mal de Cave- a Malbec/ Cabernet Sauvignon from a 1930’s vineyard south of Lima with old world vines. A nice red
colour and easy on the palate. PS Occuaje = Between the Hills.

Huaca Pucllana
Huaca Juliana, or Pucllana, is a great adobe and clay pyramid in the Miraflores district built from seven staggering platforms. Its name comes from the Quechua word “pucllay,” meaning “game”, so therefore “a place for ritual games.” It served as an important ceremonial-administrative centre of a Lima Culture, which developed in the Peruvian Central Coast 200- 700 AD. The Great Pyramid was built by the elite priests (who governed several valleys in the area) c 5th C with the purpose of expressing their religious power and their control of the natural water resources of the Rimac river (saltwater and freshwater) where they had built a canal system. Currently the Pucllana Archaeological Zone spreads over 15 hectares and is divided by a large wall into two well-defined sections surrounded by a plaza. One is of pyramidal structure, in a terrace formation, 23 me high and constitutes the ceremonial sector. There they performed activities related to the worship of their gods. There were benches and evidence of deep pits where offerings of fish and marine life took place in order to maintain the favour of the gods. The administrative centre was located on the other section – the area of public squares and ramps formed by interconnected precincts with benches, courtyards and passageways. This area contains various small clay structures and huts made of adobe– with some walls still standing–whose function seemed to have been the courtyards and patios of the enclosure (500 m long, 100m wide, 22m high.) Other remains have been uncovered belonging to the Wari Culture (500 AD-900 AD), which was a direct influence on Lima Culture society towards the ends of its time. Of particular note are the remains of the “Señor de los Unkus” (The Lord of the Unkus)- the first tomb within the ceremonial centre to have been discovered completely intact. This tomb holds three separate burial shrouds containing the remains of three adults–two with masks–and a sacrificed child. In these places, architectural evidences show that walls were plastered and painted in yellow ochre. Public and political matters, trade activities, as well as storage, ceremonies and summons used to take place here.
What did ancient Peruvians trade? Without doubt, elegant symbolic ceramics, representing figures of interlaced snakes or fish shapes in red, black and white; knitted fabrics made out of cotton and Peruvian camel (llama and alpaca) wool in white, brown and beige colours. Craftsmen would contribute with basket making and fishing nets, but mainly they traded and stored the food and agricultural products grown in the valley. The flatland of the Rimac valley offered a great variety of crops such as corn, beans, lima beans, peanuts, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, “lucuma” and “pacae” (local fruits) and chili pepper, among others. The ocean provided different fish species including sole, flounder and silversides, all kinds of seafood such as scallops, clams, mussels and crabs. The pastures of its slopes gave home to deer, herds of llamas and alpacas as well as guinea pigs and ducks.
Restaurant Huaca Pucllana
This sophisticated establishment overlooks the illuminated ruins at Huaca Pucllana. The menu consists of a skillfully rendered and beautifully presented array of contemporary Peruvian dishes (from grilled cuy to seafood chowders). Save room for the pisco and colonial (1600 AD) lemon parfait dessert. The ruins at night are absolutely breathtaking! Get a table on the patio and enjoy the food as well as the view.
Spectacular view of the Huaca Pucllana (Huaca means Sacred on Quechua, a native language mostly talk at the Andes.) This is one the best preserved archaeological monuments in Lima. The food its great, Novo-Andean cook, a mix of ancient meals and contemporary cuisine. For a few dollars you can walk inside the Huaca with a Guide- a magic walk. Between 10-15 dollars a dish. General Borgoño cdra. 8, Huaca Pucllana - Miraflores [email protected] www.resthuacapucllana.com
Cafe Xocolatl
Run by pastry chef Giovanna Maggiolo, Xocolatl is a sleek chocolatier specialising in contemporary Peruvian sweets, some sporting designs inspired by pre-Columbian textiles. Fillings such as coffee, pisco, Ranfañote (traditional dessert of coconut, molasses and nuts). le Manuel Bonilla 111, Miraflores, Lima 18, Tel: (511) 242 0143 Email: [email protected] Directions to Manuel Bonilla (cafe Xocolatl) from Schell 2 mins 750m
1. Head north on Alcanfores 300m or La Paz 300m
2. Alcanfores turn right onto Esperanza 100m then left to La Paz 3. Go north on La Paz 50m
4. Turn left to Manuel Bonilla

Lima geography
Lima is built mostly on the flatter coastal plain created by the Rimac, Lurin and Chillon rivers. The San Cristobal hill is the only hill connected to the Andes; the others (El Agustino, San Cosme, El Pino, La Milla, Muleria, Pro) are all outliers. The climate is classified as subtropical, but the cool Pacific water created by the Humboldt Current combined with the warm South Pacific anticyclone air keeps it pleasant (between 12 and 29 °C) except during El Niño events (water rises from 18 °C to 26 °C)

Friday 31st August – Last day in Peru
Lets draw a veil over the appalling flight home and just say it was so bad that they gave us two free return flights to Belize without any argument when I complained. As we taxied round we did see the historic centre of Lima, although we did not have time to visit anywhere.
Balconies of Lima
More than 1,600 balconies built in the viceroyalty and republic eras. For conservation, the Municipality of Lima has invited individuals and companies to adopt a balcony in order to maintain them as if new. The abundance of these balconies adds to the particular harmony and originality to this part of the city. The authority of the viceroy, as representative of the Spanish monarchy was particularly important. The entrances to Lima of the new viceroys were especially lavish. For the occasion, the streets were paved with silver bars from the doors of the city of Lima to the Palace of the Viceroy.
The Historic centre of Lima contains:
Plaza Mayor (aka Plaza de Armas) where Francisco Pizarro founded Lima. Initially, there were small stores and commerce, a bull fighting ring and a place of execution for those condemned to death by the Court of Santa Inquisición. In 1651, a bronze fountain was placed in the centre. In 1821 the Act of Independence of Peru was proclaimed here. It is surrounded by the Palace by Government, the Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace.
Monasterio de San Francisco
This bright yellow 17th C Franciscan monastery and church is one of the best preserved churches in Lima and most famous for its bone-lined catacombs (70,000 burials) and its remarkable library, with 25,000 antique texts, some
of them predating the conquest. This baroque structure has the most spectacular geometric Moorish-style cupola, over the main staircase, carved in 1625 (restored 1969) out of Nicaraguan cedar.
Archbishop’s Palace.
The Palace is the home of the Archbishop of Lima. The first church was constructed in 1535. Pope Paul III turned it into an episcopal seat in 1541. In 1547, Lima was elevated to an archdiocese. The patron of the episcopal seat is Saint Rosa of Lima. The current archbishop (also cardinal) is Juan Luis Cipriani. The current style is Baroque with cedar balconies.
Mansions of Old Lima
Around historic Lima are some beautiful colonial houses that the Peruvian Government has preserved. These include Osambela House (Casa de Oquendo) built 1803, Torre Tagle Palace (left), the 1535 House of Aliaga built by Pizarro’s standard bearer Jeronimo de Aliaga and the oldest Liman house. Also are the House of Oidor, House of Pilatos 1590, the 18th century Governeche House (Casa de Rada) and Riva Aguero House. The Torre Tagle Palace is the best known due to its preservation. The last Marquess of Torre tagle bequeathed the 1715 house to the state in 1918. Built for Don Jose Bernardo de Tagle y Brache, treasurer of the Spanish fleet no expense had been spared- marble columns, stucco work, Seville tiles, Moorish arches and coffered ceilings.

Known as Peruvian Coastal Spanish, Lima's Spanish is characterised by the lack of strong intonations found in other regions of Spanish-speaking world. It is heavily influenced by historical Spanish spoken in Castile. Throughout the colonial era, most of the Spanish colonial nobility in Lima were from Castile. Limean Spanish is characterised by the lack of voseo (second person singular like tu/toi), because voseo was primarily used by lower socioeconomic classes of Spain, a social group that did not begin to appear in Lima until the late colonial era.
The most common language is Quechua, spoken across the whole Andes range. The Inca were just one of the groups who spoke this language, but they certainly made it the language of the elite. Naturally, when the Spanish came they banned its use in public and it has taken a long time to accept it. It has, necessarily, remained an oral language. There are four branches of Quechua, with Southern Quechua being the dialect of Puno, Cusco and Arequipa. Most dialect speakers can understand each other, both the regional drift is becoming more marked (e.g. Wanka Quechua is very hard to understand). In 1540 Friar Domingo de Santo Tomas learnt Quechua and wrote his Grammatica o arte de la lengua general de los indios de los reynos del Perú in 1560. The name Quechua comes from either the Quicha people or the term qic’wa or fertile valley. Quechua shares some parallels with Aymara, but their relationship is very unclear. Aymara is spoken around Lake Titicaca and Southern Peru. It is probably named for the Aymaraes people. As an aside, in Star Wars IV (New Hope), Greedo speaks Quechua with Han Solo. In Indiana Jones Crystal Skull he has a Quechua conversation with some Peruvians.

Lima City Walls 1684-1687 by viceroy Melchor de Navarra y Rocafull.
Lima's architecture
Lima is characterised by a mix of styles. Examples of early colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral of Lima and the Torre Tagle Palace. These constructions were influenced by the Spanish baroque, Spanish Neoclassicism and Spanish
Colonial styles. After independence, a gradual shift towards neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles took place influenced by French architectural styles. During 1960s, the brutalist style began in Lima under the military government of Juan Velasco- examples include the Museum of the Nation and the Ministry of Defense. The 21st C has seen the appearance of skyscrapers around the financial district.
An upscale district, which has luxury hotels, shops and restaurants. Miraflores has more parks and green areas Lima than most other districts. Larcomar, a popular shopping mall and entertainment centre built on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, featuring bars, dance clubs, movie theatres, cafes, shops, boutiques and galleries, is also located in this district. Nightlife, shopping and entertainment also centre around Parque Kennedy, a park in the heart of Miraflores that is always bustling with people and live performances. The swanky beachfront suburb of Miraflores is where you’ll find Lima’s best restaurants, shops and hotels, plus waterfront mansions and high-rise towers of the city’s movers and shakers. It’s also home to lovely parks and gardens, beaches and promenades. Some ancient history remains in Miraflores, including Huaca Pucllana, the remains of a pre-Inca mud-brick temple. Paragliders come to Miraflores to leap off the area’s rocky cliffs. The beaches are popular, but the coast tends to be rocky rather than sandy.

Peru and Tin-tin
Herge was quite interested in Central and Southern America. His sixth book, The Broken Ear, 1935-7 tells the story of a Peruvian idol and the Arumbaya tribe. The idol is stolen from Brussels Museum (a genuine pre-Columbian Chimu idol was indeed in the museum) and a fake put in its place. Tin- tin follows the thieves to “San Theodoras”, a fictional South American country, possibly Peru. He is arrested as a terrorist but freed by a new government led by General Alcazar who wishes Tintin to help him attack Nuevo Rico. Tintin escapes into the rainforest where he meets the Arumbaya tribe. They tell him a diamond is hidden inside the statue. When he returns to Belgium he finds the idol, but in a scuffle it smashes and the diamond falls into the ocean. He returns the idol to the museum. Herge returned to South America in his two part story; The Seven Crystal Balls and The Prisoners of the Sun. A group of explorers return from the Andes with the Inca mummy, Rascar Capac. One by one the explorers fall into comas with the only clue a shattered crystal ball by each one. Professor Calculus, friendly with one explorer looks after the Capac treasure, particularly a gold bracelet, but both he, the treasures and the mummy are stolen. Tintin sees his old friend General Alcazar returning to South America, unset that his partner Chiquito “Last of the Inca” has disappeared. They all board the ship, Pachacamac. They land in Peru and start to follow the trail into the Andes where they met a Quechua boy, Zorrino, who gives Tintin a lucky medallion. Zorrino takes them to The Temple of the Sun where they find Huascar, Prince of the Sun. Huascar tells them they must die by fire, but can chose their own time, so Tintin chooses an eclipse. Tintin says the Sun God, Pachacamac will listen to him, so Huascar frees them. Huascar tells them how to awake the explorers, as long as they keep the Inca city secret.
Chimu Culture
The Chimu (in its earliest form known as the Moche Culture) flourished in Northern Peru c100-800AD. They appear to have been more on a loosely allied confederation rather than a single political unit. They built monumentally and had a sophisticated culture, particularly in ceramics. Their capital was at Chan Chan, a large adobe city that has suffered from erosion. They worshipped the Moon rather than the Sun, maybe because they were a coastal people. They appear to have been defeated by a group, the Sican, then taken into the Inca empire c1470 AD.

Posted by PetersF 20:08 Archived in Peru Tagged peru lima

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