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January 2021

Lima arrival

Thursday 16th August 2012- Arrive Lima
We left Heathrow early (VERY EARLY) on the morning of the 16th. In fact, so early that we arrived before most of the flight staff! You can’t book in the requisite 2 hours if you are leaving at 6.30 and the staff don’t arrive until 6! Still, it was a really easy check in. The flight left promptly and we arrived in Madrid at mid morning, time to have a snack, before catching our Iberia flight to Lima. Although it’s a long flight, it was quite interesting view-wise. The most amazing thing for us was suddenly realising that in fact it was not the Atlantic that we had been crossing for 4 hours, but the Amazon forest. Definitely WOW.
48879366571_2fee53f846_o.jpgWe must have kept up with the sun, because amazingly it was still the daytime of the 16th as we crossed the Andes (brilliant view as it was a cloudless day). The divide between the fertile Amazonian east and the arid west of the mountain was really clear.

The reason for this is that, despite the moist Pacific air, almost all the rivers of the Amazon flow east, down into the Amazon basin, leaving the western side very dry. The hills this side look layered and sandy.
The plane crossed the whole city of Lima (nice view), out to sea (Pacific), past some islands, and back into Lima airport.

We realised we had now crossed the Equator (for our first time ever). It was a very easy entrée to Peru, and we arrived at the entrance hall at early dusk (5 pm local time) to be met by our guide. He finally found his taxi and we drove through Lima to Miraflores along the beach, up the cobbled hilly entrance to the area, past the huge casinos and some very lightweight “adult” shops to our pleasant hotel, Casa Andina (Petit Thouars St).
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MIRAFLORES is an upscale luxury district of Lima with parks, bars, boutiques, galleries, hotels and restaurants. It is built on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. In the centre is Parque Kennedy- a vibrant park often with entertainment. The ancient site of Huaca Pucllana, a pre- Inca mud brick temple, is found here (see our last day in Peru for more on this).

We had a room on the fourth floor, so it was nice and quiet. As it was only early evening we decided on a walk before a meal and bed, to help us readjust to a new time zone. The concierge (who was helpful and friendly) suggested we go left, so we headed out to the next road and turned left down Calle Enrique Palacios. A 5 minute walk brought us to a local supermarket. The green area (fruit & veg) had plenty of familiar fruit (the joys of globalisation) and some we had never seen before, though they looked quite exciting. In the end we only needed water, raisins and some biscuits so we grabbed these and paid.

Some local fruits we knew- cape gooseberry, papaya, dragonfruit, passionfruit/ granadilla, tamarillo (the deadly nightshade/ tomato relative we get in W’rose- pic right).
28919880-5a86-11eb-9e3f-e97f0c77ccfb.png28007c10-5a86-11eb-9e3f-e97f0c77ccfb.pngLots of native fruits we knew nothing about- taperiva (like a green potato), cupuaçu (a cocoa tree relative with fruit like a small coconut shell previous left), ungurahui (like big blueberries), guanabana (like a prickly gooseberry- below right), pepino (like a small stripy melon), cherimoya/ custard apple, mammee apple.
Some vegetables we’d never before seen- pacay (a sweet peanut family legume aka the “ice-cream bean” left) and yacon (a tuber).

It was time to head back for supper so we went back to the hotel as the food in the restaurant looked nice. We asked the waitress for recommendations, so she suggested soup (Aguadito de pollo or Peruvian chicken soup with coriander). Steve wanted the tres leche pudding (it’s a well known Peruvian dessert- sponge cake with three milks- condensed, evap and cream), but he found it a bit too sweet. Glad I stuck to

the Mazamorra morada (typically Limeñan, like a sort of jelly with fruit and purple coloured as it’s made from the purple corn they grow in Peru). We washed it all down with a lovely Arequipa pale beer whilst many locals watched a match on the TV. An early night (by Peruvian time, but it was about 3 am our time!)

LIMA HISTORY PART 1
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Lima is the capital (and the largest city) of Peru. Nearly 2 million people live there (making it the 5th largest in South America). Before the Spanish arrived the valley between the Rimac, Chillon and Lurin rivers was occupied by the pre-Inca culture of the Huari (or Wari) who were part of the polity of Icshma/ Ycshma/ Itchyma. The wooden statue (left) is typical of the culture’s artefacts. This culture was taken over, probably fairly peacefully, by the Incan Empire in the 15th century AD. During the Incan Civil War (see later) the Lima area was held by Inca Atahualpa, who was himself defeated by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizzaro in 1532. The King of Spain granted Pizzaro the Lima area and he built a city close by. He named it La Cuidad de los Reyes, The City of Kings, and it was inaugurated 18th Jan 1535. The rebel Inca leader, Manco Inca, besieged Lima in Aug 1536 but failed to take it and concentrated his efforts back in the Inca heartlands. Lima became the capital of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru in 1543 and quickly gained power (and especially after it was granted a Real Audienca, which was a derogation of judicial and administrative powers from the crown of Spain to the Viceroy) and flourished throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the centre of the Latin Spanish trade network and the trade in gold and silver from Peruvian-Bolivian mines. This attracted pirates and privateers, which led to the strengthening of the city walls (1684-7) under Viceroy Melchior de Navarra y Rocafull, although these suffered in the 1687 earthquake. A more powerful earthquake in 1746 destroyed most of Lima and all of Port Callao. The influential Viceroy Jose Antonia Manso de Velasco, spent much of his time rebuilding the city. The Bourbon Reforms of the 18thcentury led to a decline in the city's fortunes as it lost its trading monopolies and the elite began to entrench their position. In 1820 Argentine and Chilean freedom fighters under General Jose de San Martin attacked, forcing Viceroy Jose de la Serna to sign a Declaration of Independence. When Peru finally gained Independence in 1826 Lima became the capital of The Republic of Peru. During the War of the Pacific (more later) Chilean troops briefly occupied Lima. As the city expanded more people from the Andean regions moved to Lima, creating shanty towns (pueblos jovenos).

Posted by PetersF 18:49 Archived in Peru Tagged lima miraflores archaeology inca pachacamac Comments (0)

Pachacamac - an ancient Peruvian site

Friday 17th August – Pachacamac

We woke normal Peru time (thank goodness) and had a pleasant hotel breakfast (after spotting some interesting tea choices of manzanilla (apple- I loved this), anise and coca. We were up early enough to walk to the chocolate shop Xocxactl and to the nearby Parque Kennedy, where we saw a sweet cat and a beautiful flowering tree.
After packing and dropping out bags at the desk we were collected by our private guide, Maria, at 9 o’clock. The small minibus drove us out of Miraflores along the Pacific towards the Christ statue on the hill. Apparently this 37m statue of Cristo del Pacifico is a bit controversial. It was only erected last year (2011) by Alan Garcia (the departing president) as a gift. Our guide complained that it was basically just a copy of the Rio Christ the Redeemer.
Then we headed inland along the main Pan-American through the suburbs.
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There were loads of small, half finished houses built up the hills. Apparently, in Peru, you only pay house tax (like taxe d’habitation) when you declare your house complete. Hence no house was ever technically complete- many houses had semi- construction on their roofs as if for another floor. So, poorer households save for each section of work, sometimes taking several years e.g. for bricks to replace corrugated iron, then for plaster etc. Only very wealthy people say their houses are finished- like some wealthy parts of Lima to the north. 48878876288_a790b2bec4_o.jpgWe continued out of Lima towards Pachacamac (town). The hills around Lima are very interesting as they look like layers of sand, folded over- so very different to what we see. Then, a short drive to Pachacamac Archaeological site. We parked the minibus in the front. A small group of llama went past with a herder and several very friendly hairless Inca hounds. When I asked, our guide said it was government policy to put native flora and fauna on archaeological sites for authenticity.
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Firstly we went into the excellent Pachacamac Museum. It was arranged mainly chronologically, with a nod to themes. We looked initially at the Huari/ Wari culture who preceded the Inca in Pachacamac (who only ruled the area for a very short time). The pottery was beautiful as was their totem to Pachacamac (look at it using the mirror to see both sides properly). I found the quipu examples very interesting.
THE PACHACAMAC SITE
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Quipu-
The Inca were a pre-literate society, but as a highly organised and centralised empire, wanted to keep tabs on what was going on. Their means to this end was the quipu. This was a long string hung with series of shorter, knotted strings. 48879394466_3e7683279b_o.jpg
By varying the knot type, the distance between knots and the colours, they could record troops, tributes, agricultural produce, population and probably their legends/ stories. It was almost writing. It would be read or “written” by a quipucamayo (memory guide). Unfortunately the Spanish did not agree with “unchristian” writing and he ability to read the quipu has been lost.

Then out of the museum to drive into the site and up to the first structure- a beautiful stepped structure (I always hesitate to say pyramid as, although the shape name is correct, the link with burial Egyptian-style can confuse).

48878865993_e77da85ac2_o.jpgPachacamac was a pre-Inca site built by the Moche and Huari between 200-800AD with Inca additions 800-1450 AD. It is 30 km south of Lima and the Temples of the Sun and Moon are especially impressive. The buildings are made of sun-dried bricks and only the aridity of the site has preserved them. So far 17 pyramids have been discovered along with a cemetery. An Early Intermediate (200-600AD) multicoloured fish fresco is impressive. The Huari (Wari) 600-800AD built the city as an administrative centre and their designs appear on much excavated material. Between 800 and 1450 (when the Inca arrived) the Huari Empire had collapsed and a confederacy, the Ichma (Yschsma), was in control. The Ichma joined the Inca Empire who included the Huari creator god Pacha Kamaq into their pantheon, retaining his oracle. Pacha Kamaq means Earth-maker and the Inca added him as a brother to Manco Capac. Another legend places him, Viracocha (the Inca creator god) and Manco as sons of Inti. In this version he makes man and woman but forgets to feed them. The starving
woman asks Inti to become their god and her son Wichama (?Viracocha) throws Pacha Kamaq into the sea to become God of the fish! The Inca 1450-1532AD built five more buildings: the large Temple of the Sun, The Acllahuasi (Chosen Women or Maidens House) for their sacrificial woman, the Palace of Taurichumbi (for the emperor) and the Seat of the Peregrinos (Pilgrims to the oracle) are all Inca additions. Sadly, Francisco Pizarro heard about Pachacamac in 1532, when holding Atahualpa prisoner, and sent an expedition to seize all the gold and silver there and destroy the oracle.
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The structure is currently being excavated and restored and its design and building was very clear. Bisecting it was the main North-South road, with
high protective walls.
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We continued our drive clockwise round the site where we could very clearly see the limits of Pachacamac town (the site boundaries are government marked as, even though not visible, it is clear that there is a lot of archaeology to find). The houses come right along the edge of the site. We stopped to look over the Palace of TauriChumpi (below- access not currently available).
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The Inca did not rule Lima for long, but a look at their “conquest” tactics is interesting. They operated a divide and rule system. A tribe/ confederation would be earmarked and the leader “invited” to join the empire. If he agreed, and most did, he would become an important regional leader. His children would be educated in Cusco (as elite hostages) and taught the Inca way of life before returning as the next leaders. A second thrust
would see enforced movements of people to areas they did not know (often speaking a different language) and a move of local Quecha speakers (as the Inca were) to troublesome areas (as with the Han).
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A note on the Wari Culture
Also known in the Spanish version, Huari. They were a Middle Horizon culture in the central Andes, in a similar area to the later Inca, 500-1000AD. Their capital city, also called Wari, is close to modern Ayacucho/ Huamanga. There are a number of their ruins in the Cusco area, including Pikillaqta (south of Cusco- we saw it whilst driving from Puno to Cusco). They probably added to the building of Sacsayhuaman. The Wari extended, much as the Inca did later, north towards modern Lima where they took over the ancient oracle of Pacha Kamaq and built the temples and administrative centre of Pachacamac, as well as adding to Huaca Pucllana. They were a centralised state, which could reasonably be described as an empire. They built temple, roads and terraces. Like the Inca they were pre-literate, but clearly had significant social groupings.
In 2013 an undisturbed tomb at El Castillo de Huarmey was discovered with 3 royal or noble women with high status grave goods. They probably fell foul of a prolonged drought c800AD and by 1000AD most of their population centres had dramatically declined, and raiding/ intergroup warfare had become common.
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Then we drove around past the Painted Temple (so called because much of the original red paint is clearly visible) and ended up parking at the bottom of the Temple of the Sun. A huge cactus impressively sat by the minibus as we began the gentle(ish) walk up to the temple. For me, it was interesting to see details of the original construction (a core of earthquake resistant boulders covered by mud-clay plaster that was clearly originally painted red and white- some still visible.) It’s estimated that over 50 million sun-dried clay bricks were used to build this temple alone! The Temple(s) are in fact, four pyramids, superimposed, built on an imposing rocky outcrop with spectacular ocean and inland views.
48878852098_6d9c3febac_o.jpg48879569372_a1eeb153f8_o.jpgWe walked around the temple on the zigzag path, which was probably also the original Inca entrance to the top where we rewarded by a magnificent view- out to the low pre-Andes one way and the Pacific and Islas de Pachacamac the other way. Our guide explained about the niches and the practise of sacrifice. Apparently, according to her, young noble people (mainly girls) would be raised in seclusion. If everything in the world was good (i.e. your sacrifice was not needed) when you became a woman you would be discharged and helped to find a good husband. However, if things were going pear-shaped (e.g. famine, no rain) you would be required for a sacrifice (which they may well have considered an honour!). The niches and seats at the top are known as the Pilgrims Seats (Sieti de Peregrinos).
We walked back down and the minibus took us to the last important structure- the reconstructed Maidens Temple or Acllahuasi (House of the Chosen Women). Now many people get all hot under the collar about reconstructions (see the fuss about Crete), but if done well, can give a real insight into how they lived. The reconstructed building shows the classic Inca architecture of a zigzag entrance, trapezoidal doorways and polished granite foundations. The Maidens (who would be priestesses by definition) living quarters look simple.
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Posted by PetersF 18:49 Archived in Peru Tagged peru lima llama archaeology inca pachacamac Comments (0)

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