A Travellerspoint blog

Peru

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)

Peru- Paracas

Ancient sites, deserts, pisco and beaches

Friday 17th August – Down the coast to Paracas
We drove back to the hotel and decided we just had time to have a light lunch there. We explained that we didn’t have much time to the waiter, so he brought us some lovely soup (sancochado which is beef, yucca/cassava and potato) and cold Cusco beer whilst we sat outside. Perfect timing as
the taxi collected us at 1.30.
We drove through Lima, over the major roads to the main Bus Station. Totally unlike our bus stations- we had to queue to hand/check in our luggage and get a receipt, then find the correct departure door and wait. Ours was Nazca via Pisco and Paracas. A longer wait than expected as the coach in was late, so we started half an hour later than we should have. Still, it was quite easy all in all. The coach was luxurious with footrests, free internet and
complimentary food! We set off south down the Pan-American Highway out of Lima and quickly we left the city and headed along the desert coast of Peru. It was interesting scenery of sandy hills, coast and small villages. By the time we reached Pisco town it was dusk and we arrived at Paracas in the later dusk having watched the sunset from the bus.
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The coach let us off and we had to collect our luggage by using our receipts as proof. Paracas bus station was a large open shed with a few plastic-tablecloth tables and a water bottle shop. Our taxi collected us and after a few minutes of road surprised us by turning off along a sand track (if that). Still, it turned out it was only a short cut to another road with our hotel on the left. The sweeping entrance was good and the lobby all marble and shiny. Our room was gorgeous- huge with a comfortable balcony over the swimming pools (yes, two) and Paracas Bay. We had pre-booked an evening meal at the hotel (Bahia Hacienda Paracas) as it was said to be popular and we had a wonderful sea view. Our really helpful waiter recommended some seafood, caught locally and very fresh, which turned out to be an excellent choice. A Chupe de pascado and a Lima butter bean lime salad (butter beans have been eaten for over 6000 years in Peru). He found some super local wine (Ocucaje Peru Fond de Cave Chardonnay – they have been in the wine/ pisco business since 1898 and this fruity white wine was great with the fish) to go along with it. We were persuaded to try Pisco Sour, which Steve liked, and I hated.
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Pisco is the capital of Pisco Province. It is a Quecha word meaning bird and the Spanish set up a villa close to the indigenous settlement. A vineyard there did so well that the 16th century Spanish invented a yellow/ amber brandy which is now called pisco. Chile has long tried to claim the brand, and even renamed one of its towns Pisco.
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Saturday 18th August – Paracas reserve
We woke quite early (still adjusting to the time zone, I think) and spent the early morning watching the bird life from our balcony. As it was dawn, but pleasantly warm, there were lots of birds feeding on the early fish shoals and even more so when the early fishing boats came in. I particularly enjoyed watching the pelicans with their distinctive looks and fishing techniques, as well as the large Peruvian Boobies. Steve got very interested in watching the kite surfers and decided he’d like to try kite surfer one day.
The bird life is the most abundant of land life in the area- a huge variety of birds are there- 216 species. We saw white-tufted grebes, Peruvian Pelicans, Peruvian boobies at least.
We had time before breakfast for a pleasant early morning walk along the bay (going right, towards Paracas town), then had an excellent breakfast of tamales (boiled corn and cheese in a banana leaf), before heading to the lobby to see if we could go to the Ballestas Islands. Unfortunately it was too windy (we didn’t notice in the bay, but when we later left it we could see the problem), so our guide proposed a tour of the Reserve instead. This turned out to be a better choice than the Ballestas as over the day we saw pretty much all the same animals (dolphins, guano birds, seals to name just a few). The minibus collected us and another family and set off left towards Paracas town (a very small town or a large village depending on your point of view), then slightly inland into the paracas themselves.
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Paracas is a Quecha word for sandstorm, which is what happens each year late Aug/ early Sept as the winds pick up and the skies fill with sand. The dunes in the area are a result of this phenomenon.
We stopped to buy a Reserve pass, then drove to the Red Mountain (a pre-Inca necropolis), which was opposite the Paracas Reserve Museum. The necropolis, Wari Kayan held several hundred burials in the Topara style c.100-250AD. They had associated ceramics (plain, red and white slip), food and weapon offerings. Each burial was seated and textile wrapped, facing north and looks very similar to early Nazca Culture burials. The museum started with an interesting room about how the area looked million of years ago (a rainforest before it dried out), including some fossilised landscapes. The remainder of the museum was really dedicated to the environment, both marine and land, around Paracas (including an environmental part upstairs).
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When we had finished our guide took us over the sand (literally- just like when we drove through Wadi Rum in Jordan) towards the Pacific. We came over and down a paracas to Red Beach (Playa Roja), which was a truly beautiful bay with very red sand. The island in the distance was called Pannetone Island (because it looked just like one). We spent a while here enjoying the rollers of the Pacific. Annoyingly, for Steve, he managed to break his sunglasses and it was so bright he had to wear them with 1 arm only until we got to Arequipa where he bought some fake Gucci’s to replace them in the Plaza de Armas. Then we drove back up the sand dunes and ending in an alien looking environment our guide jokingly called Mars (red, arid sand, no visible water, small rocky outcrops and NO ONE else around). He explained that the small piles of rocks (well larger than pebbles but smaller than rocks) were small hills made by people. They are called apachetas and relate to pre-Inca and Inca beliefs in the power of mountains. If you make or add to an apacheta you can have a wish or good luck (slightly different interpretations, but the general gist is the same), so of course we had to do this!
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Read the section about Inca mythology to understand the importance of rock piles. Certainly in Inca (and probably pre-Inca) times a small pile of rocks would mark your household place or huaclla (the size of which, of course, depended on whether you were a peasant farmer or an emperor!). It is understandable, given the terrain, that Andean cultures would have a thing about mountains (what with the earthquakes, volcanoes, altiplano and Andes peaks). Many sacrifices and necropoli are associated with mountains.
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The minibus took us past more sand dunes and beaches (no-one seemed to use these beaches- in Europe they would have been packed. Apparently Paracas is trying to develop itself as a seaside destination). We parked a short walk from the overhang that looked down over The Cathedral, where we were lucky enough to spot a whole school of dolphins. The Cathedral (or rather what was left of it after the natural arch was destroyed the 2007 tsunami) was covered with guano birds. It was very windy and we soon left to visit Devil Beach overhang. Our guide said this was one of the more dangerous beaches as it had a terrible undertow. We were getting rather hungry, so we headed back to our hotel for a late lunch of fresh seafood, which we ate outside with a glorious view of the bay. For wine- a recommendation from the maitre d’ was a local white; Vista Alegre Pinot from one of Peru’s largest vineyards, establish 1857. A lower alcohol wine since we had a longish journey, it was light and fruity and pleasant for lunch.
We spent the afternoon sitting on the beach chilling, before our taxi took us back to the Paracas coach station shed to catch the coach to Nazca. The same system of luggage check-in and off we set.
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Paracas Reserve
This is the only coastal / marine reserve in Peru. It is a World Heritage site of 335000 hectares (land and sea) and covers the ecosystem, geography and archaeology of the local pre-Inca Paracas and Chavin cultures. The sun shines around 18.7 °C all year and there is virtually no rainfall. Wind in general is 15 km/h but in the paracas time reaches 32 km/h.
In the sea there is abundant life -fish like bonito, toyo, anchovy, guitarfish, tramboyo, mero, corvine, chitas, lorna, silversides, pampanito, over 250 algae species, turtles, zooplankton and phytoplankton- the food chain fuel. Not to mention sea mammals Seals, sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, whales, Humboldt penguin and marine otters (seacats).
Between sea and land are crustaceans, algae and molluscs. In places there are stagnant pools where life has found a niche (mainly bullrushes (totora) which are woven into baskets).
On land the lack of rainfall makes it look very arid- animals are basically the desert fox, a few bats and reptiles (two lizard types and a gecko). The few plants that survive here are cacti and bromeliads (tillandsia).
The peninsula supported the Paracas Culture (c1200 BC – 100 BC), who perfected a water irrigation system enabling them to live in the arid area. The Peruvian archaeologist Tello excavated in area in the 1920’s at the Paracas Cavernas shaft tombs (evidence of reuse and of ritual use of the heads followed by re- interment). The Paracas culture was invaded from the north c150 AD by the Topara culture and they seem to have co-existed for some 100 years. Their interaction contributed to the development of the nearby Nazca culture. Interestingly the Pampa de Santo Domingo site (occupied from c6500BC) yielded a decorated quena (Peruvian flute)- the earliest example.
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Posted by PetersF 12:17 Archived in Peru Tagged birds desert beach peru paracas pisco inca chavin Comments (0)

Nazca; Peruvian history

Deserts, plane rides, archaeology, those lines!

Saturday 18th August – Paracas to Nazca

The coach trip took us from Paracas, through the paracas (sand dunes) down the Pan- American Highway, through the town of Ica (dusk), across a plain, over some small mountains, across Nazca Plain, over some other smallish mountains for about 3 hours to Nazca, where we arrived in the early evening. Our taxi took our luggage from the coach station (much busier than Paracas) while we walked up the main street. The town reminded us very much of Yangshuo in China. The Casa Andina was a lovely hotel with a glass lobby, a huge open central vestibule with palms and slate maps of the lines all open to the rainless air. Our room was on the second floor, which was based around the central section (which also had a swimming pool). A functional, but pleasant room. It was not very late so we decided to find somewhere to eat a small, simple meal before walking the town. We went right out of the hotel and opposite found a small café / restaurant. We went upstairs to the balcony area and ate their special (noodle soup, beer, pancake and ice-cream pud) for only a few soles. The ice cream was of Lucuma (Gold of the Incas), which is a native fruit well know to Inca and pre-Inca cultures (pottery). It’s yellow flesh tastes a bit like maple.
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When we’d finished we walked back to the hotel, but kept on going, past the night clubs to the Plaza de Armas. A pretty, very blue looking plaza with a central blue-mosaiced fountain and the cathedral/church on the side. We sat for a while here as it was pleasantly warm, before heading back to the hotel for a nightcap.
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Spanish-Peruvian History
1. Pizarro and Almagro
In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas between Portugal and Spain agreed which parts of the New World each one claimed. After Pizarro had effectively neutralized the Inca Empire he and his fellow conquistador, Diego de Almagro, were granted control of the new lands by the Spanish King Carlos I. After taking Quito, de Almagro felt he had been cheated out of his fair share and fell out with Pizarro (1535). His son El Mozo Diego de Almagro, by his native Panamanian wife, attacked Pizzaro in Lima in 1541, then went after the Inca Sapa Manco II, killing him (see Inca history section). This was pretty much the end of the Inca Empire.
The feud between the Pizarros and Almagros led Carlos (now King of Spain and HRE) to set Peru up as a Viceroyalty
2. Viceroyalty 1543-1824
The first Viceroy to arrive was Blasco Nunez Vela. His title was Viceroy of New Castile (=Peru). He was promptly murdered 1546 by Gonzalo Pizarro, who then claimed the viceroyalty. The second viceroy, Pedro de la Gasca was having none of it and executed Gonzalo after his defeat in the Battle of Jaquijahuana (1548). Gasca was a strong man and the title now became Viceroy of Peru 1547-50, instituting an Audiencia in Lima (an Audiencia basically meant the Viceroy had administrative and judicial powers derogated from the king- a practical measure given the distance but obviously important symbolically).
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Six short lived viceroys (Antonio de Mendoza 1551/2, Melchor Brava de Saravia 1552-6, Andres de Mendoza 1556-61, Diego Lopez de Zuniga 1561-4, Juan de Saarvedra 1564, Garcia de Castro 1564-9) preceded Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (appointed1569, arrived 1572). He established an Inquisition in Peru, executed the Inca Tupac Amaru and destroyed Vilcabamba. A succession of viceroys followed, some more effective than others, and all keen to convert the locals. The Jesuits were especially proactive in this area. Fernando Torres de Portugal (1584-9), Francisco de Borja y Aragon (1615-21), Fernandez de Cordoba (1622-9) and Fernandez de Castro (1667-72) stand out in one way or another. The encomienda system was badly run, leading to lots of abuses. Although it was legally abolished in 1720, it in practise continued well into the 18th century.
The local people were not well treated and revolts were common:-
i) Pedro Bohorquez 1656. Claimed to be Sapa Inca
ii) Jose and Gaspar Salcedo 1665-8. Mine owners
iii) Juan Santos Atahualpa 1742-80. A Cusco Inca who claimed descent from Atahualpa. He took Cusco. Despite his death in 1755 the rebellion continued until 1780.
iv) Tupac Amaru II. Tupac came from the Inca royal family and his Cusco Sierra Uprising of 1780, although ultimately unsuccessful, is regarded as the first freedom fight. His family was killed in front of his eyes, he was then tortured and beheaded. His son was taken to Spain.
3. Wars of Independence 1810-24
In South America there was increasingly a wish for independence and two landowners, Simon Bolivar (from Venezuela, but gave his name to Bolivia) and Jose de San Martin (from Argentina) began the fight. San Martin marched to Chile where he defeated the royal troops at the Battle of Chacabuco before sailing to Paracas in 1819 with the newly free Chilean navy. He took Lima in 1821 and declared Peru free. De facto, Peru was free although further fights -1824 battles Jurin and Ayacucho and Battle of Callao were needed before the Spanish finally formally agreed in 1879.
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4. Republic 1820-80
Simon Bolivar was made Dictator of Peru in 1824 (having already liberated Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia) and Antonio de Sucre given military command. In 1825 at the Congress of Upper Peru the Gran Colombia was formed (mainly Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia). Bolivar attempted some liberal policies, but soon reverted to a centrist approach. Shortly after, his lover, Manuela Saenz attempted to assassinate him. He resigned and left for Europe, but died before sailing. He was followed by competent but uninteresting leaders. The period saw a number of territorial disputes resulting from the liberation and early pan- American coalitions. 1836-9 the Peru-Bolivian Confederation attempt to unite the countries failed with the War of Confederation. The Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941 and brief Cenepa War of 1995 have led to formalised borders.
5. War of the Pacific
In 1879 Chile attacked its northern neighbour, Bolivia, seizing its entire coastline. Bolivia asked for help and Peru joined the war, which was basically won by Chile. By 1884 Peru had lost Tarapaca, Tacna and Arica (Atacama region). In the treaty Chile agreed that Tacna and Arica cities could decide which country to be in, then reneged. The USA waded in and in the Treaty of Lima 1929 Arica was given to Chile and Tacna to Peru. The Peruvians still feel very strongly about this.
6. Aristocratic Republic 1884-1930
So called because most of the presidents during this period came from the elite. The ordinary people became increasingly disenchanted. Socialist and Communist parties were formed at this time.
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7. Modern Politics
President Bustamente y Rivero attempted to form a democratic government by limiting both noble and military power. The final result was a military coup in 1948 by General Manuel Odria. He courted the lower classes, but civil rights were suppressed and corruption grew. He surprised all by allowing elections, but a right-wing series of rulers ensued. Civilian vs military coups became the rule until 1980 when a new constitution was drawn up and civilian rule ensured. In 1985 Alan Garcia tried to manage an economy in trouble, but badly mismanaged it so by 1991 the national reserved were -$900mill. This was the background to the rise of the communist rebel group The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso). As their strength grew the administration became increasingly dictatorial with human rights abuses. The people chose a mathematician Alberto Fujimori as president (1990), hopeful that he could help mend the economy. His fight against the Shining Path led to abuses on both sides until its leader Abimael Guzman (aka Gonzalo) was captured in 2000. Fujimori tried to seek a third term (questionable) but stepped down when a bribery scandal broke, followed by human rights, corruption etc charges. The new president, Alejandro Toledo restored democracy and judicial process to Peru. The current President is Ollanta Humala (2011-)

Posted by PetersF 12:46 Archived in Peru Tagged desert history archaeology nazca Comments (0)

Nazca: the famous lines

Sunday 19th August – the Nazca Lines

This was (I’d hoped) going to be one of my dream days as I’d always wanted to see the Nazca lines, so I woke with a hope that it was not too windy to fly. A nice breakfast by the pool, followed by a short morning walk the other way (right) from the hotel to the edge of Nazca where we could see the plateau and hills down each side road, and then we waited for our guide in the lobby by the gift shop.
Nazca Town was founded by the Spanish in 1591 close to the indigenous settlement of Nanasca.
nazca-lines_48879564051_o.jpgnazca-peru_48879631431_o.jpg
Another English person (Michael) was there and we struck up talking- it turned out he was doing a very similar route through Peru to us! When the guide collected us she said it looked perfect for the flight and we drove out of Nazca towards the Maria Reichle airport. We were talking about weather and our guide said it had only rained in Nazca twice in her lifetime, which we found amazing. At the airport we got out and went into the waiting section, a low- tech building. We’d paid Nazca Air already, so our guide checked us in. Then they got all our details (again) and insisted on weighing us. Steve & M had to buy an empty seat between them as they were over the weight allowed per seat (100 kilos). I was well under! Then I had to go and pay the airport tax at the kiosk. Then we had to wait (and wait) until we were called for our flight. We looked around and wandered outside but not very interesting. Luckily we didn’t take too long (40 mins) but I’ve heard tales of hours. We were called to go through the security to the small secondary waiting area. Finally we were allowed onto the concrete for our plane- a 7-seater single engine Cessna. Now, this next part is very flattering to me- we were loaded weight order from larger (Steve) to least (me). I was right at the back in the “childs” seat, which was a 1-in-a-row so I had a window both sides. GREAT. Take off- GREAT.
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They told us to put on headphones so we could hear the pilot who explained he would bank both ways (left, then right) so please to not try to move over to each window as everyone would see everything and the plane would remain stable). What followed was an AMAZING experience as we flew away from the thin strip of green (Nazca town) and over the Pampas de Jumana where we saw these brilliant designs. The plane did bank quite a lot but it doesn’t bother me (although the couple in front nearly used their bag and Steve felt mildly queasy). Highlights for me (in order) were The Whale and Ribs, The Astronaut, The Llama and Dog, Monkey, Spider, Condor, Runway, Hands and Tree of Life) but we saw plenty of others too.
whale-and-ribs-nazca-lines_48879626396_o.jpg whale and ribs
astronaut-nazca-lines_48879112498_o.jpg astronaut
dog-nazca-lines_48879598426_o.jpg dog
2c15efb0-7903-11eb-b475-d762e85b9b40.png monkey
2c110db0-7903-11eb-92ba-019ef53729ba.png spider
condor-nazca-lines_48879577461_o.jpg condor
hands-and-tree-nazca-lines_48879562471_o.jpg 48879563516_f03691a2df_o.jpg hands/tree of life
1. whale (eastern) drawn over big rectangle with flower
2. triangle (over a small 3-pointed hill)
3. 2km long trapezoids(other side of triangle hill)
4. astronaut (unique as on hill not in desert)
5. monkey (5 fingers 1 hand, 4 on other)
6. dog
7. llama
8. hummingbird
9. vulture/pelican and flower
10. condor
11. spider (close to hummingbird and condor)
12. runway
13. spiral and iguana
14. flamingo/ alcatraz (300m long with long beak)
15. parrot (230m long)
16. geometric designs
17. over highway
18. Hands (again 5 and 4 finger configuration)
19. Huarango tree (right next to hands)
20. lizard (right next to tree but cut in half by road- faint)
21. straight lines
hummingbird-nazca-lines_48879782807_o.jpg hummingbird
pelican-nazca-lines_48879047748_o.jpg pelican
nos 1,4, 5, 6, 8
geoglyphs-nazca-lines_48879838842_o.jpg geoglyphs
condor-nazca-lines_48879574521_o.jpg 48879577461_2af0fcc6fd_o.jpg condor
nos 9, 10, 11, 13, 15
flamingo-nazca-lines_48879112388_o.jpg flamingo
hands-nazca-lines_48879029353_o.jpg hands
crosshatch-nazca-lines_48879596081_o.jpg crosshatched lines
lizard-nazca-lines_48879035488_o.jpg lizard
scissors-nazca-lines_48879038998_o.jpg scissors
nos 14, 18 & 19, 20, Scissors
The plane went over the Pan-American Highway, town of Palpa, hills and it was over far too soon IMO and we touched down and disembarked. Then we had to wait around because some German couple we were taking got lost.

A note on the Nazca Lines
What? The lines are a World Heritage site (1994) and are found on the high, dry plateau of Pampas de Jumana between Nazca and Palpa towns. The shapes are very varied, from simple lines, spirals and geometric shapes to fauna (mainly trees and flowers) to zoomorphic designs (mainly animals). The largest figure is over 270 metres long. The images were made using simple tools (post holes have been found) to plan the design, then a shallow trench (10-15 cms) would be dug exposing the light coloured layer below the red iron-oxide upper layer. The pale lower layer is made of lime, which over time has hardened with the morning mist into a cement, preventing erosion. The Nazca desert is the driest on earth and has not seen rain for aeons. Add to this the total lack of wind and it is clear why the figures have survived. They were first re-discovered in 1927 by a hiking Peruvian archaeologist Xesspa.
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Why? There is no clear reason for drawing the lines, so people have come up with their own interpretations. IMO they have a religious or symbolic significance. The geometric designs may be related to water rituals, the animals and plants maybe to fertility? Their size and visibility from the mountains suggest they may have been made to please or worship the gods (mountains as or symbolic of gods is a common theme in Andean cultures- certainly water would come from the mountains and water is a high commodity in arid Peru). Reiche (the archaeologist most associated with the lines) suggested an astronomical significance, lines pointing to places celestial bodies rose.
flower--spiral-nazca-lines_48879037403_o.jpg flowers and spiral
Who? The Nazca Culture (400-650AD) is not well known, but seems to have strong links to the Paracas culture slightly north.
We drove back to the hotel and as we had a long coach trip ahead of some 400km we thought a good lunch was essential. We sat by the pool and told the waiter how much time we had and let him make suggestions. He made an excellent choice for us as we had lomo saltado (tenderloin stir fried with chilli and chips) & causa (avocado, potato and egg). Whilst Steve had a pud (picarones- pumpkin fritters, which I didn’t fancy) I went to the gift shop (which I did fancy) and bought a silver Nazca Spider earring set and a Nazca Hummingbird picture in Nazca sand.
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Then the taxi took us to Nazca coach station (no waiting room here, you board the bus directly) to get on our luxury coach (again food, drink, internet provided) to go to Arequipa. Now I was slightly apprehensive of this trip and both of us had been in two minds whether to fly to Arequipa, but I’m so glad we took the coach because the scenery was amazing. We went straight across the Pampas on the Pan- American Highway and down towards the Pacific coast. This is so unlike anything in our part of the world- the sand and road just go straight to the sea where the coast is so long and straight that the rollers just keep coming in long unbroken lines. We spotted the odd factory (of what?) in the sand dunes but absolutely nothing else (too dry and arid for people I suspect) until we got quite a long way down Peru. Then we started to see where thin rivers from the Andes to our left came to the sea. Everywhere a river/ stream came was a thin band of green and around each of these houses and people in small, long and thin, villages down to the shore. Each one had a small fishing fleet, by now moored as it was becoming dusk.
mushroom-nazca-lines_48879777402_o.jpg mushroom
As it turned from afternoon to early evening our road, which had been mainly level with the sea, headed sharply upwards and the road sat vertiginously high above the sea with little to nothing between us and the Pacific below. Then, as the sun set gloriously over the Pacific, we turned inland into the Andean foothills, many a gorgeous red colour. Night fell as we headed inland and finally to Arequipa where we arrived very late. Our guide had forgotten us and we had to catch a taxi and it turned out our travel company had booked the wrong hotel (!) – actually we’d paid for a 3* and they’d booked a 5* but we didn’t have to pay extra, so I guess it was OK (but less character). Anyhow it was too late to fuss, so we headed to bed (after leaving a message to say there was no guide and please to sort things out).
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Posted by PetersF 12:59 Archived in Peru Tagged desert flight lines archaeology nazca Comments (0)

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