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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)

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