Archaeological Paradise

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Apr 28, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lima was christened the City of  Kings in 1535. During the early Spnish colonial times it became the richest and most important town in South America. This is refected with lots of beautiful building and churches in the El Centro. There are so much important historical building in Lima that UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. There are 2 major Plazas connected by a mall. The Mayor Plaza is bounded by the Government Palace, Archbishop Palace, Basilica Cathedal and it is where Lima was founded. San Martin Plaza further south is where ex hotel Bolivar and Club National is located.

There are a number of churches in the city and the San Fransisco Church and its catacombs is definately worth a visit. It is located not far from the Mayor Plaza and has tours in English. The church host some of the most amazing artefacts. There is a beautiful library with its sheep skin books and of course the visit is not complete without seeing the catacombs. Over 70000 skeletons are believe to lie under the church.There are chambers following chambers full of bones.

This city has host two archeological sites Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores and Huaca Huallamarca in the district of San Isidro. Further outside the city about 40km from Lima is Pachacamac. For thousand of years people knew there is a temple at the site of Huaca Pucllana but it is only recently excavated in the 1980s. Huaca Pucllana was built by the Lima people between 400-700AD. Pachacamac is a bit more difficult to access but there are many tours that bring people there. It is a huge area that had 4 different civilisations building their temples there. The last group being the Inca people. The temple of the Moon is beautifully restored and it is an amazing example to Inca architecture.

With all the looting the Spanish did it is amazing the quality of artfacts the museums have. There are many museums in Lima, I spend a day touring from one museum to an other. In a couple of them, the taxi driver drop me off the exit of the musuem instaed of the entrance. Not knowing initially if the open door is the way in, I ask the security with my broken Spanish if this is the musuem. I was ushered in and it is only once inside that I discover I have entered from the exit! Soon I learnt Salida mean exit. For those who has an interest in history there are so much to see in Lima.

I stayed in the area call Miraflores. It is the heart of tourism in Lima, lots of hotels, resturants and shops. At the end of Av Jose Larco is a shopping complex built into the cliff face. There are numerous resturants with perfect sunset view over the Pacific Ocean. I have sampled a few local cuisines and yet to gather the courage to try out the Guinea Pig, I may succumb with peer group pressure with my forecoming tour. I have became addicted to the local softdrink Inca Kola!

Tavelling within Lima is an experience itself. There is no mass transient system. Walking is not ideal, the street is polluted and the weather is hot and humid. I have yet to tavel on a metered Taxi. It is the rule to discuss the fare of the trip before hand. There are the minibus that people are constantly hoping in and out of whilst still moving. Everywhere near a government building there is a strong presence of police. Some of them bear semi-automatic rifle. I have seen a few armoured personnel carriers with machine gun on board!

Tomorrow I will start my Intrepid tour. I justed discovered my notebook´s cooling system has failed. I can only use it for a short period at a time. I am able to back up my photo onto its hard drive but I probabbly won't be using it to word or photo processing.
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