Trip Start Jan 02, 2017
Trip End Jan 22, 2017

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Today we are in Callao, Peru, the port for Lima.  We are taking an all day tour south of Lima having been to Lima before  Lima is a huge city with the attendant traffic jams of all large cities.  It takes us about 1 hour to cross Lima.  As we get to the southern most precinct, Miraflores we begin to see the fog covering everything.  It never rains here.  Well that is not quite true, it rained once in 1977.  There is a large beach as we drive along the coastal highway.   It is filled with people, umbrellas and chairs.  There are surfers in the water even though the water is cold.  We continue on to the archeological museum of Lima.  This is a beautiful facility with the whole history of the pre-Incan civilizations.  There were 12.  They all have unique pottery which is displayed here and they lived in different parts of Peru at different time periods.  The Incan civilization ended with Pizzarro’s conquest of Peru.  It is interesting to understand why these civilizations disappeared.  Some was due to the loss of battles with the Spanish, some due to enslavement of the Indians but a large part was due to disease: smallpox, measles, typhoid, diphtheria etc.  These disease probably killed more Indians than the Spanish.

As we continued down the coast there was a marked fog constantly.  We went to an archeological site Pachacocome.  Three civilizations had occupied this site which was only partially restored.  Several temples were evident, especially the temple of the sun and moon.

After this we got back into our bus which navigated through the ruins and took us to Momacoma which was a large ranch where they had Paso horses.  When we arrived the ranch was beautiful.  A typical Spanish ranch covered in bougainvillea  with many paddocks with Paso mothers and colts in them.  There were dancers performing in the arena and seats were set up along one side. As we watched the dancers perform they passed pisco sours for our drinking pleasure.  They also passed deep fried yucca with a cheesy dip that was delicious.  The son of the owner then announced the dancers which reappeared and did a very beautiful dance.  And then the riders and the pasos appeared.  They are beautiful horses.  A little smaller than what we are used to.  But their heads are carried high and their gait is beautiful to watch.   They step on each leg independently whereas normally horses step on two and two.  Their front legs are lifted high and they flick out their hoof slightly so their walk looks very elegant. They have long tails and manes.  A a result of their gait there is no up and down motion to their ride.  Their backs stay straight and the ride is smooth.  This gait is inborn  They are not taught this.  It is a pure line of horses that have existed for hundreds of years in Peru.  We then had a wonderful lunch under the shade of the bougainvillea.  We then began the long drive back to the ship.

This morning we docked in Salaverry.  We are not going ashore today.  The landscape that greeted us was startling.  Broad sand dunes with high mountains behind.  It looks like the Sahara desert.  There are nothing but sand dues as far as the eye can see.  There is a small strip of green up the side of one of the dunes.  The air is very cool although the sun is hot.  We can’t believe that we are so close to the equator and yet the air is so cool.

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