Arrived in Lima early in the morning and our airbnb host greeted us and let us put our bags down, then went back to bed. We headed out for breakfast and to see the pre-Incan ruins of Huaca Pucllana, which is a massive pyramid made of hand-made mud bricks which had been a ceremonial grounds and then burial grounds, around 1800 years ago. And why hasn’t it been destroyed by rain over all those years? Good question, because it hardly ever rains in Lima - only about 6mm per year! We were shown some examples of plants they grew and animals they kept in back in the pre-Incan days, including a couple of llamas who were putting on quite a show, like something out the Llama Sutra (see below). The ruins are fairly newly discovered and they are still digging it up - until about 50 years ago they just thought it was a big mound of earth, because the last culture who occupied it covered it up with dirt to keep it sacred, and no one had a clue until about 50 years ago! We headed back via the supermarket (we planned to do most of our own cooking in Lima, we’re saving the pennies / sols now!), and later tried to go and see Toy Story 4 at the cinema but realised it was in Spanish, luckily before we bought a ticket!
We started the day with a terribly exciting breakfast of porridge and fruit in preparation for a walking tour, which turned out to be less exciting than the breakfast! As our guide reeled off facts about Lima and it’s architectural history at lightning speed we tried to comprehend what he was saying whilst viewed a lot of buildings, I’m pretty sure most of them were churches, there was definitely one palace and possibly an old railway house which I remember well because it had free toilets. The only fact I remember is that to become a saint you need to perform 3 miracles and have at least 20 people corroborate these miracles. For example the first black saint had healing powers, could be in multiple places at one time and when he prayed he would levitate off the ground (not sure what use levitating whilst praying is but I guess it’s a miracle). Unfortunately Jess and I don’t have enough witnesses to our miracles so alas, no sainthoods yet. After the tour we went to a local restaurant for lunch, Jess had the local delicacy of Ceviche whilst I had pasta.
Lorraine and Alfred, some extra proof that your daughter married a cultured man (as if you need any more evidence), we went to the Lima Museum of Art and I only complained once! We saw art through the ages of Lima, from pre-Incan pottery up until 1950s avant garde paintings, some quite special pieces (and some not so special). After 2 hours (yes 2 hours - this is where the complaint came!) we walked to see the “Circuito Magico Del Agua”, water fountain and light show. It was pretty cool but we were exhausted from a whole day walking so we Ubered back home for our potato and lentil bake!
We had a 5pm night bus booked so we took the morning to explore Miraflores and Barranco on bikes. We cycled towards the coast, Lima is on the coast but the city is on top of a cliff high above the beach. We followed two other cyclists down a pavement next to what seemed the only road down the cliff, seemed sensible enough, they looked Peruvian so they must know the way to the beach…. The pavement abruptly stopped at the bottom of the cliff and we were greeted by a dual carriageway, the beach was in throwing distance, just over the 4 lanes of traffic! Luckily for us there were road works and a lot of police handling the traffic, they kindly stopped the slow moving traffic and let us, the two cyclists we followed and 3 others on electric scooters cross over to the beach! I’m still unsure what the point of the pavement was.
A brief cycle along the beach we saw a restaurant with some scarily racist statues welcoming in custom. Then we found some steps back up the cliff to Barranco, which meant carrying the bikes up! A nice little work out. Barranco has some cool street art and lovely buildings and restaurants. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to hand around and explore for too long as we had to return the bikes and get to the bus station to watch the Uruguay vs Peru (which Peru won on penalties!) match before our 5pm night bus to Arequipa.