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caty’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 08 Oct 2005

Location: Lima, Peru

MapMy flight from Iquitos was at 8.30am so I got a great view of the Amazon rain forest and rivers - photos will be sent once I can get them reduced to a manageable size! Closer to Lima it grew cloudier and you could see steep snow capped mountains appearing above the clouds.

I arrived in Lima to find it a wonderfully cool 16 degrees and overcast. It has remained like that for the few days I've been here. According to the guide books it's rare to get clear skies here, but it doesn't rain much either. Nice hostel - safe neighbourhood in Miraflores, so have spent a lot of the last three days walking around. Nice to get some exercise again.

Went to see Huaca Pucllana, and archaeological site 2 mins walk from here. Bizarre to see something dating from 400AD smack bang in the middle of high rise buildings. From one side it looks like a huge mound of dirt from someone excavating for foundations. On the other side you can see the pyramid structures an walls. It was build from mud blocks laid on their short sides in courses, resembling library bookshelves, and built in trapezoidal panels. All this was to protect against earthquakes. They also had hairless Peruvian dogs on all national monument sites as they area protected structure. They look so weird - large dark dogs with tufts of orange hair on their heads and tails. Also saw llamas, alpacas & guinea pigs.

Wandered around Miraflores - loads of Parisian style cafes and found plenty of bookshops, all of which I wandered into even if I can't read the books! Also found Inca markets with loads of colorful crafts, but being such a bad consumer, I haven't bought anything.

Went into Lima centre yesterday- another big city. Lots of nice squares/plazas with baroque style buildings. Loads of museums and churches but not much else.

Today I went out to another archaeological site - Pachacamac. I had to take 2 collectivos to get out there. They're little rickety minibuses that fly up and down the streets weaving in and out of traffic. You flag them down and they swerve in to stop for you. No seat belts. It was a bumpy ride. Pacahacamac is a huge complex, walked for 2 hours to see the little you can visit. Climbed the top of the biggest pyramid to find a lovely view over the ocean. (Well, it would have been if it wasn't misty). Passed some shanty town on the hills on the way out too.

Not much else to say about Lima. Off to Pisco, on the coast 270km south of here, tomorrow. First of many bus journeys. Keeping well - hope you all are too.

Hope you all had a good weekend.