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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Huaca Pucllana Ruins

In Miraflores, there is set of ruins known as the Huaca Pucllana.  It is a massive site, taking up about 15 acres.  Even though I have been there a few times now I am always awestruck by the size, and the fact that is filled with thousands of years old pyramids in the middle of a city millions.  The site was built around 200AD as a administrative and ceremonial center and is probably the most important ancient monument in Lima.  The site was separated into two parts, the Administrative sector, used for things like public meetings and the Ceremonial Sector, used for rituals, worshipping and sacrifices.  

On the site, many artifacts have been found, such as textiles, bones, ceramics, stone tools and the remains of animals and plants.  Many of these can be found in the onsite museum.  

The tour guides that I had both times that I went were fantastic and spoke decent english.  Well, good enough english that they had a pretty decent english sense of humor, which always makes the tours more fun.  they could answer any question that they were asked and didn't mind doing so.  

There are many little Peruvian mannequins set up depicting what task was performed in each area.  The statues are adorable, and so tiny... hard to believe that at one time Peruvians were even shorter than they are now!

The walls of the entire structure are made of small adobe bricks of dried mud.  Anywhere else in the world this would have never made sense, but since it NEVER rains in Lima, the structures have survived for centuries.  They are stacked like books on a shelf with small gaps in between as well.  This is to absorb the energy from frequent earthquakes in the area.  Also pretty impressive that most of the city has been destroyed by tremors several times, but these structures have survived it all.  

There is also a small garden filled with various Peruvian fruit, plants and vegetables on site, as well as a cute little petting zoo with Alpacas, ducks and guinea pigs.  

Aguaymanto, one of my favorite Peruvian fruits.

San Pedro cactus, used as a hallucinogenic drug

coca, a medicinal plant in Peru, also the plant that cocaine is derived from.

Along with the pyramids on site, there are also chambers, rooms, passages and courtyards.  It's quite impressive to look at the whole site from the top.  

The site was abandoned around 700AD when the Wari brought new culture in.  It was then used as a cemetery for the important people in that culture.  The graves were later destroyed by the Ichma people that brought in even more new culture and beliefs  and they used it only for sacrifices and worshipping.  By the time the Incas got to the area several hundred years later, it was already known as an old sacred village.

There have been many tombs and mummies found on the site.  This is one of the tombs, with a replica mummy in it.  

The site has been being uncovered since 1981 and won't be finished for several more decades.  These are some workers that come out and work in the dust and heat everyday.

Nicole and I on our trip to the ruins.

Josh and I last year when we had just arrived in Lima.

The view of the restaurant from the ruins.  Josh and I were lucky enough to get to try it a few weeks ago and it is amazing with probably one of the most beautiful views in the city.  

This is a great site and if you are only passing through Lima, be sure to check it out.  It is about a 20 minute walk from most of the hotels in Miraflores and only takes about an hour for the whole tour.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Nicole and Tanya in Lima Pt. 2

When we last left off Nicole and I were half way through our time together in Peru.  She is now back in North Carolina but I have finally decided to stop being lazy and do another blog about her final days here.  So enjoy, as we did!  

I finally decided that Nicole had seen enough of the "modern Lima" and needed a small taste of the "real Lima" so we took a bus trip down to Centro Lima to see some historical parts of the city.  We passed several interesting sites, the presidential Palace, Plaza San Martin, and several cathedrals.  We  stopped  at the Church of San Francisco as well to check out the beautiful architecture and the catacombs.  As pictures are not permitted, take a look here for some contraband pictures from a previous trip of mine.  


On one of our many walks on the malecon, we caught an insane amount of paragliders out.  One of my favorite sights!

I also had to show Nicole one of my favorite experiences in all of Peru... the Churros!  Seriously totally amazing here... and picky Nicole agreed!

For my birthday, my friend Chris gave me a certificate to a fantastic spa owned by her friend Brian at The Brian Douglas Skin Spa.  The gift certificate was for a fish foot treatment which was so cool!  I also got a facial and a pedicure.  

Part of the reason I got all these things done, was that later in the evening I was playing gallery curator for the Emerging artists Lima gallery.  It is a fantastic program organized by my dear friend Amanda from NYC.  It takes art work from artists that are just starting out and showcases them in a setting where they can be seen by a large audience.  It was so much fun and a great cause!

The other volunteers and myself.

After we were done working, we went over to the Burrito Bar for the best Quesadillas EVAH.

More beautiful ocean pics... Love this place.

 Sadly, our friend Dave left while the Marston's were here.  Don't worry too much though, we will see him in a month in New jersey.  At his going away dinner, we had this delicious dessert....  It just looks amazing doesn't it?

Nicole and I spent the afternoon over in San Isidro one Saturday at the Door to the World, a great event filled with vendors with food, drink and artwork from all over the world.  Reminded me a bit of Folkfest in Saskatoon. 

 Nicole and I decided that it had been much too long since our last bowling adventure in Alaska, so we invited Claire to come to Larcomar with us for a morning of bowling.  We were all battered and bruised by the end (seriously) but we had a great time.

Some artwork that we stumbled upon... I actually have one of these fat people pieces in my apartment.

Josh and I went to the Huaca Pucllana ruins one evening for dinner.  The restaurant overlooks the lit up ruins and is gorgeous, with terrific food.  This is the Cuy (guinea pig) appetizer, followed by my sea bass, and the to DIE FOR Passion Fruit Creme Brûlée.

 On Josh's day off we took Nicole over to Barranco for Burrito Bar and a walk... so much cool street art over there.

Nicole and I did one more shopping day... we found these bags that we need as well as I found another hat...

 While she was here, Nicole also got her haircut by my fabulous stylist Heiner at the Daniel Guidi Salon in San Isidro.  We were both very nervous but it turned out great and she loved it!

Oh, and me in one more hat!

Our time in Peru is coming to a close, so the next few weeks may be too packed with last minute things to blog much, but I will be back soon with all "new" blogs from our next adventure!