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Posts Tagged ‘Lima’

Peru – September 15, 2017

October 20th, 2017 No comments

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday morning we have breakfast at the hotel before going on a tour of the Pachacamac Ruins. These ruins are near the coast southeast of Lima. The Pre-Inca society had created a temple here to Pachacamac, the Earth Maker. A carved wooden pole stood within the cave like temple and only the priests could enter to receive an oracle. The Incas accepted this god and expanded upon the temple grounds. However, when the Spanish heard of the site they made a visit with the intention of robbing all the gold and silver. They demanded entry into the cave which the priests vehemently opposed as it was sure to upset the god and cause violent earthquakes. Finding only a wooden pole the Spanish were quite disappointed and took the only metal they could find which formed a lattice over the door.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.

I am amazed at the enormity of the site which spans around 600 hectares or two square miles, much of which is still covered by large dunes of sand. However several temples have been excavated and some are in the process of being uncovered as we drive through the site. We stop at a large adobe community called Acllahuasi, or House of the Chosen Women. The Inca would take the most beautiful and skilled maidens in the empire and would send them here to learn elegant weaving and cooking so as to become proper wives to make alliances with neighboring leaders. They would also take from this convent of priestesses to serve the Sun God and to sacrifice to him.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.
PachacamacPachacamac.

Upon the highest hill overlooking the valley and ocean beyond the Inca built the Temple of the Sun. Although we can no longer enter inside the temple which is closed to the public in order to preserve it, we can walk around the perimeter and enjoy the view.
PachacamacPachacamac.

The next stop is Los Ficus Casa Hacienda. The Peruvian Paso Horse is known as the smoothest riding horse in the world and this hacienda breeds and shows these horses. We enter into the hacienda through 2 large double gates to see large lawns of green grass and flowering bougainvillea; such a contrast to the dusty road and adobe buildings we have just traversed. We are greeted by the hostess who takes us to meet the horses.

The horses are selected for breeding based on their strength, endurance, smooth gait, and easy temperament. They are not ridden until they are at least four years of age and are gently exposed to halters, bridles, and saddles over the years. Each day all the horses, from the yearlings to the show horses are let out with a trainer to work on a certain training according to their age and experience. Indeed each horse comes to the window or fence of their corral to be petted and loved upon. Vicky is very happy getting to pet each one. One is a trickster and tries to nip at her shirt, but Vicky is soon scratching his ears which he obviously enjoys quite a bit. Even the young colts have a gait in which they kind of throw out their front feet to the side.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.

Next we are treated to a show, in which we see each stage of the training for the horses from leading by halter to the award winning show team galloping in unison across the grass. In the finale a young woman comes out in a full skirt to dance with the horse. In the Marinera dance, the woman dances barefooted mimicking the horse’s prance and steps to win the heart of the rider. Then to our surprise we are invited to ride the horses ourselves. I must say the ride was incredibly smooth, and the horse so responsive to even the lightest touch of the reins. It was like she so wanted to do whatever you asked of her. I hear Vicky exclaim “She is sooo sweet”, and I am thinking “no, you can’t take her home with you”.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.

Here is a link to a video from the show. The video is about one and half minutes.
Peruvian Horses – Video

After the show we are treated to an elegant lunch under a covered patio. We feel like the lord and lady of the estate as we are virtually by ourselves with a number of servers bringing us wine and food. There is a nice salad from the estate gardens and roasted chicken, which could have also come from the estate as I see several of them scratching about in the nearby bushes. Such a lovely experience comes to an end with a sweet dessert, and we load back in the van to make our way back to Lima.
Los Ficus Casa HaciendaLos Ficus Casa Hacienda.

An easy walk from our hotel is the “Parque del Amor” or Park of Love. The view off the sea cliffs is nice and the area is populated with young couples strolling along the walk. A bit further down is a lighthouse where we decide to turn back and return to the hotel for dinner and a early night as we need to fly back home tomorrow.
Parque del AmorParque del Amor.
Parque del AmorParque del Amor.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

We have a morning flight back to Miami, but not so early that we are rushed. We both wake up before the alarm goes off and start getting ready as our guide will be picking us up around 7:15am. It is a good thing that we got an early start because our ride showed up about an hour early! She said that for an international flight we needed the extra time. So much for the leisurely breakfast at the hotel. However we make it to the airport and through checkin in good time and are able to enjoy a meal at a restaurant near the gate. It is nice having the direct flight back to Miami, but we do wonder what we will find in Miami and at our house given Hurricane Irma’s strike just last week. Well back to the real world.

Categories: Peru 2017 Tags: ,

Peru – September 14, 2017

October 19th, 2017 No comments

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Maria picks us up in the morning to take us to the Cusco airport for our flight back to Lima. The checkin seemed to take a long time, but we zipped through security as there was no need to remove shoes or finish your water, and the flight itself was uneventful. However, once we get our bags, we can’t find our guide. We keep looking around, but can’t find anyone that is holding a placard with our name on it. We attempt to call, but can’t really figure out the secret code for the country escape code and whether the area code is needed or not, and is it 2 digits or 3? Vicky takes another walk around and finds our driver – but our guide didn’t show up! The driver doesn’t speak much english, but gets us to our hotel in Miraflores.

After getting settled in, we walk over to the ChocoMuseo, or Chocolate Museum. We participate in a “Bean to Bar” chocolate workshop. They walk us through the history and process of making chocolate. Our instructor open up a pod and allowed us to take a bean. The beans are coated with a slimy goop when they are first taken out of the pod. We place the bean in our mouth and find that the goop is mildly sweet and rather tasty. We don’t eat the bean at this time.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.

The beans are then fermented and dried. Once dried, the shell of the bean can easily be removed. We get dried beans and shuck them into a small bowl. The flaky shell may be used to make a tea. The tea is surprisingly good and mildly chocolate. The remaining part of the bean are the “nibs”. Using a good old fashioned mortar and pestle, we grind the nibs into a paste. The Incas made a spicy chocolate drink by adding chili pepper and mixing with hot water. We try this drink, but I am not impressed so I don’t finish it. It was the Spanish who first mixed it with hot milk and cinnamon to make a much better tasting hot chocolate drink in my opinion. The paste can also be mixed with some milk, melted, and then cooled on a stone slab to make a molten chocolate. Using some plastic molds and a wide variety of toppings, we made our very own combinations. After being refrigerated for a time, we were able to take our creations home with us to be enjoyed with a glass of red wine!
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.
Choco MuseoChoco Museo.

Later that afternoon, a guide picked us up to take a tour of the Barranco District which is Lima’s artsy area. There are many colonial style buildings; the flowers and lighting presents a very nice romantic atmosphere. We take a stop and walk across the Puente de los Suspiros, or Bridge of Sighs. It is said that young lovers from the two sides would meet here and thus the name of the bridge. After driving and walking around the area, our driver takes us to a dinner which includes a traditional dancing show. The dancers are dressed in a variety of Peruvian costumes and is very acrobatic and entertaining.
Choco MuseoBarranco District.
Traditional Dancing ShowTraditional Dancing Show.
Traditional Dancing ShowTraditional Dancing Show.

Here is a link to a video from the show. The video is about one and half minutes.
Traditional Dance – Video

Dinner BuffetDinner Buffet.

Categories: Peru 2017 Tags: ,