Peru & Bolivia

Summer 2006

Part 13: Miraflores & Museo de la Nacion


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August 29th (day 35): Pisco to Lima

I took a bus from Pisco to Lima, which brought me back to my starting point. To make it different I picked a hotel in Miraflores, the bustling business district of Lima which has nice boulevards and fancy shops, restaurants and hotels everywhere. Quite a difference with the rest of Peru, and I liked it much more than the laid-back district Barranco where I had stayed at the start of my trip, a month earlier. By the ocean a nice open-air mall has been spectacularly built on top and against the cliff above the beach. I spent the evening wandering around a bit.
The mall Larcomar, built into the cliffs
The mall at night

My hostel in Miraflores was one of those you find in big cities all over the world: run by local jews and with most of the guests being Israeli backpackers. It's cool that young Israelis travel so much, but it's beyond lame that they tend to stick together in jewish hostels, as if they want to take their country with them when they travel. Mixing with other nationalities is one of the funnest and most enriching aspects of traveling. For example, it was fun to use my few words of Hebrew at the breakfast table :)


August 30th (day 36): Lima

I woke up at 8am and started the longest day of my life; my next bed would be my own back in Belgium but it was still more than 48 hours away. My plane would leave Lima after midnight so I still had a whole day to fill.

Museo de la Nacion

I spent the morning in the Museo de la Nacion, the national historical museum of Peru. It wasn't up to par with the fantastic museum in Mexico City due to a distinct lack of spectacular exhibits, but it was still very interesting to go through all the many ancient cultures of Peru with explanations and examples of their crafts and I could take my time for it and was allowed to make pictures, so it was well worth the visit.

The following stonework is from a temple built near modern Ica by the Paracas civilisation. According to the sign in the museum this dates from 700 BC, but I find that hard to believe. Regardless, I love this typical style of imagery.

Most of the exhibits in the museum are pottery. Not so spectacular, but again I absolutely love these styles. I didn't write down which piece is from which era, sorry.

The following pieces date from shortly before the arrival of the Spanish and show that the locals were more open-minded about sex than their christian conquerors. It is believed that some societies regularly had sex orgies.

The museum's showpiece is the tomb of the Lord of Sipan. Sipan was a city of the Moche civilisation which existed in northern Peru between 100 and 700 AD. This tomb, which must have belonged to a powerful ruler of around 200 AD, was discovered in 1987. Being untouched by robbers, it contained a lot of exquisite golden jewelry and is considered one of the greatest archaeological finds in recent history.
The tomb of the Lord of Sipan
I assume this guy was burried along with his master to guard him.

Unfortunately the museum has very few interesting exhibits from the Inca culture, probably because the best pieces are all in Cuzco. This ear cover (that's what I think it is) is nice though.
Golden ear thingy from the Incas

Rest of the day

In the afternoon I first had a taxi drive me to Huaca Hallamarca and Huaca Pucllana, two adobe pyramids now inside Lima that date back to around 400 AD. That sounds great but as I'd expected neither of them looked interesting. It seems there were just piles of rubble left and now they are reconstructing them to make them tourist attractions, but the reconstructed parts look very unauthentic. I just got some shots from the fence.
Huaca Hallamarca

Then I went to the Mercado del Indios in Miraflores, a group of buildings with artesanal shops that sell souvenirs from all over Peru. The range and quality were much higher here than anywhere else in Peru, and so were the prices. I bought some statuettes (to give away) and a mask (for myself) in the primitive but beautiful style of the Chancay culture (examples of masks).

In the evening I went back to the mall and watched a movie in Spanish (The Ant Bully, called Las Aventuras de Lucas el Destructor in Spanish). I could follow it without a problem, but then it's an animated children's movie :) At about 21h I took a taxi to the airport where my plane to Atlanta took off shortly after midnight.

<< Part 12: South Coast of Peru    -   Back to Index   -    Part 14: Atlanta >>




Cy Mon 12 Feb 2007 @ 15:58
I enjoyed your photos, especially of Arbor de Piedra! How fragile it looks. Thanks for your tips on traveling to Machu Pichu on LonelyPlanet.com.

Daria Thu 07 Dec 2006 @ 00:20
Ammmazing photos and exciting views!!! :)
I can't find the right words!

I bet in real life these views were much more breathtaking :) At some point I envy you - you had a chance to see all this beauty by your own eyes!
But the same time thank you very much for sharing this beauty with us :) This way it is also very nice ;)

Looking forward to seeing new pics and reading new reports ;)

Godsmurf Thu 30 Nov 2006 @ 00:11
It'll be 90% nature pics in the rest of the report. You ain't seen nothing yet :)

Well apart from some really wild desert llamas I saw penguins, condors, flamingos, pelicans, other birds, and sealions!

Fia Wed 29 Nov 2006 @ 15:07
Excellent pictures! Very beautiful sceneries! As usual I prefer mountain pics before buildings. ;-) I especially like the green colours of the mountains and the blue colours of the lakes that you visited.

By the way, you didn't happen to see any wildlife? Apart from that creepy millipede I mean. (And lamas don't count as wild.) :-)


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