This was the day I officially fell in love with Lima. The district of Miraflores is IT.
First I stepped back in time, to the 7/8th century, to explore Huaca Pucllana – the sacred temple for ritual games. This was the site of ceremonial activities during the Lima culture in the period 200-700 AD. The structure itself is in the form of a truncated pyramid, used for rituals, surrounded by an administrative section. The entire structure is made by adobe bricks – mud bricks which were moulded by hand and sun-dried. The arrangement of the bricks is like trapezoidal bookshelves, with gaps between the bricks to withstand seismic shocks.
We had a guided tour in English that took us to various sections, starting from the tiny museum, explaining some of the rituals like pottery smashing and human sacrifices, through the administrative section, the typical garden, a few animal pens, and some parts of the pyramid. In addition to the Lima culture, there are also some tombs from the Wari culture (500-900 AD), that contain burial shrouds and other remains.
Some of the animals in their pens: guinea pigs, llamas, alpacas –
We ended the tour back at the museum and attached gift shop.
By the time the Incas got here, the site had been abandoned for centuries. The Incas left it alone, and it stayed neglected until the 1980s when archeological and restoration work started in earnest. It’s a beautiful sight – in a single subdued colour, where you look closely to see the handiwork of people from centuries past, with the backdrop of present-day city.
After this time travel, I had to attend to my baser instincts of hunger. Walking down in Miraflores, I consulted TripAdvisor “Near Me Now” and was recommended El Bar Verde on Calle Berlin, that offered vegetarian food. Had a most delicious whole grain + avocado + olive sandwich in the beautifully decorated corner cafe.
I was so full after that sandwich that I could walk in and out of the Choco Museo without getting tempted to buy or sample anything. That only lasted a few minutes until I saw this pretty cafe selling desserts, and the one that got me was tres leches.
It was an overkill, but delicious, and to walk it off I headed to Parque Kennedy. The park’s claim to fame is that it has more cats than flowers, or so it seems, because you barely notice the flowers in favour of the multitude of cats that wander around, looking for a cuddle, some food, warmth, whatever. All I had to do was sit on a bench to have one of these cute cuddly fellows climb onto my lap and try to squeeze into my warm fleece jacket. They are so adorable!!!!!!
Artists selling their work outside this park, and I was in heaven!
After spending an hour here, I had to tear myself away to head to Larcomar, where Souvik & I had planned to meet and have dinner. Not a long walk; as an added bonus to an already superlative day, I found a travel agent to buy me 2 tickets to enter Machu Picchu next weekend. Yeeaaahhhhh!
Larcomar is one of the malls that I can call beautiful – built into the side of the cliff, facing the ocean, you can see nothing of it from the main road. We chose to eat at Tanta, a buzzing restaurant with great views, and settled for a couple of fruity pisco sours and shared a quinoa salad.
This is the route I walked: