After a long day yesterday it was nice to have a decent sleep. Apologies to you English Teachers and Grammar Aficianados about yesterday's post. I was a bit out of it!
Breakfast was only on until 10am so we couldn't sleep in too much. After breakfast it was off to wander the streets and see if we could find a Claro cellphone store. Since it's Sunday we were a little skeptical the one we'd Googled was actually open. Instead we found a hole in the wall Casita del Celular where we bought a prepaid SIM card. We have wifi here but some places we may not. So this is the backup. I spent the rest of the morning troubleshooting. Not successfully. So hopefully I get it figured or maybe we'll have go without. I know, the horror of it…
We also dropped by a supermarket to grab some water. Pretty much like a Safeway at home but some nice fresh fish:
Some Soles Coins Chocolates:
And some black corn:
Then back to the hotel for a nap and fight with the mobile internet. So far I've lost the battle.
At 2pm (which is anywhere from 2 to 230 “local time”) Elizabeth (guide) and Ruiz (driver) picked us up for our tour of Pachacamac. They were great. Ruiz drove the roads like a 3rd World Champ. If you've never travelled in Developing Countries, picture lanes, stop signs etc that are generally ignored. I must say this wasn't as crazy as Cairo but still… Speaking of large cities, Lima is 9 million people big. No tall buildings because they shake on a regular basis. Interestingly enough the old ruins are still standing because back then they allowed for building movement. The ancients knew how to deal with earthquakes. They should show the modern folks how to do it!
Back to the tour. Pachacamac – the word means Pacha (Earth) Camac (Energy) or EarthMover. It's a 290 Hectrare group of temples and other structures built entirely of adobe. Probably dates from around 9000 BC. Lots of societies built and worshipped here. The Wari were the first major constructor of huge temples. It was a stronghold of the Huari (Wari) people from the 10th C and Inca after them. They worshipped Pachacamac, the creator of the world (also responsible for earthquakes and wars). He's a statue not a person. This is also a pilgrimage site and religious centre. Captured by the Inca in the 15th C -they added the palace of the chosen women (Accllahuasi or Mamacuna) and the Temple of the Sun. Pucllana Pyramid, Pachacamac Oracle (temple of the deity)..
Pacific Ocean, Desert and lush valley, all in one place – a little weird but real. Turtle Island in the background.
I've heard of quipu which are basically Incan abacus. I've never seen one but now i have. Knots are 1s, 10s, 100s, 1000s and millions. They can get huge for large inventories. Old School Accountants.
Here is a photo of the site overall. Red is what is uncovered. Only about 25% to date.
Pachacamac's temple was later used as a cemetary. Looters came and took all the good stuff and left bones.
His temple is covered to protect it now but here is an example of the art on the temple walls.
Some locals in the 80's started encroaching (squatting) on the lands some of the ruins are now gone.
There is a North, South road that is “paved”. Darn straight and near perfect solar alginment.
Last place we visited there was Accllahuasi or Mamacuna. Basically the Moon Temple where women made pottery and where the virgins grew up before being sacrified.
When we were done with old ruins, we toured of Barranco (a suburb) to see the Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros). Nice part of town where lots of restaurants and places to “hang”. This is an old church that is now a museum/ruin. Was partially burned in the war with the Bolivians in the 1880s.
Apparently this guy gets a lot of offers on his house!
Dinner was around the corner from the hotel. We shared a meat platter. We really have to learn some Spanish. At least Restaurant Spanish. We think we ate, beef and we know we ate some good chorizo sausage, some yummy chicken, pork and some tough “chicken”. The last one turns out was gizzard. Not sure from what animal. Upside is we had our first Pisco Sours. Super strong drink but tasty!
Our meal description:
Now we're back at the hotel for an early night. Long drive to Nazca tomorrow and a 7am start.