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About Lima

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I ran out of blogging gas at the end of my trip, so I never really mentioned anything about Lima.  In hindsight, that’s quite appropriate.  I approached Lima a lot like I’d have approached Oakland during a week long trip to the Bay Area: you spend 6 days in San Francisco, and then one day you find yourself in Oakland trying to figure out why you’re there and what’s worth visiting.  From what I saw – and admittedly, I wasn’t there long – Lima is a city that doesn’t have a lot going for it.  There’s great seafood.  But also squalor and poverty rivaling the shanty towns of South Africa.  Lima is not a bad place, but given an additional 5 days I’d have much rather visited La Paz.

Food aside, the highight of my Lima stay was the ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana.   Imagine a pyramid dating back to the 3rd century… way before the Incas.


And this thing is right smack in the middle of an upscale, downtown residential neighborhood!


The site was badly neglected between 1930 and 1960, when – among various other things – it was used as a motocross course.  Back then it mostly resembled a dirt hill.  Now they’re taking care to uncover the entire site.  Some walls needed to be recreated with new bricks, but many others are original.



It was pretty amazing seeing this pyramid rising up in the middle of the city.  And it’s older than anything else I’d seen in Peru.  Not a bad way to cap my visit.  But once I got to Lima and saw TGI Friday’s, Starbucks, and a KFC delivery moped… well, let’s just say I knew this wasn’t the place for me.