The first activity on the INTREPID tour entitled Sacred Valley of the Incas began with a briefing from our tour leader Diana. . Some amusing introductions helped get the tour party off on a good start. A wide cross section of backgrounds and with three countries represented: Australia, England (more correctly Great Britain, but England proved to be more in line with expectations).
We then went into the Lima CBD to see the Plaza Mayor or Placate AREAS of Lima. We learned this square was the birthplace of the city of Lima and was surrounded by the Government Palace (apparently the current president is in residence in this Palace), Cathedral of Lima, The Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, the Municipal Palace, and the Palace of the Union.
A unique feature of the Lima Cathedral were the vultures roosting on its spires and bell towers
A short distance from the square was Convento de San Francisco, which listed by UNESCO as a world heritage building. A beautifully kept garden area, many iconoclastic catholic icons and artworks depicting characteristics of the apostles and of the 12 tribes of Israel were really interesting viewing. A special silver stand weighing 1.5 tons is stored at the monastery. It is used during a procession during the feast of ST Jude TADEUS, and it takes 50 people to credit.The Catacombs under the monastery contained several ossuaries of those who had died naturally. Photography is not permitted inside or under the monastery.
On the way to the Monastery we saw the National Library building.
And the final part of the look at the CBD of Lima was to contemplate the living conditions of the very poor of Lima…
To round off the day and to get to know each other better, we gathered for dinner at Pärquetito (a restaurant at Kennedy Park in Miraflores).
A night tour to the Parque de la Reserva to see the magical water tour (El Circuito Mágico del Agua) proved to be well worth the time and cost. For football afficionados, this Park stood next to the National Stadium the home of the Peru national football team, and it also houses the administration offices of many national sports federations of Peru, including volleyball, which Peru women have been an Olympic and world championships medallist in the past.
The National Stadium
A tour bus picks you up from your hotel and delivers you back at the end of the evening. A tour leader with a nice red flag held high and visible proved to be very helpful in getting around the park. This was an amazing experience.
Following are a small sample of the photos from the evening.
The magic fountain
The Children’s Fountain
Click here to view a video of the Children’s Fountain
The Fantasia Fountain
A video extract from the light show at the Fantasia Fountain
Click here to view a video extract from the light show at the Fantasia Fountain
Click here for more from the Fantasia Fountain.
Fountain of Surprises
Click here to see the Fountain of Surprises in action
Some other fountains
Parque Central de Miraflores, the central park located just south of he circle intersection at Avenida Larco and Avenida Jose Pardo, is commonly referred to as Parque Kennedy. However, Parque Central comprises two parks: Parque Kennedy and the larger Parque 7 de Junio. It comprises some six-acre in area and underneath the Parks is a large underground parking area.
EditThe two parks have beautiful gardens and ample seating, are popular gathering points for viewing the contrasts in architecture between different eras.
Street entertainers and artworks abound as do the street vendors (Peruvian artists)who sell paintings and handicrafts. A variety of snacks and desserts are available from street vendors. You might even be able to get your shoes shined.
The area is surrounded by restaurants and bars and Cafe La Paz gives a nice restful outlook onto Parque Kennedy.
Parque Kennedy is famous for its cats. In the 1980s, the park was infested with rats. Local legend says that Iglesia Matriz Virgen Milagrosa, the church in Parque Kennedy, adopted a group of cats to combat the rat problem. A stall in Parque 7 de Junio tells the story of the cats and how cat lovers can contribute to their welfare.
Miraflores is the more modern area of Lima. Despite there being many new buildings, there remain many older buildings which seem to provide a visual link between the cultural heritage of older Peru and the move to modernism in more recent architectural designs.
The following images strive to show some of this contrast between eras.
A beautiful cosmopolitan city, flanking the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Accommodation I’m at is good value clean and very tidy. It is a historic manor house
. Hotel La Castellana
Natural air-conditioning works a treat.
Located in the heart of Miraflores (the affluent part of town) it is a short walk to the waterfront, and along the way there are many beautiful historic buildings, all well preserved. … more to come
So many vaccinations
Vaccinations No vaccinations are required before entering Peru but it’s a good idea to have the following:
Polio/tetanus: boosters give at least ten years’ coverage.
Typhoid: three years’ coverage.
Rabies: a double jab, six months apart, gives five years’ protection. Strongly recommended if going off the beaten track. Rabies occurs in Peru and care should be taken approaching domesticated animals. If heading off the beaten track it is a good idea to be vaccinated against rabies before traveling. In the jungle rabies is endemic in many species, so think twice about stroking lodge “pets.” However, the incidence level is low and most Peruvians do not worry about it. Seek specialist medical advice from your doctor or a vaccination center prior to departure.
Hepatitis A and B: recommended if eating in remoter areas in establishments with uncertain hygiene standards.
Yellow fever: much of Peru is a designated risk area. Free vaccinations are given, if arriving by plane, at the airport in the three major jungle towns: Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Puerto Maldonado.
Malaria: a potential threat in the Amazon region below 8,200 feet (2,500 m). However, the risk is greater in the north than the south, where many short-term visitors opt not to take medication.
If staying longer in the jungle, ask about dengue fever, Chagas’ disease, and leishmaniasis.
More to come
A new adventure begins.
A 23 day journey through 3 countries, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Add on two days of inter-continental travel (1 day at each end) and it is 25 days to look forward to
A year in the planning and organising, ever since my wife said she would like to see Macchu Picchu. Walking to build muscular endurance has also featured recentlyand the time spent was rewarded with beautiful views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngaurahoe and Mt Tongorairo from the Great Lake Walkway at Taupo.
Due to my medical history since 1999, and the altitude at which we will spend almost , I also needed to ensure I got medical clearance to travel otherwise … no insurance. Fortunately everything has panned out ok and doctors were happy.
And so it is time to pack for the trip.
More to follow from time to time…