The morning of March 18, found us in the port of Callel which is about 6 km from Lima. Our excursion today took us into the heart of Lima and was quite interesting.
Our guide was a native Peruvian whose ancestry dates back prior to the Incas. He informed us that Lima has some ten million people living in it. Lima, like Arica is very dry with only minimum amounts of rain annually. The entire coast of Peru is very dry, desert like due to a strong ocean current coming form Antarctica that runs along the coast of South America. As you would guess a city of 10M has severe traffic problems resulting in little regard for the laws of the road.
We traveled for approx 1/2 hour through the streets and it appears the standard of living in Lima is significantly better than in Arica. There were still some shantytowns that we passed by but not nearly as many as seen
previously in Arica. We arrived at a very large square in the centre of the city that was quite beautiful with a large fountain, many beautiful buildings, a large church on one side and the Presidential Palace on another side. Peru is currently undergoing a national election and has some 16 candidates running for President. It is mandatory for all Peruvians of voting age to vote. If you do not vote you are subject to severe fines.
From the square we walked to the Monastery of Santo Domingo that had a wonderful library and two very beautiful cloisters, and oh yes, restrooms for those in need. The walls in one of the cloisters were covered in ceramic tile patterns that dated back to 1604. Above the ceramic tile walls surrounding the cloister were many works of art depicting biblical scenes.
Peru, over the course of time has been subject to numerous earthquakes resulting in many older buildings being severely damaged or destroyed. Today all new buildings are built to withstand Quakes on the Richter Scale of 7.4.
We boarded our bus and traveled through the city to some of the more well off parts of town eventually ending up at The Love Beach. This was an elevated park overlooking the Pacific featuring ceramic tile fences with benches and was quite attractive. Dominating the park, apart from the scenic views was a large statue of a man and woman on the ground embracing each other. The views were panoramic and you could see for miles. There were many surfers and the waves were really crashing on the shore. The tour offered good value for the money, and our guide was very knowledgeable, (he talked nonstop for the entire tour) but I was a little disappointed that we did not visit more historic sites or museums. Today finds us on the outdoor deck off the main buffet and it is a wonderful day
with the temperature at about 27 degrees with a few light clouds in the sky. This afternoon we will be going to two seminars, one on sea mammals and the other on the Panama Canal.
- Return To: South America & the Panama Canal 2016