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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Travel – Callao, (Lima), Peru March 25, 2014

Callao, population 600,000, is the port for the city of Lima, Peru, but the two cities have merged and the area is now basically one huge metropolis of 9 million inhabitants. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Lima the country’s huge capital and the largest city of Peru. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area.

Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes. Pizarro was the conquistador that defeated the forces of the Inca Empire and delivered South America into the hands of Spain. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area.

We are still working through tour illnesses, but John felt strong enough to venture out today. We have a day long bus trip scheduled for Lima, visiting the Cathedral, the exterior of the Government Palace, on the site of Pizarro’s own house, the town hall, the Plaza de Armas, the Torre Tagle Palace and the Gold Museum. We are to eat lunch and do some shopping. Sounds right up my alley. Photo ops and shopping, alright!

Lima is a very large city as I mentioned earlier and there is lots of traffic. I had fun taking pictures out the bus window. When you spend as much time on a bus as we have you start looking for the differences in a city from your bus seat. It is an interesting perspective. I've included a few of my choice pictures just for giggles. 


The things people put on their trucks and carry around in the truck beds are fascinating. Carrying and delivery devices differ as well.

Plazas and churches are viewed, a few blocks walk to another church, all the while being followed by children and young women dressed in Peruvian native dress trying to sell us Chickletts gum. We all have to be careful to be sure our wallets and purses are safe. This is a sad affair, but then again, it reflects the state of affairs. Many peasants seeking work have flooded into the city from the interior for decades, but there is not enough work to go around. People have become creative with their endeavors.

We visit the Gold museum which is a big vault like building with a very large, privately held Columbian and Inca gold artifacts collection, along with many historic small arms. It is overwhelming to me, as there are too many items in a small, dank, dark and moldy space. There are beautiful pieces, but I choked up viewing them and went up for some fresh hot air. It is getting warmer as we go toward the equator.

Two best parts of the day…lunch is a fabulous buffet of traditional Peruvian foods, and everyone filled our plates. A Pisco Sour came along with the meal of course. I think it is the best tour meal I have ever had.

The second best part is the shopping. We stop at an Indian market. There are all types of items for sale here. I am able to find baby alpaca wool in a number of colors and am thrilled with the find. John also points out some lace weight baby alpaca wool on a spool so we purchase that too. What a great shopping trip.

Finally, we drive along the shore of Peru’s flower district resort area along the beach. People are surfing, parasailing, sitting out on the grass and just enjoying the beautiful day. We have had just a taste of Peru; I’d like more. The food was great, the shopping was great and I’d love to get to know the people and the culture better. This place should be on the “need to come back to” list.

For now it is back to the boat and back into recovery mode.  I think today took a little more energy than we had to give.  Good thing we have a day a sea tomorrow for recovery.

The adventure continues....Bye for now!!!

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