Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Typical start to an air flight. Arrived 90 min early and was through ticketing and security in 10 min and then sat around for an hour. Ok flight. Took off 20 min late due to Atlanta air traffic and still arrived on time. Just goes to show how much slack the airlines put into the schedules to assure ‘on time’ arrival. So, here I am sitting at E 05 for a scheduled ‘on time’ departure. But am too cheap to pay for a WIFI hookup($7.50).
Flight to Lima uneventful. Left on time, dinner(pasta give it a C-), boredom (dog movie), a sandwich snack (turkey & cheese, C- again) and an on time landing. Only problem was that I was in a cold spot and even with an extra shirt and a blanket, I was cold. No help from the stewardess; only excuses). Got my luggage and was taken to the hotel arriving at 11:50 local time.
Lima is really big- 9,000,000 pop, lots of traffic and the air smells terrible. Kind of dieselly and polluted. Anyway here I am!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Am staying the Doubletree El Pardo, part of the Hilton chajn. Room is small, but nice –clean, good bed & shower, free WIFI. Opened the curtain at about 7 AM and was blinded by the sun. Clear sky with a bottom distinct layer of pollution.
Met the crowd at the buffet bkfst (pretty good; usual American fare well prepared, good coffee and great hot chocolate), 2 couples abd 3 singles. We accepted Kerl’s offer to rent a driver for us for the day. Ernesto and his van eventually appeared and gave us the 1st class tour. The hotel is in the Mira Flores District, which (surprise!) is known for the flowers. Looked like home in the spring. Not bad for the Fal here. Drove to the Lovers Park which overlooks the coast several hundred feet below. Park has a huge statue of lovers smooching up a storm and a lot of stone work (concrete with colored stones inlaid). Quite pretty. The day is proving to be warm especially in he sun, but there is a breeze. So, quite nice in short sleeves.
Next stop was planned to be a drive by, but turned into a stop and tour. It’s the Huaca Pucllana, an enourmous Quechua ceremonial site from 200-700 ACE and is a huge pyramid and surrounding structures all made of sun dried adobe bricks. Since it rains here about once every 4 years, it has held up pretty well, may be not so well, but you cn easily recognize it. Still being restored. Not much of a photo op since it’s all beige.
Then a drive through the old, colonial neighborhood which I really wanted to photo. No stopping because of the traffic.
Lunch at a restaurant near the Central Plaza. 3 courses for 10 whatevers, approx. $3. I seemed to be the only one to eat native and had the local soup, several types of potatoes, carrot and celery in a beef stock (a winner), apparently deep fried chicken and rice ( they were out of the fish), the local fruit(?) drink and jello (out of cake). Was pretty good.
Then cruised the neighborhood looking into a private home turned into a foundation, a restaurant building and a museum (all photo ops) before going to the former Central
Reserve Bank building to look at archeological diggings, all intact and beautifully restored. Into the vault to see the collection of goldwork.
Finally walked around the Plaza, which wasn’t very much at all.
Back to hotel at 4:30 pretty tired.
Group meeting with Karl at 6 and then dinner.