Callao & Lima, Peru Day 2

                                                       Sun Temple

January 17, 2010

For day two in Lima, we chose a tour called Inca Cultures and Pachacamac.  Pachacamac is the ruins of an ancient temple compex, which has 18 pyramids with ramps, a sun temple, and a beautiful, mostly restored Inca moon temple.  The sun temple (representing good) was for men’s worship, while the moon temple (representing bad) was for women’s worship.

Our first stop on this tour was a cultural museum that had artifacts from the earliest cultures through the Incas.  This museum went into great detail about the cultures, including models of Machu Picchu and other villages, and had multiple examples of many types of artifacts from all the cultures.  Our guide on this tour was very knowledgeable but difficult to understand through her heavy Spanish accent.

The next stop was at Pachacamac, which is surrounded by shanty towns with brightly colored buildings.  We climbed to the top of the sun temple, but unfortunately did not have time to explore.

The highlight of our excursion was our last stop of the day, the Hacienda Mamacona, where they breed the Paso horses that Peru is famous for.  We were greeted by a brass band, and escorted to seats under a canopy at the corner of a large lawn.  The owner of the hacienda told us about what makes the horses special:  they are descended from the famous Andalusian show horses, but are smaller in size.  They are very spirited horses, and they have a special gait which gives them a very smooth walk.  When they walk their wrists make a circular motion, which gives them a very elegant and graceful appearance.  This is a genetic trait.  They brought out their newest foal, a colt only seven days old, along with his mother.  As the colt trotted around, the rotation of the wrists was clearly evident.  The show also included two couples who performed some traditional Peruvian dances.  One very special dance was with the two women and two men on horses.  While we were watching this show we were kept well supplied with Pisco sours and Alga Rovinas (another Pisco drink made with milk, sugar and lime juice), along with fried yucca and a dipping sauce.

Following the show we were treated to a wonderful Peruvian buffet, which included wine for those of us who wished to drink it.  During the meal there was more dancing entertainment.  The surprise of the day was being offered the opportunity to ride one of the horses.  Of course we decided to try that - never mind that neither of us had been on a horse for at least 40 years!  It was really more an adult version of a pony ride; one of the handlers led the horse around a big grassy area while we were in the saddle.  But it was still fun, and the walking gait was very smooth.

Finally we had to say goodbye, get back on the bus and head back to the ship.  We had a wonderful time, and would enjoy seeing more of Peru.

© Susan L. Stone 2015