Monday, March 23, 2015

Leaving Peru

Just 100 or so nautical miles north of Pisco Peru, is the capital city of Lima. In Pisco 100 or so passengers got off the ship to catch a plane for Cusco and Macho Pachuca, and the ship will stay overnight in Lima so that they can come back.

The only downfall of staying overnight in Lima, is if you are on the port side of the ship, because outside your balcony is a very busy port, that loads and unloads cargo 24 hours a day.

As the hours ticked by I kept thinking that things would shut down at 10:00, or 11:00 or even midnight, but no, the noise never ceased, and after previously spending two nights in the Lima airport, and now at the port I’m thinking Lima might not be a good place to sleep.
Apparently there have been attacks on tourists in Lima, and the ship issued more than one warning aboot safety in the city. But Being pure of heart mostly the worst thing to have happen was while visiting the city and having an espresso at one of the of the local coffee shops, the coffee tasted bitter.

The second day in Lima we rode the prison bus to a museum. The museum was excellent. Rooms and rooms were full of pristine artifacts, and if you paid attention and read all the little descriptions attached to the artifacts your head would probably explode from Peruvian history overload.

Not wanting to have my head explode on holiday I stayed outside the exhibits and concentrated on court yard birding.
 Greater Yellow Finch
Image Rufous Tailed Atila 
Once outside the museum our guide couldn’t locate the bus. She spend a few frantic moments on the phone before realizing the bus was around the corner.


Once on the bus we proceeded at breakneck speed, for a snail through the city, on our way to Pachacamac Ruins.  Gradually The tall buildings of downtown Lima gave way to smaller houses, then on the very outskirts crowded slums crawled up the hill sides.

To protect the ruins a wall has been built around the entire site, and the only way in or out is though the guarded gate. Archeological work is ongoing; Staring at the sprawling houses on the outside of the wall makes you wonder what artifacts might have been lost in their construction.

Our time at the ruins was short. Mostly because we spent too much time at the museum, but also because most of the people on the bus couldn’t last more than a few minutes out in the sun.

Our guide never counted passengers as we left the ruins and went on to our next stop Hacienda Mamacona.
The Hacienda is home to Peruvian Dancing Horses. Peruvian horses pick up each leg individually unlike other horses that pick up two legs at a time.
The horses and dancers were magnificent. Our lunch at the ranch was wonderful. This is one of the better shore excursions we have been on.
Back on the bus our guide decided to count the passengers, and didn’t know if we were short or not. Again she made frantic phone calls and after a while we started back to the ship that was scheduled to leave around 5:30. Waiting for passengers that weren’t on the bus to begin with didn’t make any difference because once out on the Pan American Highway the traffic was at a crawl, due to a major accident.

Once past the wreck of busses trucks and? our driver weaved us through city traffic, and got us back to the ship only a few minutes late.