Friday 5 August 2016


On Monday the ship docked at 2 pm but we decided to stay on board because the port gates are permanently closed in an effort to stop crime. “But,” they cheerfully told us, “there is a free shuttle bus to the Real Plaza Slavvery (approx. 50 minutes away)”.  That sounded like a long ride to get us to a place of safety.

We were advised that if we go ashore independently to leave all valuables on board and be aware of our surroundings and people in close proximity because bag snatchers and pick pockets were common. Well, thanks, but no thanks.

The best plan under these circumstances seemed to be to take a very expensive ship’s tour the next day, Tuesday. So at 8.30 am we set off to see the “Pachacamac Ruins & Peruvian Prancing Horses”. 
I must say that I have been in some desperate places but so far Lima is the worst. Our tour guide said that in winter (which this is) there is very little rainfall, only drizzle, and the skies are normally grey and overcast   Strangely enough it drizzled rain that morning. What do you know!

We drove 34 km through depressingly poor and litter strewn districts. But worse, on surrounding hills above were favelas.  Yet, perversely enough, Lima has some of the worlds most acclaimed restaurants.  It’s a mad, mad world.

Lima, Peru, Monday & Tuesday 1st & 2nd August

Included in the small print of our trip was a visit the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Now I have to confess that I don’t normally “do” museums. They tend to suck the life out of me - which this one did in bucket loads. 

However, our tour guide was enthralled by it and kept us “informed” for more than 2 hours, ignoring the fact that everyone was “peeling off”, heading for the nearest seats.  She kept telling us to keep together and when we finally collapsed back onto the bus she scolded us and laughingly compared us to “a bunch of naughty students”. Well, hey, I’ve been called worse things.

On to the Pachacamac Ruins.  I had the feeling that, at last, she understood our listless and bored body language and cottoned on to the fact we now understood the Incas were not an ancient civilisation compared to other civilisations that had gone before “right back to the time before Christ”.  “Lima is one of the most ancient cities in the world”.  Interesting. Pity its such a dump now. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Now, at last, on to the main attraction of the day – the Peruvian Prancing Horses and lunch.  We drove through gates and up a long winding lane and there, in among the desperate destitution, stood a beautiful hacienda. 

Five buses from the ship where seated and plied with chips and a potent cocktail called Pisco Sour, consisting of fermented grape liqueur (that’s the Pisco part) plus lime and egg whites (that’s the sour part). Potent. We were also give a chip type thing (none of us were sure if it was fried sweet potato or some other unidentified vegetable) with a dip. I was fervently hoping that this wasn’t “lunch” because I was starving.

The show started with an introduction to the special breed of Peruvian Horse.  They have a unique gait inasmuch as all four legs move independently.  This, we were told, was a natural phenomenon caused by the terrain.  And to demonstrate that it was bred not trained into them they bought on a 12 day old foal and, sure enough, she didn’t canter like a “normal” horse. 

The show began, the horses strutted their stuff and the dancers did their thing.  And then lunch.  Now this was really impressive.  They had provided a magnificent buffet lunch for early 300 of us. Slick, organised and delicious.  A very happy end to an interesting tour. 

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