Travelblog SA#16: Lima & Huaraz – Peru

13th-19th September 2018

After my jaunt into the rainforest, I spent a couple of days relaxing in Iquitos before I left the Amazon behind and boarded a plane for Lima.

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My time in Peru’s capital was enjoyable but ultimately uneventful. I stayed in Miraflores; a modern district with clean streets and international restaurants. It was a pleasant respite but not all too interesting, so I wandered around other parts of the city, enjoying the cool air as I explored the coastal parks and the civic centre, where I wandered around its museums and churches. I made a friend who took me to a market in Barranco where I tried ceviche.

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Apart from the Lugar de la Memoria – a poignant memorial for Peru’s violent period during the Sendero Luminoso uprising – Lima’s museums weren’t much to write home about, but the Cathedral Basilica had the best collection of religious art I have seen so far in South America.

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Another highlight was the Monasterio de San Francisco, which is over three hundred years old and has a library which looks like something out of a Harry Potter film.  As part of the tour, I also got to see its catacombs, which was home to thousands of human bones.

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I also took a day trip to Pachacamac – a pre-Inca site on the outskirts of the city – which is not the sort of place which photos do justice, but I am glad I went there as it was interesting to see the crumbled ruins of an old civilisation scattered across the desert.

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After a few days I ran out of things to occupy myself, so I left Lima and hopped on a night bus destined for Huaraz.

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At over 3000 meters above sea level, Huaraz is the capital of the highlands and a launching point for exploring this region. My intention was to embark upon a trek but first I needed to acclimatise, so I passed the time by seeing some lighter attractions such as Wilkahuain; a nearby village which is home to a remarkably well preserved series of ruins dating from 600 AD, where people of the Wari culture people used to store their deceased ancestors.

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I also went for a hike to Antacocha Laguna. I was joined by a German girl called Lisa that day, and together we caught a bus to Ayacayana and hiked up the mountain, passing through quaint Andean hamlets, farms, and forests on our way to the lake.

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When we reached the top, we ate lunch together while admiring the view of the Cordillera Blanca. It was the place I was destined to venture the following morning when I embark upon the Santa Cruz trek.

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Click on the links for more photos from Lima and Huaraz.

 

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