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29 May 2024
The Kiss sculpture at Miraflores.

After a long flight & long day yesterday, today felt like a lie-in when getting up at 7 am. After breakfast, I went for a short walk around Miraflores before leaving the hotel around 1 pm to begin our journey to Chincha.

Lima to Chincha.

Our coach journey began with a visit to the 'Love Park' on the cliff tops of Miraflores, where a large sculpture, The Kiss, of a couple in an embrace looks down over the Pacific Ocean. As we travelled through Lima's outer areas, we began to pass through more & more shanty towns & I started to realise that Peru is a lot poorer than the glossy brochures & travel websites make it look. As we continued around a narrow, winding coast road, we passed a rocky outcrop where a man dressed as a monk threw himself off the cliff into the cold Pacific waters, crashing at the base of the rocks.

This was one way to make a living, & the monk was re-enacting the story of a monk who supposedly threw himself to his death in the name of unrequited love. Whether there was any truth to it or not, it was an awe-inspiring dive & he was rewarded by the coach party when he passed between us with his tip tray shortly after, unscathed but wet & shortly to relive the event again for the next passing coach.

In one place, we passed a women's prison. It is home to many women & journalists, some of whom have been there for over fifteen years. They are there for reporting the truth of Peru's economic & political struggles after the country's civil war or internal conflict in the 1980s. I can only hope that these types of prisons, all over the world, will soon be closed & that the governments that run them can spend their time & their people's money & resources in a more humane & beneficial way.

Along the coast road, we passed through miles of desert mountains on one side of the coach & the other side by the blue waters of the Pacific, tirelessly breaking onto the beaches of Peru. We pass through many more Shanty Towns, which seem to be the norm outside the large built-up cities like Lima.

Pachacamac Temple.

On route to our next overnight stay in Chincha, we visited the   Pachacamac temple & the Temple of the Sun. Unfortunately, the short time we had here didn't give us long enough to climb up to the top of the temple of the sun, but what we did see gave us a good idea of how large this place must once have been. It is a vast area & alongside it, a large shantytown has grown.

Because of the stealing & damage done to the remains of the Pachacamac ruins by people trying to make some money by selling these items to treasure hunters, there are permanent armed security guards all around. Maybe if these people could be given work restoring more of the complex, this would provide the area with more jobs & more visitors to it. This, in turn, would provide a sustainable way for the people living there to survive & a way for tourists to visit whilst helping the area's inhabitants make a living.

The small visitor complex at the Pachacamac temple had well-watered gardens supplied by the nearby river. The gardens had a few llamas tethered in them, & these were used to keep the grass trimmed down. The small gardens & the ruins there made me wonder what this place must have been like in the days when the Incas were building & living there before the Spanish arrived, conquered & destroyed it.

Tonight, we stayed at the Casa Andina Classic Hotel in Chincha. At the hotel, I had a beautiful meal in the restaurant before retiring early to catch up on some sleep before an early start again tomorrow.

  Photos from Pachacamac & Chincha.