After a long flight & long day yesterday, today felt like a lie in when getting up at 07:00 local time, 13:00 UK time.
Lima to Chincha.
After a breakfast buffet, I went for a short walk around Miraflores before leaving the hotel around 13:00 to begin our journey 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 began to realise that Peru is a lot poorer than the glossy brochures & travel websites give the impression. As we continue around a narrow winding coast road we pass a rocky outcrop where a man dressed as a monk throws himself off of the cliff into the cold Pacific waters crashing at the base of the rocks.
This was one way to make a living, and 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 a very impressive 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 pass a political prison. It is home to many dangerous women, many of them journalists, some of whom have been there for over fifteen years 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 soon 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 and beneficial way.
The coast road was passing through miles of desert mountains on one side of the coach & on 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.
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 huge 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 here to survive and a way for tourists to visit whilst helping the inhabitants of the area to make a living.
The small visitor complex at the Pachacamac temple has well-watered gardens supplied by the nearby river. The gardens had a few llamas tethered in them, these are used to cut the grass. These small gardens & the ruins here make me wonder what this place must have been like in the days when the Incas were building & living here, before the Spanish arrived, conquered & destroyed it.
Tonight we stayed at the Casa Andina Classic Hotel at Chincha. At the hotel tonight I have a beautiful meal in the hotel restaurant before retiring early to catch up on some sleep before an early start again tomorrow.