The ancient temple district of Pachacamac lies just off the Panamericana just about an hour to the south of Lima. The remainders of the sun pyramid (picture 13kB), which is 80m high are situated on an artificial hill. From the top you have a good view on the city ruins and also to the near sea side and Lima's slums, which keep getting bigger and bigger. The most interesting building is the restored “Monastery of the Sun Virgins” (picture 14kB) with many rooms, yards and basins. We were expected on the parking lot by a dog (picture 18kB) which had no body hair except on his head.
The peninsula of Paracas lies 150km south of Lima. Just off the coast are the Balestas islands. You are allowed to go there with small motor boats in the morning only, as they are a nature reserve. Although tourists are not allowed to step foot on the islands, it’s still possible to come very close to pelicans (picture 29kB), penguins (picture 11kB), and seals (picture 23kB, picture 28kB). On the way to the Balestas you have an exciting view of a huge scraping formation, the Candelabra (picture 12kB).
Surprisingly enough, the road through the desert (picture 11kB) was well made up. There were hardly any buildings (picture 27kB) to be seen off the road and I was asking myself why anybody would like to live there and of what. Fortunately, the dull landscape is interrupted by spurs from the Andes (picture 29kB). They are just as bare as the desert, still, it makes some slight change.
In Ica is a very interesting museum exhibiting, beside ceramics and textile art, trepanned skulls and very well conserved mummies. They even show a mummy of a pregnant woman (picture 19kB).
last update: 05.11.2001