Lima or bust! Dec 15th
Docking is always interesting. This morning we experienced a low cloud blanket like Southern California has in May and June ... stuff that burns off by early afternoon and returns sometime in the night, only to repeat the process the next day. Morning temp was 64F and the ocean temp is down to 60F. Jimmy and I watched from our balcony as our ship threaded its way thru a maze of boats and ships, in water choked with jellyfish, to its position at the busy port of Callao. B.U.S.Y. Fascinating in a noisy sort of way. You can see the Princess blue/white balconies in the lower left of the photo below. Basically on top of container loading/unloading.
From our balcony: To my left and
to my right.
That monstrous blue thingee on stilts is part of the loading/unloading and not part of our ship. It moves on a rail and goes beep-beep-beep a lot, like the fork-lifts in Home Depot when they're backing up. The shuttle buses have arrived to take passengers away from this busy Port of Callao and into Lima (also tour buses). We weren't allowed to walk away from the ship, and you can see why!
I took this pic from the moving bus. Hard to see exactly, but these places don't have real roofs. We were told that many people in Peru (obviously not ALL people) don't have proper roofs on their houses for tax reasons: No roof, no pay property tax. We saw many variations of the no-roof: cardboard, corrugated tin, tarps, and just rebar extending above the alleged roof line. It's a great spot to hang laundry - that we saw, too. Lima has virtually no rainfall (another SoCal similarity), so I suppose having a solid roof isn't as critical as in other areas, say Hilo, Hawaii!
From the road, you can see the city is densely packed.
The shuttle had an all day drop off/pick up at Plaza San Miguel, which is ... a mall, complete with Starbucks, Chilis, Burger King, and a few other Americano mainstays. It also had this cute little scene (above).
Jimmy and I, Adel and Sue decided not to do an organized tour -- we wanted to see Lima on our own. Lindsey tagged along, making it six packed like sardines in the taxi, inc the driver. When we got waylaid by a parade, we hopped out. Not a problem, we were right near historic Lima where we wanted to be (and glad to be out of that over-crowded taxi!). This was Sunday and the day families got together to walk, play and participate in religious or other activities in their city.
Look at the detail.
This flower petal (what do I call it?) large tapestry was on the stones in front of the church. The church was celebrating it's 370th anniversary. If I try to tell you more, I'll booger it up, 'cause I couldn't quite get the words.
Mass of people, huh?
This, too, is part of the celebration. The flower-bedecked Virgin Mary is carried throughout the streets, accompanied by a band, parishioners, tag-a-longs, tourists, priests, and people dressed in sack cloths with ashes rubbed on their faces. We got caught in this crowd. Once on the sidelines, we enjoyed the entire thing.
Great-looking bldg. What IS that in the window?
Surrounded by massive parliament bldgs, a bit of a rest was in order.
I think this colossal statue honors San Martin.
Unusual, even modernistic-looking Christmas tree to the left, with The Cathedral of Lima, where Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was laid to rest, in the background. More on that in the next post. We toured inside, but my pictures will be a poor representation of what we really saw. Maybe tomorrow I'll have time to get to it.
Across from the cathedral. So many families were Out and About, good to see.
Another gorgeous edifice.
First time I've seen a traffic "director" in the middle of busy streets. Her gloved hands pointed, and she had a whistle and used it.
Lima is called the "City of Kings." It has a municipal population of approx 8 million people, featuring a very complex mix of racial and ethnic groups. We saw some beautiful people. 'Tis too crowded for me and Jimmy, but we appreciate all that we saw, happy we made it to this glorious city in South America.