Lima: Food, Museums and Erotic Vessels, Peru - 8

Our original plans had us flying into Lima and sitting at the airport for a late night flight home, but when our flight arriving to Peru was so incredibly delayed, the airlines bumped us for free to have an additional day in Lima.

We arrived late afternoon and the tourist company planned for us a have dinner and a private tour of Museo Larco. This is one of the largest privately owned museum of Peruvian artifacts from 5000 BCE to the Incan era. Mostly, we were educated on the intricacies of potteries by pre-columbian people. The differences in the details across the art are too convoluted to be described; however, the collection is immense. There are two tapestry remnants that are in the Guinness World Book for weaving details and size. The tightest count by inch was made 1000s of years ago and from Vacuña wool and has a surprising amount of vibrant colors.They might as well have been weaving human hair. 

The most intriguing display was not even a display but a video of the pottery being played as wind instruments. The vessels were created in the shape of animals and would play sounds like various jungle noises. The assumption was this vast collection of vessels were used for ceremony and not practicality. 

Another interesting aspect was the collection of nose rings. These large septum ornaments were worn by the kings to create a God-On-Earth experience. These large gold plates obscured the human mouth from the masses and when the king would speak it reverberated the voice in an otherworldly manner. All this mystique was helped by the people, during celebrations, being under highly hallucinogenic narcotics.

In another part of the museum were erotic vessels, truly erotic scenes were crafted in glaze; from sexual positions, circumcised phallic representations to vaginal holes. Our guide was embarrassed for my children to see these. I told her that this was pre-historical art and natural sexuality unlike what is available to be seen on Netflix.

We stayed at the Marriott and this area of Lima could have been downtown San Diego. Lima was built on top of high cliff walls carved by the Pacific Ocean. There is very little natural beach but one has been made along the shore. The wealthy Limans are conforming to a very gentrified life, I almost forgot not to drink the water, almost, but not quite.

The next day we took a food tour. Apparently, Lima is famous for their food and they have a native born Michelin Chef. Not that we ate there, it takes months for a reservation. The food tour started with a in-house roasting coffee shop Cafe Bisetti. They hand sort the beans for size and color for roasting consistency and flavor. To be honest, some of the smoothest coffee I have ever had. Then we went to a smoothie breakfast place and tried a LĂșcuna fruit drink that tasted very much like butterscotch. 
Barranco's Empty Cathedral

After, we traveled to a fresh market (their version of a grocery store) and were introduced to all sorts of foreign fruits and vegetables (obviously not foreign to them). They have something like 3000 different varieties of quinoa, 4000 different potatoes and 60 different varieties of corn. Needless to say, a lot of different colors of the rainbow. The meat, while mostly kept cool, still creeped me out as it was an open-air market. But the flower bins were beautiful.

Following our stroll through the market, we stopped at a restaurant that taught us how to make pisco sours and ceviche from scratch. Despite being at sea level now, our piscos put us in a good mood. Finally, we went to a restaurant that sat at the base of the Huaca Pucllana adobe pyramid ruins. The restaurant concept was agreed to by the government in order to preserve the ruins.  I felt like I was dining at the base of the Valley of the Kings, Cairo. Or at least, how I imagine it would feel. Lima is the next most populated desert city behind Cairo in the world, I had no idea.

This completed our tour and our trip. The only problem was it was now 3pm, our flight out was 10 minutes before midnight. We decided to head to the airport and get a hotel room for fresh showers and rest. We were so ready to head home. While Lima is a modern city, it devolves very quickly to a harsh, ant-farm environment, not unlike any other city in the world; the haves and have nots. 

When I travel to celebrate and learn differences in languages and cultures, there comes a point when I need to return home, to my normal. The drivers in Peru (and I know this is not unique to Peru) have their own rules and posturing with their horns. The incessant honking was exhausting my senses. 

Yes, it was a trip of a lifetime, and we have seen it with our own eyes, but what really makes this world a smaller place is understanding that the more people are different, the more they are the same. Until next time! 

The Puente de los Suspiros in Barranco
Lover's Bridge