so i was in lima this one time and then all of a sudden there was like this huge battle of the bands and stuff and everyone was like going crazy and just tearing it up and like i was just like whoa dude awesome!!
the craziness hits the apex in an orgasmic creshendo, other battling band not pictured, though they were all wearing blue in a kind of wwf/fight night theme. maybe i`m reading too much into the whole situation. needless to say it was crazy…
so after the adenaline feast of the night before i needed something calm so why not a nice museum. lima unfortunately doesn`t have an underground system so getting from district to district can be a challenge, the roads are absolute chaos and although there are literally hundreds of brightly coloured buses all over the place they work on an unfamiliar system. no bus has a destination displayed in the window but has a list of the roads that it goes down on the side instead, each route is vaguely circular and is denoted by the colour scheme of the bus. so first you´ve basically got to miss the bus you need so you can read the side of it, then remember the colour scheme, wait for the next one and negotiate all of the other buses taxis and mopeds that are sent to foil any attempt to board. when on board a woman (or man) shouts incomprehensibly, alternately out of the window and inside the bus, presumably telling people where we are and are going. i managed to interupt her harridanian ullulations long enough to politely ask her to tell me when we are near the museum, she answers `it`s ave brasil `, i say`i know that but ave brasil runs for 12 miles` she says `yes` and goes back to screeching out of the window. i try to work out approximate distances but it proves impossible with the stop/start, drive/crash nature of the traffic. the only constant is the blaring of horns and i`m not sure i`m up to using the doppler effect as a means of judging distance. i figure that maybe i`m there when the polluted grime on my forehead has me looking like a minstrel, who knows? the shouting woman gets off at a junction and fails to return so i figure that by `yes` she was agreeing on the length of ave brasil not to telling me where to get off.
i figure the next stop is as good as any and go for it. as luck would have it i have no idea where i am and the map that i have is on such a huge scale that even if i did know i would be lost anyway as knowledge of location is worthless with nothing to refrence it to. option number 2; taxi, i figure i`ve got closer and probably saved myself about 5p anyway so all is not lost.
as i was taking this photo of a taxi presumably waiting for the scrap lorry, the driver, who i hadn`t noticed behind his paper, got out and seriously asked `¿taxi señor?`. as there was another taxi behind that hadn`t just finished last in a distruction derby i was forced to turn him down.
anyway, museum; all the usual stuff, hoards of school kids screaming and shouting over one another with inane comments and observations about the artefacts, hoards of yanks doing likewise. it has a good section on moche culture which is my favourite (i know it`s not normal to have a prefered precolumbian culture so just humour me).
not that anyone who doesn`t already know will be bothered but the moche had 5 distinct pottery phases all of which are interesting in different ways, this is moche 4, ok i`ll stop there.
decided to take the bus back figuring that i would easily be able to recognise my part of a city the size of london after seeing it twice. i actually came off astonishingly well and got off 1 stop early. on the way home we went past a riot
here`s all of the armed police putting their crowd supression stuff into practice. apparently demonstrations are a daily fact of life in central lima and they often escolate, no one else on the bus was remotely interested especially the driver who took no pains to swerve or break when the crowd surged into the path of the bus, pretty much getting crumpled against the side of the vehicle in the process. the buses are huge army style ones and if they ran over your foot it would be as flat as a barbequed guinea pig.
not yet feeling culturally fulfilled, the next day i visited huaca pucllana which was luckily within walking distance from the hostel.
originally a huge temple complex in the lima culture built from 400ad till 1100ad it fell into disrepair and was just a huge pile of dust, adobe bricks and river rocks by the time of the conquests. in the 1970s the site was about to be developed into housing when someone decided to question why there was a huge hill right in the middle of a virtually flat city. excavation started and has continued till this day at an incredibly steady rate with never more than 35 people, at any one time, volunteering in the sites history. over time people have taken the bricks to build other structures but still many of the originals remain. the reconstruted parts are built using new bricks but where a wall was left of any significant size the original hand made, sun dried bricks are used. it`s really strange and touching to see the fingerprints, and sometimes footprints, of the people; men women and children, who built the structure captured in each if the 1000s of bricks on display.
feeling that a cultural overdose was close at hand i was forced to spend the night in an english pub followed by a bar where i led the 2 dutch and 2 swedish people i was with, plus about 20 locals in a funky chicken marathon, and ending up in a club having lost my compadres with just the locals and 2 hawaiian circus performers till the wee hours. regrettably no photos though as they take cameras off you when you go in clubs here, and you have to pay to have it looked after as well, no arguements when it`s always less than a quid for a drink though, eh?