Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Visit to the Market, Lima

The huge market in Lima has to be one of my all time favorites!
These are just a sampling of the great food items we saw.
The fish section (separate from the rest of the marketplace) had a wonderful assortment of fish.

Click on the photos for a larger view.

After you bought the fish, you could take it to the fish preparation people who would make sure that the items were ready for cooking when you took them home.

Bringing the fresh fish to market.

Everything for the hungry fish lover.

....including Octopus.

In a massive building one block away, one finds everything but the fish.
Below, the very popular Andean Purple Corn which comes only from Peru.

Below are the Peruvian Potatoes. Click on the link to learn more about the 3800 different varieties of Peruvian potatoes. When you purchase a potato in this market, they ask you what you plan to cook, and will advise you of the proper potato to use. This photo shows just a very tiny part of the potato display.

Avocados, one of my favorites.
My local grocer features Avocados from several areas, including the United States, Mexico, and Peru. The Peruvian Avocados are the only ones that I have found which do not turn black when they are ripening. It is said that the Peruvians also have a seedless Avocado, but I have not been able to locate that one.

I was surprised to see this display, offering different items for help with an assortment of ailments.

....and more remedies.

The meats looked very fresh and inviting!

After visiting the market, we were taken to a top restaurant, where a typical meal was prepared for us to sample.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chan Chan, Capitol of Kingdom Chimu

Near Trujillo lies the UNESCO archaeological site of Chan Chan.
It was at this site that my favorite Panasonic camera gave it's last few frames.
Here they are--

This is the landscape of the archaeological areas.

From a distance, one is unsure why this site is so important.

The entrance

Designs abound everywhere inside the complex.

One is awed by it's immensity.

Inner courtyard.

Last photo from my older camera.
Click here to see images of Chan Chan.

When we arrived at Callao, one of the first things on my agenda was to locate a store where I could purchase a suitable camera. I made my way to the Hiraoka electronics store in San Miguel after I arrived in Callao. I was very impressed with the professionalism of everyone I met at this store. After I was greeted at the entrance by the security personnel, I made my way to the camera section. There were several knowledgeable camera experts behind the counter willing to help. When I mentioned I preferred a Panasonic upgrade, they called their Panasonic expert who explained all of the aspects of the newer camera to me (in Spanish, of course). When I was satisfied that was the camera I needed to record the rest of Peru, Chile, and Argentina, I made my way to the purchasing booth, and the transaction there was handled very professionally as well. The taxi driver and I made our way to the area where the camera was delivered to me in a very secure manner (and it was obvious that I was the only person to access this camera, due to all the security tape around the box). I took the new camera back to the rep who made sure that I could operate it properly. Then the driver and I left, with the security people wishing me well after inspecting my purchase. I was extremely impressed with this electronics store! (I gave the glassware they gave me as a gift to the taxi driver, because I really didn't need the extra weight in my baggage.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Peru--the Archaeologist's Treasure Chest

When tourists plan to visit Peru, generally the first thing that comes to mind is the Andean high altitude Inca archaeological site of Machu Picchu, Cuzco region, Urubamba Province (mid 1400's). I am a mountain person, and the thought of this site located in a beautiful Andean mountain area, reached by rail from a location near Cuzco (even higher altitude 3,400 m (11,200 ft) using either standard Peruvian rail or the luxury Hiram Bingham cars does sound very captivating. The ship's Machu Picchu tour sent some passengers to Cuzco by air where they stayed 2 nights and were able to take the train to the archaeological site and rejoin us after we sailed to Callao. Hiram Bingham was instrumental in introducing this region to the world. Senator/explorer Hiram Bingham III was from Connecticut, and we are very proud of him. The Bingham extended family still lives nearby. 

I knew there were other archaeological sites in Peru, but I didn't realize the scope of the archaeological treasures, especially in the western arid side of the Andes mountains. Throughout Peru, there are said to be thousands of sites, some dating back to 12,000 BC and many are still waiting to be studied. As we traveled along, the guide pointed out raised areas in the desert terrain, indicating that there were far more sites underneath to be explored. Click here for a very basic list of Peruvian archaeological sites.

We were privileged to visit EL BRUJO which is located just a few miles from Trujillo. My favorite camera began showing signs of imminent demise, but I was able to save these few photos. I recommend clicking on "El Brujo" above for more historical information and additional photos. The video  is excellent as well.

Many of the raised areas in the flat desert indicate a possible archaeological site.

Carved murals depicting history of the area.

View of Visitor's Center and Museum.

There is so much more to be discovered.

Museum Cao. To learn more, click on the El Brujo link, since none of my photos came out.

Additional archaeological sites near Trujillo which are open for viewing:
Click here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

On the Way to El Brujo

The western side of the Andes is rather arid.
I much prefer the mountainous region with it's flora.
Click HERE for a map of the vegetation zones.

Large commerce.
(Irrigated fields)

Small commerce.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Port of Salaverry, Peru

Sailing south, the next port was Salaverry, Peru, near Trujillo.
Not only can this port accommodate large ships, but it provides an opportunity for those wanting to visit Machu Picchu region for 2 nights and rejoin the ship when it arrives in Callao (port for Lima) for an overnight stay.

Next: Road trip to archaeological sites.

(I have not been adding to this blog as frequently as I would like, or visiting your blogs--due to a challenge I made with a couple of my applique friends. In other words--I have been stitching too much!?!)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Montecristi, Ecuador

Historic train

Demonstration of authentic hat making techniques.
The genuine Panama hat has it's origins in Montecristi, Ecuador.

The hat makers generally work to weave the toquilla straw strands for up to one hour at a time before resting.

The following are additional steps to be accomplished after the hat is woven.

 The value of the hat is determined by the fineness of the fiber woven into the hat, as well as the design, the exactness of the construction, etc. It is said that the gentleman who is the premier hat maker does his work late at night, so that the fiber does not dry out as quickly. Depending on the maker, the hats can sell for between $20 and $1200, or even more.

Manta, Ecuador, is the home of the Bototagua button making factory. The buttons are made from  corozo (vegetable Ivory or Ivory nut) and from coconut. The corozo can only be found in Ecuador (and parts of Columbia) I understand.