After a couple of days in Lima, I leave tomorrow for Huaraz with the rest of our small team. We have 6 in total.
We will drive the countryside of Peru heading north towards the gateway to the Andes Mountain, the Cordillera Blanca ranges and the city of Huraz located at 10,000 feet. We will spend two nights there to begin our adjustment to the altitude. I have been told it will be one of the highlights of the climb as Huraz is known as a quiet spot to prepare for the high mountains.
While in Lima I visited Huaca Pucllana, a giant adobe pyramid built around 500 AD. It was used as an administrative and ceremonial center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. It is located right in the middle of a modern residential area in the district of Miraflores and surrounded by all the modern trappings of restaurants, souvenir shops and galleries.
Of note, they used dirt brick but reinforced them with sea shells and pebbles but interestingly they arranged the bricks in columns of opposing V shapes to make them stronger. In the recent 6.0 earthquakes, Huaca Pucllana didn’t loose a brick built with this technique.
Huaca Pucllana was used for sacrifices much in the same way the Egyptian did. While solid in structure, e.g. no tombs, there are small crypts used to store royalty’s bones. In 2010 archaeologists found four bundled mummies from the Wari culture. The mummies included what appeared to be an elite woman and three children who may have been sacrificed to accompany her into the afterlife.
A couple of hairless dogs roamed the grounds said to be descendants of the dogs kept by royalty and often buried in the tombs with their owners.
The entire complex was hidden underneath simple dirt and the locals used to climb to the top to fly kites, play and even motocross. In the mid 1980′s the underlying structure was discovered and today it is a World Heritage Site.
OK, on to the mountains!
Memories are Everything