So after a long period without writing (or publishing anyway) I can now continue from a brand new point. The last time I wrote I was just leaving LA. Since then I’ve spent time in Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina. The world cup took its toll on my time to write but it was absolutely worth it and some day I’ll catch up and tell the story. For now, the next part or my journey began in Peru.
Waking up this morning I realised I had so much admin to do that I was in danger of not achieving anything substantial during my time in Lima. My debit card had been skimmed in Rio and the asshole had stolen all my money. I had just started the long process of getting it back. I had also not made any plans for the west coast of South America past landing in Lima and departing from Santiago a few weeks later. However by four o’clock I had worked out my route for the next two weeks and begun proceedings with the bank so I set out for my first taste of Peruvian culture: a ruin dating back to 500AD, and only ten blocks away from my hostel.
The structure is absolutely incredible. That something can last so long and only be discovered a few decades ago is remarkable. Learning about the discoveries the archaeologists had made over the last 30 years concerning the Lima people was also fascinating. Scattered around the ancient temple are various cemeteries and tombs, some of which contained children sacrificed to the gods during times of despair. It’s a haunting thought that hundreds of years ago there were human sacrifices being made in the very spot I was standing.
It is estimated that the structure would have taken two hundred years to build by an entire community. Considering that the Lima people were conquered by a culture from the Andes in 700AD this indicates that the Lima culture would have had a very short time to enjoy the product of their hard work.
After leaving, I wanted to go see a much more modern wonder, the famous lightshow at the water park a short taxi ride away. Unfortunately a football match at the national stadium caused appalling traffic and we were forced to head back to the hostel.
For the rest of the night we sat around the table with a fantastic guitarist and I played the cajon for the first time which is basically a box with a hole in it. It’s simple but incredibly effective at recreating the sounds of a bass drum and a snare. As a result you can improvise away, playing along to anything that needs a beat. It was the sort of night that I hadn’t had in a long time with all the partying and drinking that comes with the world cup and I was grateful for it. The other outcome of the night was my decision to take up something whilst I’m away. Glen the guitarist, travels with his guitar, a clarinet, a mouth harp and a didgeridoo. If he can accomplish that then surely it’s possible for me to lug around a Cajon. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.