Monday, July 28, 2008

Callao and Lima, Peru

Photo: Note the size of the fishing trawlers in the foreground
From the sea Peru must have one of the most inhospitable coastlines on earth.
Lima and its port is the second largest urban area in a desert next to Cairo.
That desert if the Atacama Desert which stretches up from Chile.
Whatever made the Spanish Conquistadors bother to stop here in the 1500s, I do not know.
Or what made the Incas (1400s) and the other mighty civilisations who came before them (700AD) settle here is remarkable.
Lima is built on the side of the sand mountains of the desert.
Apart from that the whole coastline is shrouded in a continual thick mist – like a sea fret which is present most of the time, so the town hardly ever sees the sun.
I found it a very depressing place and despite visiting the Inca ruins at Pachacamac I was not sorry to leave Callao.

It’s also not a recommended city to visit alone. The local police remind you of that.
Callao is the port for Lima though today with 8 million inhabitants it’s impossible to say where one ends and the other begins. Many of its people live in poverty.
Photo: If you can pick the yellow staircase - there must be a thousand steps lading up to the houses.

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