June 03, 2010


Pachacamac is a largely pre-Incan archeological site located only ~25 miles outside Lima. An important fact I had to be reminded of repeatedly was that the powerful Inca Empire existed for the relatively short period of time from ~1438 to 1533. Therefore, much of what we visited was referred to as “pre-Incan”.  

On site there is cemetary and fish fresco from ~200-600 AD. The Huari established Pachacamac ~600 – 800 AD. Most of the buildings, including at least 17 pyramids, were built ~800 – 1450 AD. When the Inca arrived, they allowed the Pachacamac priests to continue to function independently. The Inca built five more buildings, including a temple to the Sun. Teresa’s driver Esau drove us slowly around the complex while our official guide navigated. Quite often, we got out at a viewing point (usually with an explanatory placard) while our guide provided additional details and history. At one point, we made quite an ascent through the sand and were treated to a view of the ocean. No wonder everyone wanted to live here!

The museum displayed many examples of textiles and ceramics. Outside the museum, we were greeted by dogs that had lost much of their fur, but sported jackets intended to protect at least some of their exposed skin from sunburn.

After a hard day of sightseeing, we lunched at a nearby seaside restaurant. We are not drinking a pitcher of sangria but rather “chicha morada” which is a Peruvian specialty made from purple corn. The Peruvian Cuisine Blog (www.peruvian-cuisine.blogspot.com) provides the following recipe to make your own:


• 1 ½ lb (¾ k) purple corn

• Peelings from 2 lb (1 k) cooking apples

• Peelings from 1 large pineapple

• 4 key limes

• 1 cup sugar, or to taste

• 4 whole cloves

Bring to a boil the well washed apple and pineapple peelings, the corn and cloves with 3 quarts water. Simmer for half an hour, and then strain.

Repeat simmering process with same ingredients and 3 quarts clean water. We have to strain and mix both liquids.

Finally, add sugar and lemon juice. Serve chilled.

Note: Add sugar and key lime to the Chicha only when ready to use. In fact, before adding sugar and lime it can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days

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