Huaca Pucllana & Early Birthday!

This is it, the last week in Lima! We are sad to say goodbye to our friends, and even a little sad to leave our new home in Surquillo (thanks, Trevor!), but we’re definitely ready to see the better parts of Peru and get a taste of sunshine, mountain air, and jungle steam!

We’ve been a little more active the last two Saturdays, with good reason. Our amazing Peruvian family and I put together a small surprise birthday party for Zac on a Friday night. We even ordered KFC – Zac’s favorite – and I made the insane brownie-cookie-cake cake, which Zac surely thought he wouldn’t get this year. (Three years in a row! I love surprising other people!) It was really fun to see how happy he was from something so little!

3-Layer Brownie, Cookie, Yellow Birthday Cake

3-Layer Brownie, Cookie, Yellow Birthday Cake

I dragged him out of the house for a walk, while they compiled the cake, KFC, and awesome handmade signs. We happened upon an American bar during our walk, and a quick peak at the TVs told us there were football games on. Of course Zac dragged me inside, found the Niners on one of the TVs and insisted we have a beer. So, we were at least 30-45 minutes late to his party, but since it was his day, even though he didn’t know it, I had to comply!

Happy Camper watching the 49ers' preseason game.

Happy Zac watching the 49ers’ preseason game.

No matter what people say about birthdays, they’re always best when celebrated with friends and “family.”

Zac's Surprise Early Birthday - For the record, his real bday isn't until Sept 8, so he was REALLY surprised!

Zac’s Surprise Early Birthday – For the record, his real bday isn’t until Sept 8, so he was REALLY surprised!

The next day, we visited Huaca Pucllana, which is a series of ruins from the Lima tribes. The most interesting thing to me is that their homes and structures were made of various sandy bricks. One big rain would wipe them all out, but that just shows you how little it rains here in Lima!

Zac in front of the Huaca

Zac in front of the Huaca

Traditional Dining Area

Traditional Dining Area

I didn’t catch everything the guide said, but apparently when enemies (probably Spanish conquistadores) came to take over the Lima tribe, they sacrificed and buried the important people from the Lima tribe, often with their children, hence the tiny packages resting higher up in the picture below.



They set up a little farm area, where traditional foods are grown, such as quinoa, camote (sweet potato), and coca. They also had plenty of alpacas and llamas, but they looked pretty sad to be there.

Spelled "quinua" in native Quechua, Quinoa is a very popular grain for us health-nut "Norte Americanos." And here it grows!

Spelled “quinua” in native Quechua, Quinoa is a very popular grain for us health-nut “Norte Americanos.” And here it grows!

Quinoa Buds Up Close

Quinoa Buds Up Close

The strangest view comes in the form of a city-to-ruins juxtaposition. You can see the modern development butting up against the ruins, which are now protected by the government.

Ruins in the midst of a gigantic, developing city.

Ruins in the midst of a gigantic, developing city.

And of course, Zac and I got the token shot in front of the ruins. They’re fascinating to see up close, but the tour was kind of pricey for just 25 minutes.


We’re happier than we look, I promise! Too much KFC the night before!

We planned to visit Tokio Ramen, a ramen noodle shop in San Isidro that was highly recommended by one of my students, then head over to the Huaca. After an hour or so, we didn’t find the ramen shop, so we were a little tired and cranky by the time we reached the ruins.

However, we DID get much better directions from my student and went the following weekend. We always talked about renting a bike for Zac on a Saturday (I had one) and just riding around Lima. We never did it due to price, or timing, or fear of biking on the street, but I forced it last Saturday, and it was so worth it! I’ve done enough biking to know some of the safer areas, so for an hour-long bike ride, we only had to hit the streets and sidewalks for about 6 blocks. We made it to the ramen shop for MSG-laden noodles and gyoza as a way to assuage my need for Japan in my life! (We delayed the Japan 2014 for Japan 2015.)

Tokio Ramen

Tokio Ramen

Anyway, as most of you know by now, we’ll be back in San Diego in January of 2014, but for now, we’ve got a lot more traveling to do. This week will be spent packing and tying up loose ends, and next time you see us we’ll be in Ica, Peru!

Categories: Lima, Peru, Travel | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Huaca Pucllana & Early Birthday!

  1. Paula Tulley

    Safe travels, love you guys.

  2. Christine

    Happy early Birthday HIIZEeeeee!! Hope you have fun walking in the footsteps of those that came before us on that Inca Trail.

    Be safe, be well, love love love and nuzzles to you both! xx

  3. Enjoy the rest of your travels! Hope to see you in SD when you return!

  4. Sheila

    Can’t wait to see you for the holidays! You have had some wonderful travels, and lots of stories to tell when you are old like your dad!

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