29 October, Wednesday - Day 2
Free day in Lima. Visit Nacion Museo, Gold Collection, Inquisition Museum.
We’re up at 7:45 for breakfast. Picked up water at the local market along with tangerines and bananas.
It’s off to see the Nacion Museo (Museum of the Nation). It’s a long ride. We have to catch a bus and then a collectivo. The journey takes about an hour. It’s warmer today as the sun is out. We pass the casino and Rusela notes that the Spanish word “Tragamoneda” (Swallow Money) makes more sense than slot machine. I notice there’s a gas station right in the middle of the street median. Vendors come right onto the buses and vans to sell their wares: rulers, spiderman masks, candy, and wallets. We also had a political commentator come on board. Some buses have signs in Chinese.
Many different collectivos and buses, many different fee tickets
We get to the Nacion Museo to find out that most of it is closed for maintenance. There are only two exhibitions open. One dealt with a photographic remembrance of modern atrocities from 1980 to 2000.
The other appears to be miscellaneous selections from the museum.
Moche Gold Mask (circa 1000 CE)
Quipu knots used by the Incas as a mnemonic device
Vase made to resemble the papa (potato)
Near the end of our trip we discovered that the museum was closed because it was hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders Meeting 2008 which included guest President Bush. Our hostel, Pay Purix, had recommended that we visit the Plaza de Armas and some free museums if we had extra time. They had given us a map so we catch a collectivo to Central Lima. This time I have to stand but a woman who’s sitting offered to hold my bag for me. Standing room only doesn’t stop a preacher from coming on board to ask for donations.
Found a set menu lunch for $5. I have the fish with comes with potatoes, rice, red onions, cornmeal and soup of the day. Rusela opts for the beef flanken. We visit the Banco Central de Reserva del Peru which houses the Hugo Cohen Gold Collection. It is also under renovation but the open exhibitions were stunning. The gold is kept in a vault in the basement of the bank and one has to register and go through a security check before entering.
Golden Llamas and Seals
The Moche artwork is very naturalistic in style. Many bottles and handles are decorated with either human or animal figures.
Gold ceremonial knife
The next museum is only a couple of blocks away. It is about the Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition’s tribunal for lapsed Catholics was in Lima for all of South America. Supposedly, 1800 men and 132 women had gone through the inquisition here. The cells are recreated and are very dark and deep. Back to the hostel for leftover Chinese food and Rusela reports that we only did 10,000 steps today.
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