Pachacamac and Paragliding over the Cliffs of Lima
Lima Travel Blog› entry 11 of 12 › view all entries
How often is it that you can go back in time and fly in one day, and in one city? No, dude, I'm not on crack; I'm in Lima.
In the morning, we headed out to by taxi to Pachacamac, the site of pre-Incan ruins not far from Lima. The ruins date as far back as 200AD and was built up but several empires throughout the ages. We negotiated a taxi ride with a company our hotel used. I can't remember exactly how much it was, but with three people splitting the fee, it was pretty cheap for how far we went.
We found out that an English tour was available, but we'd have to wait for an hour.
There are these weird looking but cute hairless dogs that live in Pachacamac and are fed by the tour guides. They wear cute little sweaters that keep them warm and make them verey pretty to photograph against the monotone desert landscape.
They especially loved our tour guide and ran along side the car whenever she was in it. At first, I totally thought we were going to hit the dogs with the cab, because the cab driver didn't seem to care, but then I noticed how graceful and really really fast the dogs were.
You can't go into first pyramid you stop at, but you can see the remnants of the wide boulevard that once stretched out through the ancient city. At another site, they've recreated the Temple of the Moon, a building that housed young preistesses.
The biggest highlight of the tour is the Temple of the Sun, a big pyramid that you climb up. High on top of the pyramid, you can see the modern city stretching below.
The view from the pyramid was nothing compared to my afternoon activity though. Ever since I got to Lima, I knew I wanted to go paragliding off the Lima cliffs. Lima sits high above the Pacific Ocean, bounded by cliffs as if the city is settled on a high balcony.
When we got there, we realized it wasn't so much of a paragliding office, as much as just a group of rugged extreme-sports looking dudes on a lawn waiting for the winds to pick up. I just went up to them and said "I want to do that". One guy offered to take me for $40, but we'd have to wait for the winds.
About an hour later, the winds were up, and I found myself strapped like a giant tortoise to the paragliding contraption looking off the edge of a cliff. The guy I was going tandem with strapped himself to me and told me to run. I knew it would be fine, but running off a cliff is something that just seems odd to your body as you're doing it.
The first step off into the air was completely exhilerating. We were literally flying up over Lima, over the ocean, and back and forth along the rocky cliffs. You can take your camera up, and the instructor dude took a picture of the both of us in the air as we flew. Too bad JP and Atousa didn't want to go, because you can even go up with different instructors and get pictures of your friends in the air.
The view was amazing: the sun glistening on the ocean and the winding highway, the skyscrapers nearby, and other paragliders floating beneath us and above us. It was really one of the coolest things I've ever done, and for only $40.