05.06.2013 - 05.06.2013
This was our last morning on the ship. We ate early and went to the auditorium where we waited to be called on to disembark, get our bags, and board a bus for the airport.
All of that was easy. We were at the airport by mid-morning. The one glitch to all of this was that our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until the evening. Fortunately, the tour guide who was getting us to the airport explained that the hotel across the street from the airport would store our bags free for the day as long as we bought lunch or dinner there (or just several drinks, as we found out later).
The two of us made the arrangements to hold our bags with the concierge. Then we walked through the skyway to the airport lobby. It didn’t take too long to arrange for a taxi to take us back into the city for a few hours. Our destination was a museum.
There are many public and private museums in Lima, but none as unique or pleasing as the Larco Museum. Housed in a former mansion, itself built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple, the museum offers a varied collection of 3,000 years of ceramic, textile and precious metal artifacts. There are also mummies that show off the different ways ancient cultures, including the Incas, preserved their dead.
Two things really set this museum apart. First, visitors are allowed into the museum's store rooms to see what's not on display: a vast array of ceramic objects crafted by ancient Peruvians; there are tens of thousands of pots in the shapes of animals, plants and people. Second, there's a special room devoted to erotic archaeological treasures. These are not your run-of-the-mill phallic symbols, but a collection of ceramic pots portraying a variety of sexual positions and acts — the Kama Sutra in clay, basically. Many such erotic pots were destroyed by Spanish conquerors, who were mortified by the explicit depictions!
The other fine aspect of this museum is a restaurant that specializes in authentic Peruvian cuisine. We shared two small dishes that were interesting combinations of potatoes, peppers, vegetables, chicken, sauces, yucca and even a type of corn pie. Of course, nothing goes better with Peruvian food than Peruvian beer. What a fine lunch.
Having filled our brains and bellies, we called a taxi and took our last look at Lima as we were driven back to the airport. We ordered some pisco sours (a tasty cocktail we last had in Chile) and settled in at the hotel bar with TV shows on our laptop.
A few hours before boarding time, we grabbed our bags and headed for the airport to check in. It was a long, long wait in line. Once we had taken care of that, we passed into the terminal where we ate a sandwich, found our gate, and finally boarded the plane for the good old U.S.A.