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sunny 25 °C

Friday, April 11th.

A lazy day in Lima. We had decided to spend the day looking around the city and then taking an evening tour of Lima on a double decker bus. The tour advertised: Panoramic view of the Historic Centre of Lima. Folkloric music and dance show from the three regions of Peru. Buffet dinner boasting Peruvian and international food. And if that didn't convince us, then flattery might! ....."This service has been especially thought out for the most sophisticated tastes". Oh my, that must mean us!

We walked to the park in the centre of Miraflores, and climbed aboard. We were requested to use our seat-belts on the top of the double decker bus. Soon we realize that this is because leaves and branches hang over the streets and often swish over the tops of our heads. We spend about an hour and a half driving towards the centre of Lima and viewing many of the historic buildings.

A twin double decker Mirabus left at the same time as we did.

The Government Palace of Peru was the house of the Peruvian government headquarters, erected in 1535, has been through many alterations. The current structure was built in the 20th century in Baroque Revival style, and is the residence of the president of Peru.

Cathedral of Lima (right), and the adjoining Archbishop's Palace, were originally built during the 1600s. The Archbishop's residence sports the intricately carved wooden balconies that make the downtown cityscape unique.

Then we pulled up the Sheraton Hotel and were ushered into a small dining room with a large stage. An attentive young lady welcomed us, brought us to our seats and offered us a complimentary drink. Pisco Sour is the local drink of Peru and we decided to try it. It was lemony and not too sweet. It is a drink that is distilled from grapes, and appeared to have a nice kick. We were invited to help ourselves to the beautifully presented food. We were seated at a small table directly in front of the stage, where we sipped our drinks and enjoyed the tasty buffet. Later we relaxed with coffee and the stage started to come alive.
We are seated in grand style, close to the performance area.

As I mentioned, ....in grand style.

The first number was sung by a sultry jazz singer backed up by her 7 piece blues band. Saucy Spanish dancers in white peasant dresses followed. Such a variety of acts, sultry songs and lively dances followed. Costumes changed and one team of tall elegant dancers replaced shorter native Peruvian dancers. The music and the styles of the dance changed completely with each number. The final act was amazing and very acrobatic. Three typical Peruvian men dressed as clowns, came on to the stage, each brandishing large pair of scissors in one hand. As discordant music started each made an energetic display of sumer-saults , splits and spins across the stage all the time clipping rapidly with their oversized scissors. This dance is apparently a traditional one in which contestants dueled with each other until one was incapacitated. There were two full hours of amazing entertainment without a break. When finally the curtain fell …..( Oh, I forgot: 3 men were chosen from the audience and cajoled to enjoy the final dance. Eldon was a good sport, and spent his 3 minutes of fame on the stage in Lima!)

The evening's entertainment started with a re-enactment of Inca history.

The TONDERO'S choreography is inspired from the movvement of birds. It is danced barefoot and with hankerchiefs.
It is very lively: just look at the video!

TONDERO originated from the north coast of Peru as a mixture of Spanish, Gypsy and African slave expressions.

ZAMACUECA, "The National dance of Peru” A flirtatious and romantic dance, symbolizing courtship. Couples use hankerchefs and eloquently avoid physical contact.

The DANZA DE LAS TIJERAS (scissors dance) is an original dance, in which two or more dancers perform in turns, doing explicit moves and challenging steps. The Scissors Dance is from the south of the Andes, in Peru and dates from the time of the Inca, but contains Spanish influence. Accompanied by only violin and harp, the dancers use the two halves of scissors as castanets. Earlier in this performance we watched an amazing act in which our dancer lies on his back and JUMPS !!! JUMPS ON HIS BACK!!!! In the following video, you will see something else: IMPOSSIBLE moves by one of the dancers.......

Upon the arrival of the Spanish, priests tried to ban the dance as the work of the devil !

DIABLADA is a dance characterized by the mask and devil suit worn by the performers. Traditional in the Peruvian Puno department, the dance is a mixture of religious theatrical presentations brought from Spain and Andean religious ceremonies such as the Llama llama dance in honour of the Uru god Tiw (protector of mines, lakes, and rivers), and the Aymaran miner's ritual to Anchanchu (a demon spirit of caves and other isolated places in Perú).

The entertainment over, we wandered back to the tour-bus and drove back to Miraflores, where we left the bus and then walked through the warm evening streets, back to our hotel.

The tour is a wonderful deal.

Mirabus tours ……...http://www.mirabusperu.com/english/index.html



Just a relaxing day looking around the city. We enjoyed the sun, sitting in the courtyard; we walked around the city and bought a kid's novel in Spanish for me to read; we spent time in the supermarket observing a spectacular array of fresh fish of many species, on ice and unusual fresh fruits and vegetables. At supper time, the streets became very busy and the local busses were jam-packed. We made our way back to our hotel for an early start tomorrow, when we will meet our group who will be travelling south to look at a local gold mine.

Like sardines in a tin at rush hour

Posted by Sue McNicholas 18:31 Archived in Peru

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