Tag Archives: temple

“the Animal Cutting Place”…

26th November 2011

Temple of Kali

This morning we both managed to get going early and head out on the bike. Buddha wanted to take me to, what he called, “The Animal Cutting Place”. It’s a Hindu temple devoted to Kali, the goddess of destruction. How it works is that families bring chickens or goats or the like as a sacrifice. The animals are ceremoniously slaughtered, cleaned and returned to the family to take home for dinner.

The drive was longer and much colder than I had expected and by the time we got there we both had frozen fingers. Parking, we headed down to the temple. I have visited many places around the world but the intensity of this place was off the scale. Even though we were there before 10am there were already hundreds of people and the lines for the sacrifices wrapped round the temple. There was almost a festive air to the place, with people selling food, spices, toys, and everything else. At one point a guy came and tried to sell me a small brass lock shaped like a tiger. Even though I thought it was neat, I resisted and finally, in an attempt to get rid of him, I made the mistake of saying “Maybe later!”. He nodded and walked away. I figured there was no way he would find us in this crowd on the way back….

Everything for sale

Rows of beans

Colors and sounds abound

We attempted to enter the temple area and bypass the hoardes of people, but were promptly shoo’ed out by who I can only assume was “The Keeper of the Line”. So we walked around the perimeter and found another entrance. It was very smoky with all the incense and such and rather overwhelming in truth.

View from above

This is just part of the line


After wandering around for an hour or so we decided to pop into one of the “cafe’s” for breakfast. It was fascinating watching the food being made, we opted for tea and some sort of donut like things and a bowl of some sort of beans. It was delicious, but really have no idea what it was other than the tea.

Making Donut like things


About half way through this old gentleman came up to us and started playing a traditional instrument. I wasn’t sure if he was playing for money or was going to try sell me something, but I got 50rupees ready just in case. He was superb and added a great atmosphere to breakfast, in hindsight I wish I had given him a little more.

Music Man

On the way out we decided to buy some veggies to make for dinner at the hotel tonight or tomorrow night. There was so much good stuff to choose from and pretty soon my shoulder bag was chock-a-block full and I was starting to get concerned on how my balance might be affected on the bike.

Remember the guy selling the brass lock, the one I was certain wouldn’t find us in this mass of human beings…. I underestimated the tenacity of a Nepali lock seller. He spotted us immediately and came right over. Being rather insistent and no matter how much we bantered and encouraged him to go sell to the obvious tour group just behind us, he was hell bent on selling me one. Eventually we settled on 300 rupees, as I did kind of like it. Later I found it for 270 rupees in Kathmandu, and that was without bargaining. He certainly was a persistent bastard, and was fun to barter with so its all good.

Walking around the grounds we came across family after family setting up their picnic areas. Each family had rather elaborate hand made screens that were set up and made a perfect private location for a family outing. It was rather touching to watch how the families interacted and it reminded one of how similar all families are all over the world.


At the bike Buddha got on and then braced himself for me to get on. As I went to swing my leg over I realised that:
1- we were on a slope
2- I was on the higher side
3- my bag-o-veggies was rapidly overbalancing me

My first attempt failed immediately. The 2nd attempt on the other hand had me almost all the way on the bike when I felt the bag slide. Next thing I remember is that the bike lying on me and somehow had managed to kneel on one knee and the outside leg got under the bike. Buddha managed to jump out of the way, but one of the rear breaklights had popped off and was damaged. I also knew I was going to have a whopper of a bruise later.

I felt unnerved and embarrassed, because you know there were people watching. Buddha decided to move the bike up to where a stump would allow me to get better leverage onto the bike. I limped behind him and managed to get on this time. The drive home was insane as it was high traffic time, and if you thought bus drivers were crazy in town, try them outside of town. It was damn near terrifying on one section as a bus wouldn’t let anyone get passed and people were getting quite insistent.

But making it home barely, Buddha took the bike to the shop to get it checked out and I chatted with a couple who were staying in the apartments next to the hotel. He was from Australia and she was Nepali, they lived in Goa, India and were back in Kathmandu to see her family. Its always interesting meeting couples of different nationalities.

After a very interesting, intense and insane day we opted for pizza before calling it a night.

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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Lima day 4 – Pachacamac, seafood and wetlands

Jan 9th 2011

Fernando had got in really late, or rather early this morning, but we still managed to crawl out of bed around 8.30am. We headed over to his parents house to check email and, as usual, she fed us.

The plan for today was to pick up Danny and head out to an archaeological site. The coast of Peru is desert, with very fine sand that gets into everything, but it also means it preserves sites very well.

“Our” sense of direction got a little muddled, we found Avenido Baden Powell but kept turning the wrong way to get to Danny’s house. Eventually we figured it out and picked him up. On the way out of the city Katia called and said she would join, so we parked in the shade and waited for her to catch up in the taxi.

Before long we were speeding out of the city and all its craziness. The cultural site we were headed to is called, Pachacama, or The Sun Temple. It just rises out of the sand and is truly breathtaking. Civilization is encroaching quickly, and there are sure to be further parts of the Sun Temple under these towns.

Here is a small blurb about the temple from

“Pachacamac (pronounced: pah cha kamak) lies 25 miles SE of Lima adjacent to the Pan American highway astride the Pacific coastline. “Pachac├ímac” in Quechua means “Pacha” world, and “camac” to animate — “The One who Animates the World.” The site was considered one of the most important religious centers of the indigenous peoples of the central Andes, and contains a number of pyramids. Spanish historical records, along with extensive archaeological research, have served to clarify its history and significance. Built centuries before the time of the Incas, Pachacamac is noted for its great pyramidal temples, and for the remains of frescoes adorning its adobe walls. Culturally and chronologically it is related to Chancay, and other centers of the Cuismancu empire, including Huari. At the time of the Spanish conquest it was a major Inca shrine.

According to legend – “in the beginning there were no foods for the first man and the first woman, and the man died of starvation. The Sun then fertilized the woman and she produced an offspring. Pachac├ímac became jealous of his heir, and killed the offspring, scattering the remains. These became the essential ingredients of humanity: the “teeth of man” were maize, his “bones”, yuca. Artistic images of Pachacamac do not exist, he was considered invisible. However, a wooden staff, thought to be a representation of Pachacamac, was found in 1938 during an excavation of the site. Miguel de Estete writes on the matter, “the Idol makes them [the Incas] understand that it can sink them if they anger it!” Tremors and earthquakes were expressions of his anger.”

After wandering around and exploring we headed out to get some lunch and what a lunch it was. First on the menu was lightly cooked fish in lemon juice with a yellow chilli sauce, then calamari and finishing with a sort of Paella. Delicious. Of course inka cola and beer to join and at the very start a bowl full of something similar to corn nuts, but way tastier.

Our final stop was some wetlands that even had some basic environmental education. It turned out to be cheaper, and way more fun, to row around the wetlands vs walking. Unfortunately these boats were not very easy to row and on numerous occasions we ended up in the reeds and hysterics. There were many kinds of birds, including cormorants, ducks, a type of vulture, egrets and many more. Some of the most fun I have had to date.

Before parting ways we stopped in Lima and picked up a kind of fruit shaved ice, I had pineapple and it was delicious. We dropped off Katia and Danny and then stopped by a store to pick up some things and get the car washed. Well we were there I got a long sleeved mens button up shirt, per the biologists, this is vital in the jungle as I can use that over my clothes and spray it with deet (insect repellent) instead of myself.

When we finally made it home we made some dinner (rather Fernando did) and relaxed a bit. Fernando had to go to his folks house as he had a really early morning and needed all his paperwork and such. I spent the evening watching Iron Man 2 and went to bed early..ish.

Stay tuned for my adventures as I take the bus solo, have some bad news on my volunteer work and exploring the Larco museum.

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


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