San Jeronimo, Peru.San Jeronimo [de Tunán] Peru, 16- Km from Huancayo, and part of the Mantaro Valley?beyond the Andes; a most humble and beautiful city, with a lovely plaza. They have a rich history that dates back to 1854; yet I fear that date is a ting lopsided, for they have a church there that dates back to the 16th century, an adobe church, San Sebastian, where legend has it, Catalina Wanka hid her treasure of Gold, after the Spanish had killed the Inca king. I have been to the church, and it is a most retiring looking domicile for a church, but it carries some magic that draws you into its arms. Near by there are also some 7th century ruins, yes older than Machu Picchu.
The Mayor is a most gracious host, Jesus Vargas Párraga, and a most busy mayor; the city can be assured things run smoothly on his watch. There is something that is most alluring with this city besides its mountains and creeks, and valley, and its silver crafts: it is the famous Avelinos. This event dates back to those far off days when the cleaver guerilla fighters, the Avelinos, dressed up like beggars, and in the silent, and stillness of the day, played havoc with the invading Chileans, in what is known as the Pacific war of 1882, of Peru. This is a six day party of sorts in August: a must see, if you are in that area during this time.
Also in this area we have the Wankas a little different than the Incas; warriors of a high breed indeed, and perhaps less devious than the Incas.Perhaps again I must point out one of the luring facts that Peru has, and especially this area I'm talking about, the Mantaro Valley, and San Jeronimo, is that this is the last country on earth in which archeological discovers are still being made on a pretty regular bases. Where tradition and culture, and family are valued more than money; and faith in Christ is treasured; they live their walk, they just don't talk it.The prices in the Mantaro Valley are not expensive at all, and your dollar goes far to say the least. And you will not find any McDonalds in this area, thank God, or KFC, or any of those fast food dilemmas that will bury you before you're forty.
I must say, this is a good area to visit, you will have to go from Lima Peru, through the Andes, which is not expensive, but it gets to be a long ride [8-hours] on the bus, and it goes pretty high up before you come down [you can get sick]. The Valley is at about 10,500 feet up, and the Andes you go through is about 16,000 up, and White Mountain, which is not far from there, which you can visit, is 19,000 feet. Leave the kids at home if they're going to belly ache all the way, this can be an enduring trip, and it will be spoiled by them for you, and everyone else around you; there are no Hilton Hotels on the side of the roads, or swimming pools, or cloverleaf's, or places to wash up: so it can be considered a hardship on an American kid who is used to getting his way (and most of them are).This is not a honeymoon trip either, although once you get to Huancayo, it is comfortable, and it can be also in San Jeronimo, but again I point out, it does not have all Lima has in the comfort area, which has a population of 8-million people; if the bride wants comfort in transportation, there are nice buses, but if you want to get there quicker, you're going to have to rent a helicopter to get her there, there are no planes that fly in there (perchance in the near future). If indeed these two areas are issues, Lima is a better stop for a vacation.This is a most charming place to retire, and affordable, if compared to the United States, or Europe.
And the food is cheap and great, and so is the housing, so far anyway..See Dennis' web site: http://dennissiluk.tripod.com.
By: Dennis Siluk