A Travellerspoint blog

Nasca & Puerto Inca

sunny 20 °C

Drove to Nascar today, short drive of 4 hrs, stopped at some really dodgy observation deck where for 2 Soles (less than $1) we could climb and see 2 of the formations in the sand. For a $100 you can take a flight over the lines but as I am not too interested in this I opted to hang out at the campsite and relax after a couple of full on days, plus you dont see anything different flying over it as you do in a book, plus the planes crash regularly here so our guides are not even allowed to recommend the flights.

Driving to Puerto Inca tomorrow.

Puerto Inca

The drive today was broken up with a side trip to Chauchilla Cemetery where we saw lots of bones and dead people in dug out tombs exposed to the elements, but there are no elements so the bones and bodies stay preserved (2cm rain per year). Bones are also strewn across the desert just laying in the sun from all the grave robbers from years ago who were looking for gold and jeweler y. They just threw all the bones out of the graves and left them laying around.

Arrived in Puerto Inca mid afternoon very hungry, and set up camp near the beach again (too cold and dangerous to swim here) but luckily we had chocolate cake for dinner.

Puerto Inca is situated on the Peruvian coast and was once the Inca port that supplied the city of Cusco with supplies of fish. It has a few ruins located on the hills either side of the bay that are littered with bones and old burial sites that people have dug up over time. Not much to do here so just walked around and took some pictures of locals harvesting kelp for fertilizer.

Posted by Tony's Travels 15:24 Archived in Peru Tagged puerto inca Comments (0)

Chivay And Colca Canyon

sunny 19 °C

Arrived Chivay today in the afternoon and went straight to the thermal baths for the evening. Water was expected warm, but when we got there they were cleaning out the warmer pools so it wasn't as hot as I was expecting since we only had access to coldest warm pool.

Next morning we were up early to go to Colca Canyon to see the Condors. The start of the trip was delayed due to another truck maintenance problem, this time the exhaust brake was out of action, so we ended up getting local taxis to drive us the 1.5 hrs to the canyon, which was quite a snug fit with 6 passengers plus driver and guide to a taxi (see picture for the sizeof the car).

Managed to spot a few condors flying over the observation point and got a couple of snaps, would have had more if my lens didn't jump over to manual focus at the wrong time (not happy), but at least came away with a couple.

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That's about all of this town, quite a nice quite place, they were in the middle of a 52nd anniversary of the local school so we did see some marching and dancing in the street one night with all the school kids putting on a parade in the town square. We seem to be running into a few of these festivities by accident at places we go.

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Posted by Tony's Travels 15:22 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Arequipa

sunny 21 °C

Arrived late afternoon at the "white city" of Arequipa and went to a local pizza place for dinner.

No trip to Arequipa would be complete without paying a visit to Juanita, the "Ice Maiden." This mummy of a young Inca girl has been described as one of the 10 most important historical discoveries of recent times by Time Magazine. Because the body was frozen at such low temperatures and high altitude, a really extensive study into the physical health of ancient Peruvian civilizations has been possible, with fascinating results (copy and paste). No photos allowed here but you couldn't even see much of the Ice Maiden regardless due to the very low light level.

Also paid a visit to the Santa Catalina Convent, which is in the centre of the town. Its quite a big complex and it is like a mini city all of its own with streets and little houses throughout. There are still a few nuns left here, 30 odd, but we couldn't go into those areas.

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Posted by Tony's Travels 15:21 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Paracas, Ballestas Islands, Huacachina

sunny

Early morning again and 4 hour drive to the Ballestas Islands, commonly referred to as the poor mans Galapagos. Which was a pretty good description as for only 5 Soles ($2) you can get in a large speed boat and trip out to the Islands and cruise around them taking pictures of the seals, penguins and lots of birds (they farm guano from the island every 4 years or so).

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Somelines drawn into the rocks/sand on the way out to the Islands, could it be aliens? hmm

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After this we jumped back in the truck for the remainder of the journey to Huacachina for sand boarding and dune buggying (no jumps unfortunately even though our driver was having a few beers before we left, we had high hopes of some action). Sand boarding was pretty fun when you ignore the locals on how to do it (learnt that after the first downhill trip where I lost a bit of skin on the forearms). After the fun of sand boarding we drove to a campsite in the desert to have BBQ dinner and sleep under the stars after consuming lots of Pisco (local brew) and Coke.

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We were up early and found ourselves sleeping in a mist where we couldn't see more than 50m in any direction,
luckily the local drivers of the buggies knew they way out without seeing where they were actually going.

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Misty Morning Packing up our gear.

Posted by Tony's Travels 05:27 Archived in Peru Tagged islands ballastas Comments (0)

Lima

overcast 15 °C

Another early start for 10hr drive, got pulled over by the cops at one point and from his tone he wasn't a happy chappy apparently pointing to a few irregularities, like the trucks lights weren't on, which is a law here to have them on at all times, even on a sunny day like today a 1pm. The guides were both over at the cop car and managed to talk their way out of it but I will get the scope later as I believe bribes were in the equation someplace.

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Arrived late afternoon, had dinner and to bed for a day of sightseeing in Lima tomorrow. Wondered around Lima the next morning in the Old Town area admiring the architecture, checked out a few churches (from the outside) and the palace, where we watched the changing of the guard and then headed of to Iglesia San Francisco to check out there church and the catacombs. The church itself was quite interesting with
a lot of quality woodwork throughout,some destroyed by earthquakes but still a lot of original stuff there. Also there was an awesome library, with all original books still of the shelves, which is unfortunate as they are all exposed to the elements and wasting away, but design of it was really cool. Then we went into the catacombs of it to see the bones (mostly femurs and few skulls were left), there are apparently 2 more levels
under the first level we were on that have still to be exposed so who knows what is down there. The catacombs here were not as impressive as those in Paris but was still interesting being under a church and seeing it in perspective.

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After seeing dead people we traveled by local bus (assisted by some random American/Peruvian women who saw our confused faces at the ticket machine) to Lacomor (sp?), a shopping centre built into the cliff face along the shore line, had lunch here while watching para-gliders drifting past a few meters above our heads before sailing to the beaches below. Also checked out the local Indian Markets and picked up my Peruvian Football shirt to add to my collection of 2 now.

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Quite night tonight as early morning wake up tomorrow to travel to some islands and ending up in the dessert for
a night under the stars.

Posted by Tony's Travels 18:48 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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