A Travellerspoint blog

Ica to Nazca

Enjoyed a refreshing dip in the pool at Villa Jazmin last night and the same tonight at Hotel Alegria in Nazca after a very hot, dry and dusty day mostly in Nazca country.
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Today started with a visit to the Ica Regional Museum, home to a fascinating collection of artifacts (pottery, fabric, mummies etc) from the Paracas, Nazca, Chincha and Inca cultures. The Paracas were highly skilled in medicine and even brain surgery! Good, since they also bound the heads of their children to elongate them for higher status.
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From Ica we drove south and east to the Nazca area, a 120km by 60km plateau between two rivers in this very dry desert land where the famous Nazca lines are found. We stopped at a museum commemorating the work of Marie Reiche, the German teacher who made finding, restoring and understanding the lines her life`s work. There are many theories, including landing strips for alien spacecraft (von Daniken), but most agree the line figures were created to urge the gods to bring water from the mountains to this land. The lines are aligned with underground aquifers on which the Nazca depended. IMG_20120324_134418.jpg
We looked at some of the figures and lines from 40 ft towers in two different areas - they are very impressive, even today. More are being uncovered all the time apparently.
Visited a Nazca burial site (est 60,000 interred in a huge plateau area some distance from the present-day town of Nazca. Hauntingly, the wind blew very strongly across the plain as we looked down into 12 mummy tomb sites that archaeologists have restored. The entire burial site was ransacked by tomb raiders prior to 1900 and bits of bone, mummy fabric and even hair are strewn across the ground. A sad testament to man's inhumanity to man, even after death.
Here is part of our tour group after dinner at the hotel.
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and we are winding down in preparation for tomorrow's 10 hr bus trip east into the high Andes on the way to Cuzco.

Posted by alangcampbell 19:51 Comments (0)

Lima to Ica

IMG_20120323_063158.jpg The rest of our group arrived last night so we met each other and our Exodus guide, Juan Cardero, sorted some trip details and headed for bed for today┬┤s 0630 departure.
IMG_20120323_123819.jpg South out of Lima and along the Pan American highway to the Ballestas Islands at the Paracas peninsula for a speedboat excursion to see the birds and sea lions there. Guano is still collected (a major draw for the British in colonial times), but sustainably now and the sea life is just extraordinary. Lots of spray for those with side seats!
We visited a small winery in the area and tasted some of their produce, so a couple more souvenirs were collected. IMG_20120323_172730.jpg
On to an oasis near Ica where a number of us went for a group dunebuggy ride into the Atacama desert (50 miles of dunes up to 1500m) which was exhilarating and beautiful, but of course very very sandy.
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IMG_20120323_174606.jpg Now at our hotel, Villa Jazmin, we are cleaning up for dinner and a later dip in the pool.
I love Peru!

Posted by alangcampbell 19:39 Comments (0)

Miraflores, Lima

Up by 8 and down for breakfast (included) with other travellers. Coffee is very strong and bitter, so diluted with hot water, but not helped by milk which seems off. Same toilet paper routine here as in other places with old plumbing. Bathroom very nice though with great shower.
We head for the ocean down Av Grau and walk along the surfing beaches below Miraflores - really amazing surf on a calm day. Back along the cliff edge walk, past wonderful parks and gardens well-used by fit-looking people and well-monitored by MF police.
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Next to Central or Kennedy (yes, JFK) Park and Starbucks for Americanos and muffins, before heading to Huacca Puucllana, a pre-Inca "Lima" pyramid complex from 200AD.
IMG_20120322_134008.jpg Good tour in English in 30-35C midday heat.
Found Museum Enrique Polli but by appt only so walked back to the hotel to cool off and look for our Exodus tour leader Juan.

Posted by alangcampbell 19:31 Comments (0)

Air Travails

Check-in and security take a long time so by the time I queue also for breakfast and coffee there is less than an hour before my flight to Houston. The plane is very full and I have a seat at the very back - convenient for the wc but not otherwise. On time arriving at IAH, met Ric at Subway, our common lunch choice. Next leg to Lima not quite as full of people, but tons of carry-on baggage. Arrive IMG_20120322_010524.jpg at LIM at 2230 and more queues for immigration and baggage check. We both get the green light and head out looking for TaxiLimaPeru with the Alan Campbell sign. Easy as Renato has grabbed my photo from facebook and knows who to look for. A great driver he zooms us through the lighter midnight traffic to Hotel Antigua in Miraflores. Ric's suitcase is the biggest I have ever seen, so we tip the poor porter who muscles it up to rm 212. Nice arty hotel in an old mansion with lots of period furnishings. We are beat and head for bed in the 22C night.

Posted by alangcampbell 13:58 Comments (0)

Airport shuttle at 0415

overcast 5 °C

IMG_20120321_040532.jpg Just me and a few other hardy souls in the Travelodge lobby. It's a lovely time of day/night and the traffic is light!

Posted by alangcampbell 04:12 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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