Monday, 29 July 2013

Nazca, Peru

From the sand dunes we continued south through the desert to Nazca. The bus rides lately have been pretty short (1 to 3 hours) so we have just been hopping on the local buses and not worrying about booking the ´safe´ more touristy ones. Sure makes for a more interesting journey!!! I spent most of the time on this journey trying to figure out what music on my ipod best suited travelling though a desert - this is still  a work in progress but I was leaning towards Old Crow Medicine Show or An Emerald City. Will keep you posted.

We were obviously in Nazca to see the Nazca Lines (like everyone else). You would think it is a really touristy place but it is not actually that bad and we both really enjoyed our brief stay in town. The hostel was nice, the sun was shining, there was ice cream everywhere and we never felt unsafe no matter where we walked. We would loved to have stayed longer but time is a marching on.......

So I have included our photos of the Nazca Lines, which, amazingly, look like everyones elses photos of the Nazca Lines. Gosh who would have thought!!! We were up in the last flight that day and in  tiny plane it sure was a near vomit-inducing experience. They have to do crazy loops and swerves in the plane so that everyone gets a glimpse of each pattern. I for one was glad I had not had lunch!! It was AMAZING to actually see the lines, after thinking of them as a far off and exotic thing that appears in the National Geographic.

My favourites were the tree and the condor. Bruce is being typically indecisive and cannot decide between the monkey and the hummingbird.

Tree and Hand

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Huacachina, Peru

Well once your on the tourist trail you might as well stay on that bandwagon right??? Damn straight! With that in mind we left Pisco and Paracas behind and headed south to the sand dunes and oasis of Huacachina.  Like Paracas it existes solely for tourists, both national and international. We managed to find a reasonably priced place to stay, some reasonably priced food and beer and avoided anyone trying to sell us tours. You certainly have to watch what you pay for when you still have five and a half months of travelling to go.

It was easy enough to get an idea of the extent of the sand dunes by climbing up those that surrounded the town. And boy they sure are big and sure go a long way!! After a couple of leg burning climbs and with thoroughly excoliated feet we felt like our time was done and we caught the bus to Nazca to start spending some money.

Dunes and a neighbouring town
Who brought this guy!! Shameful!

Star Wars. That is all.
PS probably need more moons but you get the idea.


After a lovely sojourn in the highlands we caught an overnight bus back to the coast and landed smack bang in the tourist trail. So far we seemed to have avoided most of the tourists, or they were diluted by the local population, but Paracas was heaving with them and it was a bit of a shock.

To get there we took the rather dodgy local overnight bus that dropped us at the side of the Panamerican Highway at 2am in the morning. After being warned about dodgy taxis etc by our hostel owner we were two rather scared gringos trying to act tough and like we knew what we were doing. Obviously we lucked out because 2 taxis and only 15 soles later we ended up at our hostel with all our gear and limbs intact. Phew!!!!

We were in the area to 1) take a trip around Paracas National Reservation and 2) a boat ride to Isla Ballestas, which is what every other person in the whole place was doing.

Both tours were very interesting in terms of seeing unique wildlife (mainly birds) and the crazy desert landscapes that look like the moon/Mars AND there were nice rocks and fossils too - hurrah!!! The islands were absolutely packed with birds and there are obviously no rules about approching marine life (like in NZ) because the boat was about 2m from the seals and dolphins.....tsk tsk. And yes we did both get pooed on by the birds, so lucky!!!

The birds......aaarrrgggg
They collect guano off the islands and this is where they load it onto a boat.

Paracas Trident.
Paracas National Reserve

Lunchtime stroll, Paracas National Reserve

Paracas National Reserve

Fishing boats, Paracas

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Central Peru - Huancayo and Hauncavelica

Sorry about the slacker blog posting but we have been a bit out of computer access (for photos) and having too much fun to be too bothered about it to be honest.

From Lima we caught a bus up to Huancayo, which is at 3300m I think. From sea level it was a bit of shock to the system and I am not so good with altitude it turns out. Bruce is fine but do not say anything or he will get a big head. The reason we were going to Huancayo was so we could catch the train to Huancavelica (even higher), which was amazing!!!

So nice to get out of the city and up into the high altitude sunshine. It was really nice to get into some areas where they do not normally get tourists. We got stared at but not in a I-am-going-to-rob-you way.

Mooched around the towns, watched MORE marches, sat in the plaza and watched the world go by, ate lots of good food (seriously the food here is delicious), drank a lot of coca tea and enjoyed the scenery and the friendly people.

Photos are not in order I am sorry but you get the gist. Lots of train scenery that I have not labelled because I am too lazy.

Mosaic - Huancayo

More cute kids dressed up in the parade - Huancavelica

Ladies dancing. The women are often dressed up beautifully.

Semi-traditional dress - Huancavelica

A train ride - how exciting!!!

All the excitement is too much.

I like to think this lady is selling rocks. A very important profession!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Lima, Peru

A few grey overcast days in Lima was made a bit lighter and happier by an unexpected parade/competition this morning around the corner from our hostel. Every college, primary school, secondary school and preschool in the district turned up with their bands, costumes and teachers. Plus the local police (on foot, bikes AND segways), fire and civil defence. They all paraded infront of the judges for the glory of something (could not understand the spanish that well) and when they won it all the girls shrieked so loudly my ears drums nearly melted.

The little kids were so frickin´cute I just wanted to eat them!! Much more exciting than going into town and looking at old buildings.

Finally heading out of the city tomorrow. Sunshine, cold weather and high mountians here we come!!!