The Nazca Lines

Seeing the Nazca Lines, has to be near the top of anybody’s list of things to do in Perú. There are observation towers, which you can climb to get a better view than at ground level but it is worth stumping up the extra money and taking a short flight. I paid $120 which made it the most expensive 35 minutes of entertainment in my life. It was well worth it though.

When I left Pisco at 7.30 in the morning, I still was not sure if I would be taking the Nazca flight. I had a dodgy stomach the day before. Fortunately by the time I got to Nazca at 11AM, I was feeling much better. I was met at the bus station by Pepe of Aeroparacas, who, as soon as he knew I was feeling up to it, organised my flight over the lines.

Pepe is a friend of Bertha, who organised my tour round the Paracas National Reserve and was generally helpful with advice during my stay at the Tambo Colorado Hotel in Pisco. I have been very fortunate in recent weeks with tour companies and with my choice of hotels.

The Nazca airfield is just a short distance from the city and, after completing the formalities, which included being weighed and of course, paying the airport tax, I was on the tarmac ready to board the plane.

???????????????????????????????????????The plane…

??????????????????…pilot and co-pilot. The co-pilot was great for cueing up when the forms were going to be showing up beneath the wings. It was difficult to take photos, as the pilot was constantly maneuvering the plane, to try and give people on both sides of the aircraft an opportunity to see the shapes.

?????????This was about as high as we got.

?????????The Whale

????????Triangle

?????????????The Astronaut

??????????The Monkey

???????If you look carefully, you may see The Dog.

???????????????The Hummingbird

??????????The Spider

??????????The Condor

??????????The Parrot

??????????????????????The Tree and The Hands

????????????????????Me

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Tambo Colorado

As I stayed in a hotel called Tambo Colorado whilst in Pisco, Perú, it seemed reasonable when it was suggested to me, that I visit the archaeological site after which it is named. Situated about an hour´s drive north of Pisco, Tambo Colorado is said to be the best preserved coastal example of Inca ruins.

The original structures consisted of a palace and accommodation for soldiers and workers.

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DSCN2585There is a small onsite museum.

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DSCN2592There was also a large plaza,

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DSCN2602You can still see some traces of the paint which covered the walls.

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Pisco and Paracas

I enjoyed the trip to the Paracas National Reserve in Perú so much, I decided to go back for another look. It was less than a half hour away from my hotel in Pisco. I also stopped on the sea front in Pisco.

DSCN2652Marshy area adjacent to the sea front in Pisco

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DSCN2666Expecting rain?

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DSCN2740Back to the desert.

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DSCN2719I had to walk a long way to get within a reasonable distance of these flamingos.

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DSCN2791Let sleeping seals lie.

DSCN2797They do not like to be woken up.

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DSCN2839Dinner time.

 

 

 

Catapalla Lunahuaná

Having spent an unscheduled night out in Lunahuaná, my first thought as I got out of bed was of finding a shop that sells toothbrushes etc. I decided to go in search of a shop straight away.  DSCN0914 This was the view from the doorway of my room.  Marvellous!!

The hotel owner directed me to a shop close by and I was able to buy the few essentials that I needed.  It was at this time that I realised I would be needing to find a cash point quite soon. Well, if you ever visit Lunahuaná, be sure to take some money with you as there are no cash machines. This can have a serious impact on your day´s activities. It certainly did on mine.

Basically, I was stuffed. I could afford some of the activities but would almost certainly have needed to buy a change of clothes. I did however have enough money for breakfast.  What a shame then, when the large jug of papaya juice had to be rejected because of the onion additive.  I am all for trying new flavours or combinations of flavours but this just did not do it for me.IMG_0123

Breakfast was not as good as the previous day, sadly, not even worthy of a tip.  Never  mind, off we went around town looking at all the activities on offer. Sonia paid a visit to a bank, where she could withdraw money over the counter. It was confirmed to me at this time that there definitely were no cash machines in the area.

We made our way back to the hotel ready to check out. A group of people were just preparing to set off on a short tour on quads. There were some extremely young people among them. I mean, kids. Scary.  The hotel owner showed us a slideshow of a zipwire nearby, which looked great, right up until the time you had to get off it. I am up for an adventure but my leg is still not as strong as it should be and I have to say that I wimped out. I am sure that I will have other opportunities before long.

Eventually it was decided that we would go to another place, further upriver, Catapalla, where we could visit a vineyard and sample the wine.   It was just a short ride in a taxi and when we arrived, there was full sunshine.DSCN0939

There was a sweet little suspension bridge to cross in order to get to the vineyard.               .DSCN0934 My friend Sonia with her daughter Diana.DSCN0944And a sweet little old man.

I passed up the opportunity to go horse riding againDSCN0949and we made our way to the vineyard. It was at this point, I am sorry to say, that the battery in my camera went flat. Leaving me with just the ipod for taking pics. Not to worry though, we arrived just in time to be given a free lunch. Apparently, that is normal here. There was a good size crowd and we were all given a dish of noodles with a portion of chicken. Very tasty.

After lunch we went to the wine tasting and presentation. I can verify that neat Pisco is quite strong, I have had a sore throat for three days. We were also treated to various types of honey, perhaps to nullify the Pisco. If that was the case, it did not work. Tour over, it was time to cross back over the River Cañete and get a taxi back to Lunahuaná.

It was quite busy, and there were not many taxis so we had to wait a short while. Eventually, Sonia flagged down a taxi. She got in the back, I got into the front passenger seat and as Diana got in next to her mother, other people started to get in.  I was immediately unhappy with the situation as this was just a small family type car, five people maximum. Well,with me in the front and four people behind me, the driver was then shepherding people into the hatchback part of the vehicle. And then amazingly, the door opened beside me and a woman attempted to get in the front with me.

Totally perplexed, I decided in this instance, enough was too much. I pushed the woman back out of the car and shut the door. There then followed my first full on argument in Spanish. Well it was probably in gibberish from my side but I was adamant I was not allowing another person in the front with me. I proceeded to give a lecture on health and safety, followed by a lecture on treating tourists with respect if they wanted their money, followed by a lecture on how crap a person and how crap a driver he was. I was aware that I may have been embarrassing my companions but no, Diana said she was embarrassed on behalf of her country and Sonia was berating the driver for treating tourists so disrespectfully.

I had become accustomed to the lack of personal space due to the overcrowding in the buses but my main objection in this case was that he would not have proper control of the vehicle. That would be bad enough on a good straight road but this was on a bendy mountain road with some nasty drops into the river below.

I did offer to get out and walk, allowing the woman to have my seat but he would not have gained from that. He eventually squeezed her in the boot area with two or three others. I lost count in the end but there were nine, possibly ten people in a five seater car. There was not much else said on the trip back to Lunahuaná, just a gesture after we transferred onto a minibus.

Finally, some praise for the driver of the inter city bus we travelled back to Lima on. In my previous post, I said that the driver who drove us from Lima was shit. Well the driver on the return trip was a true professional and it was nice to see, particularly as we travelled through heavy rain for much of the journey.

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