Thursday, 8 December 2011

Lima to Nasca

Sun 4th to Mon 5th December

We left Lima this morning to continue South on the Pan American highway towards Nascar. The touristy bits are starting to come thick at fast now with several places to visit over the next few days.

First stop was Pisco to take a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands (poor mans Galapagos) and see the extraordinary number of birds and other sea life living there.

There are so many birds here that they harvest the droppings for fertiliser.

We spotted a few penguins

The islands are literally covered in birds of one sort or another........

...... and there were plenty of seals too.

Back on dry land we sat on the promenade for a spot of lunch. This little thing came over to the empty chair with hand outstretched and mother a few yards away. They start them begging young around here.

Back on the bikes we rode on to Ica and the oasis at Huancachina where we hung up the helmets for the night.

A proper oasis with large sand dunes. All that was missing were the camels and Bedouin tents.

Terry and I walked to the top of the dunes to watch the sun go down.

Being Sunday there were quite a few locals around sand boarding and riding on buggies. The dunes are impressive and as you can see there is plenty of room.

View of the oasis early morning.

Once again we were up early so that we could get to Nascar. We met John a fellow traveller from California who is also heading South to Ushuaia. 'Reliving his youth' he says after having done the trip previously some years ago.

We were suitably impressed by the size of his top box

Before we even booked a hotel we went to the airport and paid for a flight to fly over the lines. The four of us and May, a Korean girl travelling on her own took off in a small Cesna to see these unexplained drawings, some of which are over 90 metres in length. They don’t need any further explanation as just about everyone knows the story.

I was feeling sick within about five minutes of taking off and was using the vomit bag within fifteen. Terry followed suit a few minutes later .......

.......... but somehow we managed to point the camera roughly in the right direction a couple of times. I staggered off the plane 35 minutes later feeling and looking very green. How many idiots would spend 80 bucks for the privilege of being sick?

The spaceman!

Later in the afternoon Bob and I visited 'Cementerio Chauchilla' to see the burial grounds of the Nasca people who lived in the area in around 1 AD.

Dirt road leading to Chauchilla (Bob tightening his subframe bolts).

The modern Indian cemetery just down the road. I wonder if there will be any interest in these in a few hundred years time.

Houdini didn't manage to escape this one

The bodies were wrapped and buried in the upright position. Due to the extremely dry atmosphere in the desert the corpses have remained remarkably intact over the centuries, many still have hair giving them a very bizarre appearance.

Tomorrow we start heading East over the Andes towards Cusco and the famed Machu Picchu.

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