Monday, May 07, 2007

Peru: Lima to Nazca

Peru! I didn't know what to expect. Andean flutists? Llamas? Pickpockets?? All I knew was that Cesar (a.k.a. Ravioli) was waiting for me, and I would get a break from thinking for myself for awhile. Cesar is originally from Peru, so he was going to plan everything, protect me from the man. The day he arrived in Lima after 6 years absense, I got a funny e-mail (I was still in Panama at the time)---my Peruvian guide was experiencing some serious culture shock! Luckily he was able to turn back into a real LimeƱo (man from Lima) by the time I arrived, haggling with taxi drivers, shooing away hawkers, chatting up shop clerks.

We met up with our old Japan buddies Tara and Loli and had drinks (lots of them) and a sleepover at their apartment just like old times. It was hard to believe that we were all in Peru! Congratulations, guys, on your soon-to-be wedding!!!!

Then we took a bus south to Pisco, the legendary city of Peru's famous grape-derived "pisco" alcohol, and no, as Ravioli emphasises, it is not from Chile. Pisco sours are the BEST, if you ever get the chance to try one, I highly recommend it!

The entire southern coast of Peru is pure desert, with huge sand dunes left over from the times before the Andes mountains pushed the land up out of the ocean. We took a boat tour to the nearby Islas Ballestas (the "poor man's Galapagos") for millions of stinky marine birds and floppy sea lions, and then to Nasca, home of the mysterious Nasca lines carved into the desert rock.

The Nascas lived in Peru from 1000BC to about 800AC, and left these incredible pictures and lines all over the landscape. The lines are perfectly straight and run for miles, and there are also giant hyroglyphs that span acres of land. Noone really knows what the lines were for, and how they made them so straight. Ravioli and I are both strong supporters of the communication-with-aliens theory. I sent Ravioli onto one of the 4-seater tin-can airplane tours to take lots of pictures for my blog, as I'm sure I'd have been crying in mortal fear the entire flight. There are tons more lines pictures in the Lima-Nasca photos, check them out! (along with new pics from Costa Rica and Panama)

I put up a new poll, would love to see your votes! I want to show Ravioli what everyone thinks of Peru, he he.

At the moment I'm high up in the mountains (3,300km/10,000ft in altitude) in Cuzco. We're off to Machu Picchu on mountain bikes as soon as we get used to the altitude. More on that next time!


Anonymous said...

I voted for llamas, but Peru also makes me think of wooden flutes and those ugly woven parkas that people used to wear in the 80's. No, that was not a request. I do really like baby llamas. Have you seen any yet?

sister Sam

Anonymous said...

So you are touring Peru. I just toured Bismarck Manadan. Are you jealous? BOD

Shannen said...

*Sister Sam*

Thanks for your vote! Darn, I just got you a woolen parka with a zipper and giant llamas knitted around the torso. I'll have to return it. Just now I passed an old lady in full Andean garb with her shaggy llama on a leash. She followed me here to the internet cafe, saying, "Miss, picture? Miss, picture?"


If you ate at A&B Pizza, then yes, I'm very jealous!

Moe: said...

Hi cousin,

Blogger does screw with an entry now and again. The best way is to choose the Edit HTML tab and add your own paragraph breaks. I would put the code in here but you wouldn't see it because it would just think I wanted to put a paragraph in.

Basically, it's the Lesser Than Alligator, P, Greater Than Alligator.

Ah! Peru! I think of llamas and short people with really colorful ponchos.

Shannen said...

*Cousin Moe*

Thanks for the advice!! I will be making good use of those alligators in the future.

I'll pass on the Peru image to Ravioli, he'll get a kick out of it!