Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ancient History, Volume XI

At the end of the last installment, Ness and I (and the rest of our tour group, obvs) had caught a bus from Lima to Pisco. I don't remember a whole lot about Pisco - we arrived, we tried pisco (it's like brandy only it tastes like lighter fluid), we slept, and we got on a boat. So I can't really tell you much.

I CAN tell you that when you drive really fast in a fibreglass boat and you can feel the boat flexing under your feet as it hits the waves, it kind of makes you have a small panic attack that the boat is going to fall apart. Juuuust saying.

The boat trip was to the Ballestas Islands, which are apparently Peru's answer to the Galapagos. There were a ton of birds and sea lions and weird sand formations thingies rumoured to be created by pirates or aliens (no one knows how the Candelabra was created, so I'm going to subscribe to the more ridiculous theories!).
Built by pirates. Or aliens. Maybe.
A flock of boobies. *snigger*
Sea lions. They look pretty, but smell TERRIBLE.

Once back on shore, we spent a couple of hours on a minibus heading towards Nazca. Half way there, we stopped for a wee spot of dune buggying. Public service announcement: wear a sports bra when you go dune buggying. Also, it's a total blast. (Although I'll admit that I chickened out on the sand boarding, because I like the way my skin is when it's still attached to me)

I apparently took absolutely no pictures of this (I suspect maybe I left my camera on the bus??), so here's a video I found on Youtube of doing the same thing at the same place:

Then it was back on the bus for another couple of hours for the drive to Nazca. There was much hanging out by the pool and then an uncalled for dose of being woken up at 6am by a bunch of idiots (not from our group) standing around outside Ness's and my hotel room talking at the top of their lungs about their plans for the day.

Despite the 6am wake up, the day turned out to be pretty freaking spectacular. First, it was a trip to some Nazca civilisation cemeteries to see skeletons with dreadlocks.
They even smiled for the camera!
Creepy dead baby to guard the grave. Because, you know, babies make
excellent guard dogs. Or something.

Then there was a trip to see some local pottery being made.
Guide for the day: So, what do you think these drawings are on the bowls?
Someone: Um. Cactuses?

Yeah. That happened. From there, we boarded teeny tiny aeroplanes for our flights over the Nazca lines. They're completely and utterly amazing (and kind of hard to see in the photos unless you click through and make them enormous).

Teeny tiny plane. The air conditioning consisted of opening a window.

The spider

The hummingbird

There's a monkey glyph somewhere in there, I promise.

Oh, and the pilot looked like the Peruvian version of Maverick (Pete Mitchell Maverick, not Bret Maverick Maverick). AWESOME.

After the flights were over, we headed back to the hotel for dinner, before crossing the road to the bus station to board an overnight bus to Arequipa. Overnight bus rides are sent by the devil to torment you. Especially when said overnight bus rides include a shit ton of hairpin bends. I'm pretty sure my head smashed into the window every twenty minutes all night.

The following morning, we were woken at 6am (again with the 6am!) by the sound of panpipe music through the bus audio system, and then served "breakfast" (which bizarrely consisted of cake) while watching Cinderella III in Spanish with English subtitles. Upon arrival in Arequipa, we had the morning to ourselves, so a group of us went out in search of some kind of breakfast that didn't include cake. We found a cafe, ordered food, and promptly spent about an hour waiting for said breakfast (which was basically just toast) to appear. About half way through the wait, they brought out our pineapple juice, which bore a striking resemblance in colour and flavour to dirty dish water. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, delicious. The rest of the wait caused us to go slightly insane. In our exhausted state, daring Air Force Girl to eat a chunk of butter seemed like an excellent idea.

Yeah. Don't eat chunks of butter...

Next up, Arequipa (properly), hot springs, and Andean condors of awesomeness.

K xx


  1. Oh! I totally forgot about the vagina bowls! I also wish we had a photo of Luke being green after his flight...

    1. For some reason, I feel like someone DID have a photo of that. But I don't know who... Also, I'd forgotten too, until I read my travel journal and it was all "We went to this pottery place. The designs were...interesting... There was awkwardness."

      My thought process on reading that was all "WTF was so awkward and ...interesting...?? OMG VAGINA BOWLS."

  2. Your adventures in peru always kind of amaze me...

    1. Yeeeeah, wait until we get to Cuzco. Or Guatemala. These adventures will seem like nothing!! ;)

  3. I want cake for breakfast.

    Also, I'm glad your pilot didn't look like Goose. Things didn't turn out so well for him :-(

    1. Breakfast cake IS a good idea. But this was a tiny piece of breakfast cake at 6am, hence the going for additional food when we got to Arequipa!

      And I'm also glad the pilot didn't look like Goose!!

  4. Alien. Dude, an alien TOTALLY made that. Pirates are too distracted with rum and booty to make things in the sand, obvi, so the only other explanation is ALIENS.

    1. It's an excellent point. I'm also not sure WHY the pirates would have made it. I mean, if it's some kind of treasure map, why the hell would you make it huge and draw it on the side of a hill? Not very stealthy. So yeah. It must have been the aliens.


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