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Published: June 30th 2010
We have made our way down the Peruvian coast and into the Atcama desert of Chile. Highlights of our trip since the last blog:
We flew over the Nazca lines, which are these ancient giant drawings in the desert of different animals and shapes and an astronaut (or what they call the astronaut). No one really knows how made them or why. They were made by moving rocks out of the sand in distinct patterns. They´ve stayed that way for so long because the heat of the desert creates this bizarre protective layer on the ground so the wind doesn´t disturb the placement. The plane was a 6 seater and a little rough on my stomach, but I managed to make it through without throwing up. This might not seem like an accomplishment, but our pilot informed us usually one person per flight does, so I was proud to not be that one person.
From Nazca we took a long and frightening bus ride to Arequipa. The bus was ridiculously fancy with giant seats, a movie, and food and drink service. However, the road was quite curvy and the bus driver did not seem to find it necessary to take these into consideration in terms of speed. But that seems to be the norm in Peru, where all road rules are really more like guidelines.
Arequipa was a cool city. Lots of older buildings, good food, and actually got hot during the day. The best part those is that it´s near canyon country. Also there was this great little bookstore where I managed to replace the ones I´ve finished, including with a Nora! (Lj, Katy, Miriam, that´s for you). At 3am on Monday morning we loaded onto a bus to make the 3 hour drive to Canyon Colca in time for sunrise. We were fortunate enough to see the famous Condors that live here. Everything in the Canyon was stunning however. It´s a deeper canyon than the Grand Canyon, though doesn´t fell that way as it´s much more mountain based and not that dramatic drop off. Only indgenous peoples live there and they cultivate the land. It gives it a really cool look, as a huge majority of the hill sides are terraced.
We returned to the city at 5, caught a bus to Tacna at 10, arrived at 3, crossed the border at 7, and then had to wait until 10 pm for our next ten hour bus. So now, after about 36 hours of travel, we have checked into a hostel and are sticking around until Saturday. San Pedro already seems very cool. It is a more quintessential backpacker hippie town than any we´ve been to so far. There also seems to be food options beyond meat, rice and bread, which will be a welcome change and relief to my stomach. It is, however, really freaking cold here! There are a lot of tours to see different aspects of the desert that we are intending to do, including seeing geysers, an incredible sunset, the world largest salt flat and more. The view of desert all around you is already pretty spectacular.
I guess that´s all for now, especially as my hands have gone numb from the cold of typing without gloves. Hopefully soon I´ll be able to include some pictures.
Lots of love and missing to you all
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