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Published: September 2nd 2011
Peru must be the easiest place in the world to get around, i stepped outside my hotel in huacacina this morning and within 1 minute was in a taxi on the way to the bus station, this time i had the fare i was going to pay him in my hand so there could be no confusion. Yay I´d finally managed not to be ripped off by a taxi driver! I then get out the taxi and walk in to the bus terminal join the que for Nazca and purchase my ticket... bloody perfect untill on the bus i realise they have short changed me 10 soles which is about 2 quid, bastards. Then to make matters worse on the bus a local asked to look at my ticket then he showed me his, i think his point was i payed 1 sole more because i was a gringo... nice one. He then comes and sits next to me despite my NO ESPAGNOLS and tries to talk to me for 1 hour till he fell asleep. They then put a dvd on which was in english... i thought nice one maybe this is why i had to pay more because they put entertainment on especially for me so being ripped of 2 quid seemed worth it. IN HINDSIGHT YES THAT WAS A STUPID NOTION. Som local got up and started shouting and they changed the dvd to a very very badly dubbed version of Rush Hour, it then dawned on me i was st DIRECTLY under the speaker which was on full blast my poor ears were ringing think eardrums may actually have been perforated! Anyway it was a long 2 hours, and i only realised i could recline my seat 10 mins before reaching the destination. The scenery on this trip was great the day before from Lime all I saw were shanty towns, they are everywhere it really highlights just how poor Peru actually is. This trip though we went through mountains which were beautiful. It is actually winter in Peru at the moment, Lima was overcast and not too warm, Ica sunny and a bit warmer but Nazca... nazca is scoarching!
I stepped off the bus and straight away a peruvian guy asks if i am staying, i say no but i want to do a tour, just so happens surprise surprise he´s my man. I tell him i will be travelling to Arequipa this evening so firstly he takes me to buy bus ticket which cost 60 soles about 13 quid for 9 hour bus ride. Then i booked my bag into storage at the trainstation and off we went, we stop first at a hotel he says when we get back from tour i can use internet, shower and pool for free, ace except i left my bikini in my bag in trainstation but never mind. He then asks what i want to do and if i want to fly over the Nazca lines he says its 120 us dollars... i say i aint paying 120 dollars to spew in a 90 year old aircraft. So we decide on trip to cemetary of chauchillas, aqueducts and nazca lines view from mountain (was actually a hill) and a watch tower. 130 soles which im sure was over the odds but was just me and the guide and taxi between all three which werent that close.
First stop was the cemetary which was wierd but good at the same time he explained the tombs were over 1700 years old and are from the pre incas, all in all the cemetary is 3km long and 800m wide. Unfortunately very little remains as over time grave robbers have destructed the whole area, he said the robbers came took the textiles and the pottery and just dumped the bodies across the wasteland, he told me to look across the desert and sure enough there were still bones scattered everywhere. Luckily they had a few mummies still completely original and intact, he showed me baby mummies which were wierd, the strangest thing though was the fact some of them still had hair!!! and wierder still it was GINGER... I shit you not. Apparently they never cut their hair and wore it as a turban some of the mummies still have hair over 3 meters long! He told me all the bodies were between 30 and 40 years old which indicates that was the life expectancy back then, he showed me a pile of bones and explained that many of them have deformities as the diet back then was poor and many had osteoperosis. He then went on to say they are all perfectly preserved because it is no hot and dry.
We then set off and went to see the aqueducts i cant rememmber exoactly how old but from pre inca times, they are made entirely of what we would call dry stone wall i.e no cement and they are basically the system of supplying nazca with water from the mountaing it filters through the rocks and the water is supposedly pure, i had a glass and ive not got the shits yet so im guessing its right. The construction is basically lots of inverted pyramids sprialing down to the water apparenly its like that to catch the wind and keep the water fresh. There was a field of cacti ( or however you say it) he then so i thought cut the cactus and a red liquid seeps out he explains this is used in old times for cosmetics, dye for clothes and paint. He then smeared it all over my hand. Slightly confused as to which part of the cactus the red paint came from i asked him to show me... turns out it WAS NOT part of the cactus infact it was a bleeding inset that lived on the castus and he just squished it and painted it on me... eughhhhhh. Actually reminds me i must go and wash it off haha
We then went off to see the lines, you cant see much of them the best is by plane but i just couldnt face another bout of motion sickness, we climbed a little mountain and he explained this is where the incas came to worship and all the lines come from this spot, he then said i should close my eyes and breath in and out and pray... hmm ok we then climbed down and went to a tall tower from where you can see a few of the images... well one actually ´the hands´but that was cool. I also noticed as i was climbing the tower the people below were looking up.... straight up my skirt. Ladies if you go there wear trousers...
The lines themselves are very interesting he showed me one line that when summer solstice takes place it does so on that line and another line where winter solstice happens... cool beans. He also says all lines perfectly intact from thousands of years ago and water courses have all missed them for example there was once a freak flash flood which covered the area but none of the lines were touched... amazing. Also you can see the old water courses that happened after the construction of the lines again misses them all.
After the lines he says he will take me to a place where they make the local drink... i cant remember the name but we wlked in and there were plastic barrells of grapes i then got to neck a sample from each of the barrells, happy days. We then sat outside and drank some more then back to the hotel!
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