After the inevitable flooding delay we finally boarded the train to get to Machu Picchu. The fog and rain were so thick you could barely see the end of the cabin, but with high hopes the slow ascent to the ruins began. The rain got worse and worse... the river running alongside the track appeared closer and closer to burting it´s banks until... THE RAIN STOPPED! This can only have been an Inca blessing since it had not stopped for 4 days straight at this stage but then we do seem to have incredible fortune.
After getting of the train and climbing another 1500 feet or so up the side of a basically vertical cliff, our breath was taken away far more by the sensational view than the altitude. After wanting to see Machu Picchu for so long, in my mind at least there was a slight (very slight) concern that it could be, well, underwhelming. My fears were totally unfounded, it is everything we hoped for, a crumbling city perched in the most unlikely environment I have ever seen. With fresh water springs still running through the 500 year old waterfalls and llamas grazing on the ancient terracing. What
THE Cliched Photo!
a highlight. We hired a local guide who took us around for 2 sun drenched (OK, not raining) hours then we climbed up a nearby hill to get the all important photo. After 8 great days of well worth it waiting, we were at last ready to bid farewell to Cuzco and the Incas and move on to see what else Peru has to offer!
Which is lots! one 2 hour coach journey later and we had left the rainy, cold of the Andes and were in Nazca, a desert town in the south of Peru. How two places can be so different and only be a few hundered miles apart seems very odd but coats and sweaters off (at last) there we were. The reason to visit Nazca is the ´famous´ Nazca lines (no Emma and I hadn´t heard of them either). Basically 2,500 years ago a fairly advanced civilisation lived in the area and the paths they made are still visible today. What´s more, these rather odd people decided to make some of the lines twist and turn to make pictures only able to be seen from significant hight. Spiders, trees and anything else which held significance
was carefully portrayed in this way for the Gods to look down on. If we´re honest, after the splendour of some of the ancient sights we have visited the lines did not blow us away, as well as being fortunate it appears we are spoilt rotten! (especially me!)
What else can you do in a desert we thought, well the answer was waiting for us outside our hostel the following day. A one million horsepower (and I´m only slightly exaggerating) dune buggy and a smiling Sandboarder named Edu! Mums, stop reading here, you would not approve! After a brief visit to a rather morbid 2500 year old cementary with skulls, skeletons and millenia old clumps of hair sticking out of the ground courtesy of graverobbers, we travelled to the dunes and they were incredible. Towering up to 500 feet above us at angles you would not believe the scene was set for an Arabian nights epic until Edu ´showed us what his buggy could do´. The dunes were spectacular from a distance, but screaming up one side at nearly 100 kilometers per hour, jumping over the top and then throttling down the other side made them more terrifying than
awe inspiring! Imagine the scariest roller coaster you´ve been on (Not me because I´m not very good with Coasters!) and then plonk it in the middle of a deserted desert with the nearest medical assistance over 2 hours away and you have an Idea. It was fantastic! Once we got to the true middle of nowhere, we spent a couple of hours discovering new ways to twist wrists, bruise legs and eat sand, but by the end we´d both done some good boarding and also gone sliding preposterously fast down a 250 meter, 70 degree dune with only a slim piece of wood to protect us from certain death, yay!
We had by now genuinely done everything there was to do in Nazca and as such we arrived this morning in Lima the capital of Peru. Lima is enormous with unofficially well over 10 million people and we´ve got a couple of days to find out what they all get up to. But for now we intend to watch the Oscars (mainly for the fashion apparently) then get ´dressed up´(which in our current condition means putting on a frest t-shirt) and going out for Pisco Sour cocktail... Not too
Lots of Love,
Adam (who it turns out is a Guitar Hero) and Emma (Who is not)
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