Sunday, August 27, 2006

Report # 14

Sunday arvo in Nasca - 27th Aug,

I am on the move!!! Lima is definitely not a city to visit unless you hav e some reason. It is just a big city with too much pollution - maybe 10 million = one third of population and two thirds of industry. I wanted to see it and had two contacts to look up - one from Laurie McCullem, in USA and the other family of a girl who liked my web site and wrote me several times. Had success on both counts. Laurie”s friend had coffee with me and tried to devise a fixed tour for the rest of my time in Peru, but was 3 times my own expected cost so outside my budget. But the family was wonderful - thank you Marita - had wine, lunch, went for a drive then left them. They gave me a parting gift on top of it all!!! Lovely people - Luis and Eda (and children). Thank you.

Arranged to depart early Sat for Nasca but they lied thru their teeth about the times the departures, and the arrival times. Ending up taking almost 9 hrs instead of promised 6 !!!! (minor miscalculation!!) - of course it was the cheap bus - does not normally happen that way on luxury buses. Anway Nasca is a lovely little town/city in the middle of a desert, supposed to house 50,000 but has only two main paved streets and everything is walking distance. If you come here stay at the Hotel Alegría which has a pool, patios, restaurant, and single rooms from $5 to $20. Very pleasant and commodious. Do not confuse with a competitor called "Hostal Alegría" I presume capitalising on name.

Did the air flight over the Nasca lines this morn (Brian, a Cessna 206, I think). They were put there between 300 BC and 600 AD and very little is known. Von Danikens theory that they are from extra terrestials does not hold water - altho there are some unexplained oddities -Â like the astonaut. Many straight lines going for over 500 mts to a km in length plus shapes of birds, dog, monkey, whale, spider etc . The area has not seeen significant rain since last ice age and depends on melting snow and rain in mtns to provide water in the two rivers. It is thought that there was a prolonged drought which wiped out most of people, then white-man diseases killed the rest when Spanish came.

I have many photos but don”t know what they look like on screen yet - will send them to mary - but you can look them up on internet.

Nothing else of interest in Nasca, except some more ruins like those I have seen, so tonite i move on. To Arequita, 2nd most dangerous city listed in Guide book, 1 million; and has access to the two deepest canyons on earth, one is twice the depth of Grand Canyon. From there in a couple of days to Cusco and Machu Picchu, very high, then later on to Bolivia.

I am well ahead of schedule as I cut out some of those side trips in Peru to the mountain ruins and volcanoes. And I will not spend much time in Chile as there is little of interest there - just lots of cities. So should be home early October I think. Before the baby, Natalie!!!!

Thanks to Brian, Merlin, Alicia, Margarita G for your mails.

Weather here is very pleasant, warm days cool nights, but lots of cloud in winter. Basically never rains on the west coast here - all depends on the rivers from the mtns. Arequipa is a bit higher so has no fog/smog from Trade Winds, so has sun 365 days a year I am told. Very pleasant all yr round. Still not that far south of equator so that keeps weather warm-ish in most places.

Have a 9 hr bus trip overnight tonite, to Arequipa.

Love to all, bye till next session.


PS I do not boil water at all and accept coffee made from whatever they use. I eat lettuce in their salads, and drink from their glasses.

If the fotos go on the site they will either be available directly on the blog page, or Paul may may a link to a separate page. For an example of a blog with pictures, go to the link on the right of the blog which says something like "favourite links", and go to Paul”s personal blog.

I am now in Arequipa and do a 2 day tour starting early Tuesday.