Lima, Nazca and Arequipa

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - August 2011

1st - 14th August - Good sail back to Portabello. Spent a couple of weeks doing repair work to the spray hood, cleaning and generally working on the boat (as per usual!).  Sorted out what we needed to order in the way of spares and bits and peices for any repairs and alterations we need to do before we go across the pacific.  Quick overnight visit to Panama to have the second hydraulic pump for the autohelm tested.

15th August - Went in to Panamarina to get the boat ready to put to bed for 7 weeks.  I used so much bleach and white vinegar my fingers were peeling!  If that doesn't keep the mould at bay I don't know what will.  As it's still hurricane season we took the genoa and stay sail off and the bimini and spray hood down and finally put her to bed with the cockpit cover on.  So we're ready to head off on our big land trip to Peru and Bolivia - no cooking for 7 weeks - yipee!  And the food in Peru is reputedly some of the best!

19th August - First day as old backpackers - hitched (well almost) a lift in to Colon to catch the fast bus in to Panama city.  Had booked into a hostel for the night so we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn for our plane to Lima.  

20th August - The adventure begins..........Flight to Lima no problem but Matt's bag didn't catch the same plane as  us but did arrive the next day.  Despite all the negative things we had heard about Lima, we decided to stay near the center and were glad we did.  Although not a particular pretty city, it's a hive of activity and full of character.  We spent the weekend watching the locals go about their business - from the changing of the guards at the Government Palace (which was hilarious as they were almost dancing but perfect timing!) to childrens' road awareness and graffiti lessons.  We spent some time watching a concert in the park which included a rock band, a Michael Jackson look-a-like, ballet dancers and a children's puppet show.  We ate in local restaurants and tried the local specialties - 'chicharron' (a bread roll stuffed with juicy pork and roasted sweet potato with a red onion side dish) and 'Chilcano de Pisco' (pisco with ginger ale and lime juice).  One evening we came across 2 large groups of people in the Plaza San Martin - one group were crowded around a computer screen and we were told they were watching a national geographic programme as they didn't have cable TV at home.  The other  crowd were gathered around a chap selling political pamphlets - subjects ranging from the Stone Masons and Opus Dei to Karl Marx!

23rd August - Took the Cruz Del Sur bus to Nazca - good trip and comfortable seats but scenery got a bit monotonous after a while - sand, sand and more sand! As a town, Nazca was a bit disappointing - not a lot to it and quite a few of the roads were up as they were laying new pipes.  We decided to take the flight over the lines - and spent a good 20 minutes peering down from a 4 seater Cessna, at the enormous shapes and geoglyphs in the desert sand.  In the afternoon we took the local bus to the Mirador tower and again peered down on a couple of the geoglyphs before walking to another hill top to peer down on more lines!  It wasn't until we went to a lecture that evening that we were able to appreciate the full extent of the lines and understand a bit more of the Nazca culture. (I've written a bit more and there are more photos of the lines in flotsam).  As were were 'all Nazca'd out' we decided to get the overnight bus to Arequipa 

25th - 30 August - Arequipa (2350 metres above sea level).  Arriving in the morning, we were met by Edinson (an agent recommended by Mark & Deb on Sea Cycle) and were given coffee and a long list of ideas of what we could do for the rest of our trip!  We had booked into a hostel where Jo and Trevor from Malarkey were staying and eventually we promised Edinson that we would book something with him so managed to get away and have breakfast and a catch up with Jo & Trevor.  Great to see them and as we were more or less following the same route we planned to do some of it together.  So we organised to do the 'Colca Canyon trek' together (arranged as promised through Edinson).   We spent a few days chilling in Arequipa (lovely colonial city - otherwise known as the white city) getting used to the altitude and visiting some of the museums and touring the surrounding area (see flotsam)