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Lines in the Sand

Our time in the Nazca Region where we saw a few of the Nazca Lines and zoomed around the MASSIVE dunes.

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We left Lima and were off to our next location. A small fishing town called Paracas. The reason it is visit is to see the islands off the coast which are covered with birds. As we had already been to Galapagos the idea of getting up early to look at birds from a boat was a not a great idea. The town itself is all rather new. It was destroyed over a decade ago by an earthquake and as such all the buildings are new. It’s a little sad as you can see that it has the fishing trade but not much else to offer. We were underwhelmed by this town compared to our time in Mancora and Huanchaco. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to see the birds on Ballestas Islands.


We were off early the next day to see a few of the other features of the area. Paracas is near a town called Pisco where surprise surprise there are a lot of vineyards that grow Pisco grapes. Pisco is the national drink of Peru and is a grape brandy. We walked through the vineyard and learnt the process from the traditional squashing the grapes with your feet then a massive stone wheel to pouring it into Pisco Jars and leaving to ferment. One week uncovered and another week covered. The final step is the distillation where the blue colouring is removed with the first drops of alcohol. This is the methanol and is highly potent. The next step was taking the pisco (40-50%) and then the dregs are left which are sometimes put with the higher concentrated methanol and used for cleaner. In Pisco country Pisco is drunk straight and burns on the way down like tequila but the more civilised way to drink it is in a Pisco Sour, a drink made of Pisco, lime, sugar, ice and egg white. It is delicious and surprisingly the egg white froth really adds something.


After our tastings and tour of the vineyard we were off again. This time to an oasis town called Huacachina. The town is surrounded by massive sand dunes! We were here for one reason to go take some dune buggies and go sand boarding. It was exhilarating and I highly recommend it! The dunes you slide down are massive and it is amazing to be surrounded by dunes. It really doesn’t seem like you are in Peru. If you are anywhere this area make the effort because it is well worth it!


Our final stop was Nazca. The town that is in the middle of the desert that is famous for the Nasca lines, massive images made by the Incas in the time. As you can imagine there are more sand dunes and it is extremely dry. We stopped along the way and looked at two of the images at a viewing platform on the main highway. We also got treated to a stunning sunset. To view the other lines requires a flight over the desert while the pilot swerves backwards and forwards.


We opted not to go partially from price and partially as you can see them better on line. Another thing that is extremely popular is visiting the mummies in the cemetery. We again opted not to tour there as we were a little over tours and the mummies have now been placed in particular positions. The mummies were looted and spread further until extremely recently when the people of Nazca decided it would be a good tourist attraction.
For lunch while we were there we were treated to Pachamanca ceremony. Sadly this wasn’t as exciting as it sounded. Basically it was similar to a hangi except everything was less smoky and cooked in banana leaves. The meat was also extremely herbed. The idea is that the food is given by Pachamama and this is a way to thank Pachamama. Part of the ceremony includes giving Coca leaves (three) and Chicha Morada (Purple Corn Juice) to the ground as an offering for the food. The food is only cooked just under ground…20cm, which is right near the surface compared to a traditional Maori hangi. After digging it we feasted on tamales, beef, chicken, pork, potatoes and sauces. There was masses of food. Lewis felt a little let down as the food lacked the smokiness that he loves with a hangi and the meat was so herbed rather than simply seasoned
It was a night bus to Arequipa from Nazca that night. 10 hours later we were too arrive. The bus was weaving over the road as we went trying to dodge the sand dunes that were encroaching on the road. It was a scary sight.


Posted by chellebelle 15:03 Archived in Peru Tagged dune paracas winery lines nazca pisco sandboarding buggy hangi pachamanca gadventure cermony Comments (0)

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