From Lima to Nazca to Arequipa… and Onward!

This computer keyboard sucks! Sorry… just had to get that out of the way. The keys are all rearranged here in Peru. I can{t find anything! Blast.

I got to Nazca no problem and DID do the flight over the lines. Thankfully, the weather gods have smiled upon me each day since I arrived in Peru. The flight lasted almost 40 minutes (typically about 30 I think). Yes, it was definitely worth it for me. I met a girl (Emily) from New Zealand who I ran into in the San Francisco Monastary and she and I went to Chauchilla Cemetary in Nazca also. That was fantastic. The mummies are still there (some are now in museums) and our guide was excellent. We accidentally stumbled upon some remains and textiles in the dirt right on our path as we were walking back from some of the tombs. It was rather startling to see a multi-colored braid of human hair sticking up out of the sandy ground! We felt like two Mary Leakeys! I also went to the Nazca Lines Hotel planetarium show that night and it was very interesting. They described all the constellations and how they related to some of the Nazca lines designs.

From Nazca I took an overnight bus to Arequipa. I LOVE this town. There is so much to see and there is always something going on. It is a bustling town and very congested with taxis EVERYWHERE! Coincidentally, as soon as I got here I ran into Emily again (she was staying at my hostal here) and she and I visited several sites together. The best were the Santa Catalina Monastary (allow a good 2 hours or more if you are into it), the Sanctuarios Andinos Museum with the Juanita Maiden mummy which was found on Amaputo mountain nearby in the Andes and probably the best-preserved of the mummies found in the area. It is about 2,000 years old, but still quite well intact. The tour there was about 1.5 hrs. and really worthwhile. We also visited the La Compania church and it´s Cistine Chapel-like room and courtyards. Very lovely.

Yesterday, we (Emily who is from New Zealand, two of her friends from New Zealand and Australia, four women from Poland, a guy from Spain, and a couple from Holland) headed into the Colca Canyon, via the town of Chivay. It was about a 4.5 hour drive and quite scenic. We stopped several places along the way to take photos, etc. Saw TONS of llamas, vicunas, and alpacas en route in the National Reserve of Salinas. The highest point we reached was well over 13,000 ft. I was surprised that I felt just fine the whole time. However, perhaps it was the COCA TEA they gave us when we stopped at a little rest stop en route before we hit the higher altitudes. This tea is supposed to help prevent altitude sickness. Typically, I think the altitude was about 11,000-12,000 ft. in Chivay and the surrounding canyon area where we stayed overnight. The day we arrived, we went to the thermal baths and out to dinner where we saw some folk dancing. That night we did another planetarium show to view the stars and moon. The next day (today, Oct. 28) we got up quite early and headed to the Cruz del Condor in search of the Andean condor. To our delight, we were able to see two condors within our 1.5 hour stay from about 8 am to 9:30 am. One we saw almost immeidately. It was a juvenile (still brown in color and somewhat smaller) perched on a rock just below our lookout, sunning itself with its wings outstretched for quite some time. I took many photos and some video of it. Then, a bit later, I spotted a full grown adult male (black with white on the wings and around the neck and much larger with about a 10 ft. wingspan) souring from the opposite side of the canyon where our guide said they tend to nest. It soared across to our side of the canyon and then above the main road and up over a nearby hill. It was just amazing and I videotaped it all. That was definitely a highlight for me! On our way out of the canyon, we spotted another large black condor flying up over the mountains where we were driving. Finally, as we were still driving away, I looked back and spotted another condor soaring over the valley floor, not exactly at the Cruz del Condor lookout. So, that would be 4 condors in all. I was pretty psyched as you can imagine. I really was not sure that we would see any at all!

We drove back to Chivay for lunch and some other sightseeing and then began our long drive out of the Canyon area and back to Arequipa. Got back here to town at about 4 pm and spent the evening hanging out, eating dinner overlooking the Plaza de Armas here. Apparently, today is a celebration of Senor de los miraculos (miracles) and they had a large procession, fireworks, singing, and other music. It is still going on outside now, in fact.

Emily has left on the bus tonight for Cuzco and I will leave for Lake Titicaca early tomorrow morning. I will be there by about 3 pm. We will stop along the way to site-see also. I am really looking forward to it. Tomorrow night I will be staying in Copacabana, Bolivia! The next day we will visit some of the islands on Lake Titicaca. More later.


Explore posts in the same categories: My Travels, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador (incl. Galapagos Islands)

2 Comments on “From Lima to Nazca to Arequipa… and Onward!”

  1. June, Africa & Tashi Colton Says:

    Dear Laurel,
    Enjoyed reading about your travels! Looks like this was the perfect time to travel. Continued luck, success and enjoyment with your trip. Thanks for keeping us posted. Your friends in CA. send their love, as do we. MUM

  2. Hi Laurel.

    There’s a planetarium at the Nazca Lines Hotel? Could you provide more info about it? We try to keep track of all the planetaria in the world. We know about an inflatable Starlab planetarium in Nasca, but not in the hotel. Any other info (address, type of projector, etc.) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    >> Mark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: