04
Apr
2004
James

Arequipa, Peru

Sunday we went to see some mummies in the desert near Nasca. These mummies were from various different indiginous cultures in the area including the Nazcans and the Icas (not Inca… this is all pre-Incan stuff). Very cool stuff but unfortunately the whole valley that is full of these burrial tombs have suffered from dramatic graverobbings whereby the mummies are destroyed and pulverized in order to steal the fine textile clothing they wore… the nazcans were very good at weaving fine textiles.

03
Apr
2004
James

Nazca, Peru

Well, in Nazca we woke up early Saturday morning (9 am-ish) for our flight over the desert to view the infamous Nazca Lines. Not a bad deal… $30 for a 45 minute flight in a small little Cesna. We drove out to the airport and upon arrival they had us watch a very interesting video on the lines published by National Geographic Society (in English! wow!). The video gave the history of how the lines and designs were discovered about 40 years ago by Maria Reiche, and how they have been studied and speculated upon by many.

02
Apr
2004
James

A Bus Ride to Hell

The departure time from Lima to Nazca (7 hours) was set at 1:30 pm…. We didnt leave the terminal until 2:15 and it was 3:15 by the time the bus finally got outside the capital city. Along with the horrible city traffic, the bus stunk to high heaven… yeah, it had a bathroom onboard… which one would think would be a godsend on a long trip, but wait a minute we are in Peru here. Was it just pure luck that our seats 40 and 41 were one row from the back, from where the putrid smell was eminating?

01
Apr
2004
James

Monasterio de San Fransisco, Lima Peru

We didnt really see any reason to hang around Lima for any period of time because we were really motivated to get through Peru to get down to Chile while the weather was still good. We had about 2 hours befor catching another bus to Nazca, Peru so we walked down to the center of town and checked out these really awesome catacombs underneath the Monasterio de San Fransisco. There were apparently 40000 people burried underneath the cathedral and the tour was quite funny because we got tossed in with a group of 14 young peruvian boys, probably of the age of 10 or 11.

31
Mar
2004
James

Máncora, Peru

We had a hell of a time crossing the border. Actually getting there and walking across the bridge into peru was quite easy, but we got across and it was quite hot and we were tired of being hassled by cab drivers and so we went into a police station to see what we should do. They recommended we get a taxi to the immigrations office which was 5 km further down the road from the border. So we did for 10 soles… not a bad price.

30
Mar
2004
James

Machala, Ecuador

We got a later start than we thought we would leaving Cuenca and traveled 6 hours to a city near the border with Peru called Machala. There was nothing much to see there, except for miles and miles of Banana plantations. The town was not exactly on the coast and aparently there arent very many tourists stopping there. We arrived late at night and caught a cab to a hotel. the next day we read in our guidebook not to arrive in Machala late at night because busses have been held up there and people have been robbed.

28
Mar
2004
James

Reserva National Cajas, Ecuador

After hanging out for a few days in Cuenca with Carolina and Erika we all hit it off pretty well with their family and so they invited us to go for the day to the nearby National Reserve Cajas. We met up early sunday morning and after their mom fixed us some breakfast, we drove up into the mountains. This national reserve was incredible, with lush green hills and mountains jutting out everywhere and over 250 lakes. We hiked around for a few hours and then as we were making our way back to the car, it started to downpour.

25
Mar
2004
James

Cuenca, Ecuador

Ok after going back and reading a few of my posts, I have sensed my own overwhelming presense of sarcasm and I think maybe someone is getting the impression that I’m not having a good time or something. Actually its quite on the contrary and I’m still having an excellent time, and the bad times are more funny than bad… especially a few days later when you can retell the stories to other travelers and enjoy a good laugh.

24
Mar
2004
James

Gringotrain... all aboard!

After leaving Baños, unsuccessfull with our paragliding endeavor… we headed south again through Ambato on to Riobamba for the adventurous Nariz Del Diablo train ride leaving early the next morning. We got to town late at night and found a cheapo motel, nothing new there. We had to wake rather early for the 7:30 departure time. We were rather lucky because the hotel was one block from the station. We got there just a few minutes before the train was set to leave, and made sure we purchased a cushion for $1… Its a must!

23
Mar
2004
James

Paragliding, or not

Well today we woke up with the plan to go hangliding. We went to a good tour agency called Geotours just down the street from our hostel. They set everything up for us and got in touch with a guy who could do the tandem flight… THIRTYFIVE BUCKS per person! what a deal. Well we were to leave at 2:30 so i just spent the morning catching up on this blog and writing also in my other personal journal (of which I’m about a week and a half behind).

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