10.11.2008 - 17.11.2008 28 °C
Arrived in Pisco. The town was destroyed last year by an earthquake and still resembles a building site. My stomach felt better by the evening and I managed a quick salsa dance and some pisco before bed.
Went on a boat trip round Las Islas Ballestas from Paracas. It was incredible, as soon as we were in the bay loads of dolphins swam round the boat.
Saw loads of birds, pelicans, penguins, seals and sea lions.
In the afternoon we went to Huacachina. It's a beautiful oasis in the desert. Stayed at a hotel with a pool. We decided to do the buggy and sandboarding trip that night.
The sand buggy was amazing, like a rollercoaster but you don't know what will be on the other side of the sand dune.
I wasn´t wholly successful at sandboarding but really enjoyed going down on my belly -much more fun!
We then drove to a high dune to watch the sun set.
An amazing day.
Met some nice people at Huacachina and decided to stay another night. Drank rum by the pool.
Decided to stay another day and chilled out by the pool and rowed around the lake. Went to Casa de Arena for a barbeque. Got drunk on free pisco sours, danced salsa with anyone I could persuade onto the dancefloor and ended the night attempting to play pool with South American rules (a completely different game).
After some more pool time we made it into Ica to get bus to Nasca. Found a nice hostel called Walk On In.
Got up early to fly over the lines. The plane was tiny, just big enough for the three of us and the pilot.
Got the night bus to Arequipa. Was pleasantly surprised by how far the seats reclined and fell asleep quickly. Woke up at 1.30 am with someone reaching over me trying to steal my purse. I was very lucky I woke up. Felt too freaked out to sleep properly after that. In the moring I talked to an indigenous hippy guy who cleansed my chakras or something and explained that the nasca lines blob with hands (sometimes called the frog) represented a women kneeling, praying to the Gods for fertility. Her 9 fingers represent the 9 months of pregnancy. Had a dodgy stomach again.
Found a great hostel in Arequipa with a roof terrace with hammocks. Felt tired and ill so slept most of the afternoon. In the evening went with Stu and a couple of girls from our dorm to a nice restaurant where we tried alpaca (like a tasty steak) which, along with more pisco sours seemed to sort out my stomach!
Went around the Santa Catarina convent. Really beautiful and peaceful. Walked around the town and sat in the central plaza. Had a stupidly cheap menu for 2.50 in the evening, about 50p for 2 courses and a drink! Finished it off with an incredible ice cream. The climate here is perfect, with an average rainfall of 5 days a year and sunshine all year round.