Category Archives: Peru

First training session

We just returned from our first elevation training session. We spent the last two days in and around the Colca Canyon. Going from Arequipa to Chivay (the capital of the Colca district) we had to go via a 4910m high pass. Even though we prepared by driking coca tea and chewing coca leaves we still had headaces and some of us (not me) even had to … well nevermind. The landscape was amazing though. After a short nap we managed to have a little walk and went to the hot springs of Chivay (roughly 40 degrees). The night was short and thanks to the heaters very warm.
Today we started at six (with just a little headace left) to be on time for the condor parade. We drove along the valley and into the canyon. Apparently the highest in the world when measuring from the bottom to the peaks of the surrounding mountains. After various amazing views on the pre-Inca and Inca terasses we arrived at the Condor´s Cross. And it was amazing. The condors just started out using the rising winds created by the first sun beams. From wing tip to wing tip they have up to four meters. We probably shot a hundred pictures and had another short walk.
On the way back to Arequipa we tried some more of the Peruvian cuisine.
Passig the pass again, this whole trip was a first training and impression of things to come … the Inca Trail.

Chauchilla cemetery and more Nasca Lines

We started out with the Chauchilla cemetery showing open graves of the Nasca civilisation. With mummies mainly preserved by the super dry climate around here. Very interesting visit with a guided tour telling us about this culture and there traditions etc …
After that we went for some more Nasca Lines, adding another flight to our list of ten scheduled ones. Only by plane the whole size and all the figures can be fully enjoyed.
As usual I didn´t like the flighing in small planes too much :(

Ballesta Islands, Sandsurfing and Nasca Lines

We started out from Pisco to Panacas, taking a speedboat from there to get to the Panacas Peninsula and the Ballesta Islands. On the peninsula we got a first impression of the drawings of pre-Inka civilisations and on the Ballesta Islands, also called the small Galapagos Island we got to see a variety of different animals. From sea lions, over penguins and cormorans, to vultures we saw lot … and this is only a selection. After that we drove down the Panamericana (highway) towards Ica and Huacachina. The latter one being an oasis in the middle of the highest sand dunes in the world. And what do you do on the highest sand dunes in the world? Right … take a buggy up and a sand board down ;)
Going further on the Panamericana we reaches the Nasca Lines, massive drawings/scrapings made on the ground, some reaching a size of a couple hundred meters. Which makes them the largest in the world. Scientists still struggle for the exact purpose of the drawing … reaching from alien stories, over astronomical calendars to worship of gods. The latter one being the most likely one though.
All this is in the middle of the driest deserts in the world, with only about five minutes of rain per year.

From Lima to Pisco

We started out the day with a visit to the promenades and parks on the seaside of the Pacific Ocean. Some parts were secured by guards every 50 meters or so … very secure!?
After that we went on one of the public overland coaches to Pisco. Driving mainly through sesert-like landscapes and seeing a lot of very poor people along the streets. In the bus itself our guide tried to entertain us with “P.S. I love you” (hmm) and the guys running the thing checked our tickets five times in less than four hours (another hmm).
Arriving in Pisco the bus didn’t even make into town, since the road there was hardly usable at all. So we got some smaller local transport that brought us into the city that has been complete destroyed by an earthquake about two years ago. Sadly enough most of it still looked like it has been last week. Only two three hotels, some rich men´s houses and the seven banks on the main square were restored. Makes you think of the luxury you have in your life …

… and there we are!

After our pleasant 15 hours of flying and 26 hours without sleep we finally arrived in Lima, capital of Peru. Having a good night of sleep we started our day by going from Miraflores (district we are living in) to the centre of the city, using VERY special local mini-busses. These things are speeding through the streets like crazy … In the afternoon we met our G.A.P. guide and the other member of our group (yes the group has only three members).
Tomorrow we will see a bit more of the city and head towards Pisco, a city by the sea in the south of Lima.