13.2. 2014Zuzana Salz

PAN AMERICAN JOURNEY PART XXI – PERU

In the middle of the dry and dusty desert, the capital of Peru, Lima, has grown to 8 million, even though sand is the primary element..

But not too far from the city is a fertile wine and pisco region where we took refuge and indulged ourselves with the local alcoholic specialties like Pisco Sour which is made out of pisco, egg whites and limes! :-{} The next day, perhaps because we refreshed ourselves a bit too thoroughly, I happened to accidently forget that my surfboard was stowed under our 3 ton van when I went to move it.  So as of now, the board is officially considered “out of order!”  And because Kamil broke his board in Ecuador, this is where our surfing careers have come to end. But to fill the void, Patagonia is just around the corner in the next country, so things won’t be so bad! :)

Suburbs around Lima

Suburbs around Lima

Anyway our next stop was in Paracas, or better know as the launching hub to the Islas Balletas – also called “The Poor Man’s Galapagos Islands.” A 2 hour round-trip boat ride left us with a few hundred photos of seals, penguins, pelicans, kormorans, and some other birds, as well as more types of birds, and finally some more birds. Birding is a sport in it’s own category!

Seals on Islas Balletas also known as poor mans Gallapagos

Seals on Islas Balletas

Further south is Huacachina. This tiny town, or rather a hole is actually an oasis! The best part of this place was the sandboarding…..if you could officially call it that since the boards are just plain planks with a plastic bottom with Velcro straps as bindings! To enhance the experience, they even gave us a candle to wax with, but that didn’t help much since the board was impossible to turn! It was either go Straight or Bail!

Homemade Sandboards

Homemade sandboards

After that episode, we let the Pan American Highway take us to an iron tower to look out over the famous Nasca Lines. These ancient lines are only impressive from a bird’s eye view. So the little we saw, was disappointing.  But what was impressive was the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world and the look out point called “Cruz de Condors” where huge condors sweep within meters over your head. Perfect photo opportunity, but the big bloody birds are quick!

Condors

Condors

In the end, the most intriguing spot that blew my mind was the main Amazon Spring way up in the mountains. This spring sprouts from a huge cliff in the middle of the desert and resembles a fountain! Since the temperature in the night drops below zero, there are wicked ice formations among the lush green grass. For now it’s a remote paradise that’s tucked away up at 5000m. Luckily we didn’t get lost because we had a local guide with us, a local dog that happened to accompany us for the full four days! Not only did she summit Mismi Mt. with us, but she even forced her way into out tent at night when the temp. dropped! Who could say no? Kamil…..but that didn’t work out for him this time…!

Drinking from the Amazon Spring

Drinking from the Amazon spring

Mismi Trek

Mismi Track

1) Local Beer with a Local Bird

Local beer with a local bird

3) Pisco Sour & Machu Pisco drinks

Pisco sour & Machu Pisco drinks

4) Runover Board

Runover board

5) Soccer Field in the middle of nowhere

Soccer field in the middle of nowhere

7) Penguins

Penguins

8) Candelabre - Something like Nasca Lines

Candelabre – something like Nasca lines

9) Uhuh

Uhuh

10) Tame Pelican

Tame pelican

11) Huacachina Oasis

Huacachina oasis

13) Waxing with a candle

Waxing with a candle

14) Sandboarding - Huacacina l

Sandboarding – Huacachina

15) Nasca Lines

Nasca lines

16) Unfortunate Whale

Unfortunate whale

17) Cactus

Cactus

19) Women from Chivey

Women from Chivey

20) Alpaca Lamas

Alpaca lamas

21) Camping at 5000m

Camping at 5000m

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