From Pisco to Nazca

May 5 & 6, 2014

That day in Pisco, some people from our group decided to check out Ballestas Island, otherwise known as the "poor man's Gallapagos." We opted out of that event and decided to just walk around and saw this man feeding a pelican. 

Bad ass pelican

We eventually made our way to Nazca but we had a couple of interesting and awesome stops on the way. Our first stop was at Tres Generaciones, a local winery and pisco maker. After a 45 minute tour of their facility, we eventually got to try some of their best Piscos, all 8 of them to be exact. 

Post pisco tasting, it made for an excellent bus ride

Lisa and Steve enjoying some Piscos. Especially Steve with his pinky out, because he's classy like that

after that, we went to Huacachina to see some sand dunes! This was by far my favourite stop for this trip. We also got the chance to slide down the sand dunes, me and a couple other people only had enough balls to go down the dunes once while everybody else went down all three, even the two old ladies from New Zealand. 

Eventually we made our way to Nazca, another interesting place to visit. As a side note, before we left, I read that Peru has a dessert but I was really surprised at how big their dessert region was. Now back to the Nazca lines, half of the people in our group decided to fly over the lines while the rest of us decided to just visit the tower. For 3 soles, you can see two of the designs from the tower which was the tree and the hands. I thought it was pretty cool and wondered it must be awesome to see it from a plane (unfortunately majority of the them got sick and said it wasn't worth it, plus their flight was delayed for 3 hours)

Since we didn't have to go to the airport, we had plenty of time to walk around town and have lunch where I tried goat (in the words of our awesome guide, Yuri, it was "jummy"). Again, it was also delicious. I don't think Peruvian food has disappointed me so far. 

Baby goat for lunch.

Once we have reconvened with the flying group, we checked out Chauchilla Cemetery where they had mummies. According to our Nazca guide Antonio, the government doesn't have a lot of resources for the cemetery so no further excavations have been done at the site. They also haven't performed carbon dating on the mummies since the technology isn't readily available to them. Antonio also mentioned that when the site was discovered in the 1920s, that attracted grave robbers and most of the original pottery have either been stolen or destroyed. When you look around the cemetery, there are pieces of pottery, cotton and human bones scattered everywhere. From what they can gather from the grave sites, pottery, cotton and corn were commonly buried with the dead. We also saw a piece of cloth lying on the ground and according to Antonio, it was probably a piece of cloth that belonged to the deceased. To this day, there were approximately 10 excavated sites and possibly more have yet to be discovered. 

Mummies at the Chauchilla Cemetery

After the cemetery, we went to a local pottery shop called Taller Ceramica Emilia. Our host had this "crazy artist" vibe going on. Besides that, he was a very lovely and talented man. Apparently his family has been making and designing pottery for a few generations and they still use the techniques used by the original Nazca people. His paint brushes are made of human baby hair because they are really soft. He gets the materials from the mountains nearby (different soil colours) and he makes his own paint with them. He also used a llama bone to mold the pieces.

In this photo, he's showing us how he paints the designs on the pot. 

Some of his pottery for sale in the show room.

Later that evening, we decided to try out Chifa which is a fusion between Peruvian and Chinese dishes. Again, it was delicious. I had a bowl of chicken soup and some fried rice with a side of noodles and chicken for only 10 soles (around $5). I don't think neither of us expected to come to Peru to have Chinese food. 

 Chinese food in Peru

Chinese food in Peru

Unfortunately for us, our time at Nazca was over and we had to move on to the next city which was Areuipa. Our guide, Yuri, was born and raised in Arequipa so has very strong feelings for the city. So off we went to the bus station for a 10 hour bus ride....