03.06.2007 - 06.06.2007 14 °C
Sunday 3rd June - Nazca to Lima
Nice breakfast by the pool, though it's too chilly to brave a morning swim.
Chris heads of just before 9am to go out on her flight over the Nazca lines (organised via the hotel). The coach gets us to the airport (need to pay 10 Soles departure tax), and before we're in the air there is a short (BBC) film about the Nazca lines.
6 of us go up in the small plane and straightaway you start to see the lines and triangles. Soon after you come across the various shapes - spaceman, monkey, hummingbird etc., though it's quite bright this morning and not the best view. The morning is still the best time to go as conditions deteriorate in the afternoon, strong winds causing turbulance.
Whilst it's only a short flight (30 minutes) it's very much worth it. Some of the designs on the ground look quite small from the plane and before you know it you are going onto the next.
You can visit a small tower at the side of the main road through to/out of Nazca and get a 'part' view of a couple of the markings.
Whilst there was a fair bit of banking/circling, certainly wasn't a rough flight and no one was ill.
Chris is back in time that we can just make it in time for the bus leaving at 11am for Lima, though we have to change in Ica, a couple of hours up the road.
As promised, the connection bus to Lima does leave 5 minutes after we arrive, which on this occasion is a bugger because we both need a wee, and there's no facilities on the bus. However, we do seem to have an empty water bottle - at least one of us could have a comfortable journey. Not telling you if it was used or not...
As we get nearer to the city the clouds come in, and you can sense the smog in the air.
The bus station we arrive at, like many town/cities, is outside of the centre, so we get a taxi to Hotel Kamana, and manage to talk down the price from USD45 to USD35, which is thanks to mentioning that we're with Exodus.
The room is plain but fine and pleased to have a safe to keep our things whilst we're in Lima - we're a little wary of the city, as far as safety goes, though not because we've heard any firsthand stories of woe.
For dinner we find a quiet pizza restaurant, near the buzzing pedestrian street, so quiet that when we pay they don't have change of 100Soles (about GBP16). More importantly, empty stomachs have been well filled, though perhaps not quite enough for Paul who stops at McDonalds on the way back.
Watch some TV before bed.
Monday 4th June
Our first full day in the capital and Paul gets his treat, a visit to the whopping shopping mall (Jockey Plaza), a little way out of town, and 12Soles in a taxi.
Arrive just before it opens (glad we didn't leave any earlier) and spend the morning looking around. Paul tempted, but subsequently not allowed, to buy an english language magazine to read.
Found a cinema and watched an early afternoon showing of Zodiac (Zodiaco here) - got close to thumping a couple of old dears who were quite happy to chat through the film.
Other than Paul managing to find some jeans, shirts and some running shoes, it was not much more than a day at the mall.
Back in town and we head for a Chinese, great food, though a little embarrassing when Chris swipes the glass bottle of Soy Sauce on to the floor.
Tuesday 5th June
Just to keep consistent, we wake up quite late but early enough to catch breakfast in the hotel. A quick look out from behind the curtain reveals another grey, but dry, day.
Need a Post Office today, so head into centro and find ourselves just in time to see the changing of the guard, which has attracted quite a crowd including some school groups. Some girls ask us our names and how old we are - manage to understand most of what they say, but there's a few things that completely throw us, but result in a round of 'high-5's' from the girls.
We track down the Post Office - we've got to send some stuff home to free up space in our packs. Not sure how it's supposed to work but the lady gives us a box for free, and I assume we pay for it tomorrow when we bring it back full of stuff. It's a pretty big box - you could fit a small child inside - and the box alone probably weighs over a kilo.
We drop the box off back in the room and then hail a cab to take us to the posh/coastal area of Miraflores, it's about 15 minutes drive away.
Despite being at the coast, the miserable weather follows us. Not a great deal seems to be happening in town, though we walk down to the cliff edge and watch some paragliders (not sure if that's the right word) sail up and down the face of the cliff.
Manage to track down the Larcomar shopping mall, which is built into the cliffs - quite a nice spot, though better on a sunny day. Find a Starbucks here and down a Frappucino, and just as we leave, are pleased to bump into the Israeli girls we've been travelling in parallel with since northern Chile.
Also, avoid the drizzle for a couple of hours watching zombie-fest 28 Weeks Later.
Negotiate a cab fare down from 20Soles to 10 Soles and head back into central Lima, and to the comfort of our room.
Wednesday 6th June
Up early and grabbed the hotel breakfast, before packing our things for moving on again.
Also, our large package to send home is ready to go and we walk it down to the post office, keeping our fingers crossed that it weighs just a handful of kilos. Horrified to find out that it's 8 kilos!, and therefore it'll be going home by sea rather than air, but we are glad to have got rid of a bunch of stuff, freeing up some much needed space. About 40 Pounds for the convenience!
Off on an overnight bus to Trujillo tonight, heading a little further north. Seems that there's nowhere in centro to buy a ticket so walk the 20 minutes out, past the Sheraton Hotel, to where the bus companies are grouped up. Sorted our cama seat ticket nice and easy and found our way back to town.
We must have been staying at the nicer end of the pedestrian street, cos at this end we have been offered drugs several times in as many minutes, as well as tattoos.
Take a few snaps in the small, but pretty, square, before trekking across town to Chinatown.
Not to sure what to expect, but it's a buzzing little place and we, of course, find a chinese restaurant to eat. Not the best choice, though pretty cheap and I got an Inca Kola (Irn Bru tasting drink, though a shocking nuclear-yellow) for free.
Sat in the main square, admiring the buildings surrounding it (most of which had been damaged/flattened in previous earthquakes). Whilst Chris was standing around taking photos, Paul is approached by a girl who manages to squeeze on the side of the bench that has just about enough room for one cheek, with about 5 feet of bench available on the other side. We soon make our way out of the square...
Carried on walking around town, before heading back to the hotel, where we use their lounge area for an hour.
Simple taxi ride back out to the bus station and, like most other bus trips, we leave pretty much on time, just after 10pm.
There's a little food included, and the chicken mayo sandwich tastes as good as home. Fingers tightly crossed that the seat infront of Paul remains unoccupied, and he's not wedged into his seat - the seats recline quite far, though not quite horizontal, but leaving you pinned in somewhat.
Fingers also crossed that we get some sleep tonight, we're both getting a little weary of the endless and regular long distance bus journeys.
continues on next thread...