A Travellerspoint blog

May 2014

Sun, wine and more sea lions

South Coast of Peru (and our aborted attempt to hike the Colca Canyon)

sunny 31 °C

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After what feels like 3 days on buses (crossing into Peru at Puno, heading off to Arequipa, then on to Cabanaconde (where we wanted to trek into the Colca Canyon), then immediately back on the bus back to Arequipa) we arrived at Nazca.  You see we got ambushed by a surprise tax. Not a good surprise. The moment we got off the bus in Cabanaconde they tried to charge us 70 soles just for the privilege of entering the Colca Valley, which by this stage we'd already done. A bit cranky and with no ATM or enough cash to pay the tax and actually do the trek, we told them we wouldn't be paying anything and got straight back on the return bus to Arequippa. We did get some lovely views of the canyon on our two bus rides, but overall were a bit frustrated that no one thought to mention this bizarre tax before we actually arrived in the town!

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From Arequippa we headed on to Nazca and put the Colca Canyon behind us. Nazca was really all about the Nazca Lines, which are pretty incredible when you think the people who created them couldn't actually ever see their finished product properly. The plane was small and bumpy, and soon had me puking my guts up. I did get to see the majority of the images though. Think wow, monkey, bleugh, oh hummingbird, bleugh, ok missed that... bleugh. You get the point. Even feeling as rotten as I did, they were incredible though. We also checked out some nearby Nazca ruins and aquaduct system that brought water down from the nearby mountains into the desert. Pretty clever stuff really.

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We headed to Pisco after that and as well as trying a few Pisco sours did a pretty amazing boat trip out to the Ballestas Islands, which have huge amounts of bird life as well as substantial sea lion colonies. We saw baby sea lions which were adorable and tried to imagine the islands 30 metres higher than today due to bird droppings, which are now collected and exported. The bird colonies were enormous! Whole sections of the islands were just covered in a mass of black squawking bodies.

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After Pisco, we headed to Ica, to complete our South Coast tour. We did a great little winery tour resulting in the purchase of a very nice bottle and went out to the nearby Huagachina oasis. The Oasis was pretty cool but the real highlight was the view from top of the sand dunes and the fact that I won our race to climb it! Yeah!!

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Posted by Addy21 14:44 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Highest lake in the world

Lake Titicaca

sunny 28 °C

After quite an interesting trip, involving the bus and us being ferried across the lake separately, we arrived at Copacabana on Lake Titicaca.

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Copa itself wasn't anything flash but we spent a nice day checking out the town and walking up to the lookout over the lake. It really is beautiful, you feel like you're on top of the world here. It's an amazing feeling. The next day we headed out to Isla Del Sol, which had particular religious significance for the Incas. The ruins were a little disappointing but the island itself was beautiful.

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We did the circuit around the island in an afternoon and had some spectacular views of the lake. It was a beautiful, peaceful day, and we stayed in a gorgeous place which looked out over the lake. If we'd been up early enough we could have watched the sunrise over the lake. Laziness won the day however, and we just enjoyed our view a more civilised hour. The experience was a little marred by the hotel owner doing the old switercheroo. After negotiating the price when we got off the boat, he told us (after a pretty gruelling hike up the top of the hill) that the price was per person. He quite accurately predicted we would not want to go all the way back down and have to hike up again. Touche Mr hotel man, this round to you.

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Posted by Addy21 14:06 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

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