Day 3 - Pisco to Nazca

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Jun 14, 2009

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alan's blog: Wednesday morning was cold and foggy and we were up early for a boat tour to the Isla Ballesteros, a marine and bird sanctuary just outside of the bay. on the trip out we stopped to see a carved symbol in the rock of an offshore island, similar to the Nazca lines but of unknown origin. The islands were incredible, literally covered with thousands of seabirds - terns, cormorants, boobies, gulls, pelicans, penguins, turkey vultures - as well as sea lions, dozens of very curious sea lions. So many birds that they harvest two metres of guana every few years.

Back to the hotel and off on another tour – this of a local winery/distillery specializing in Pisco and sweet wine. Pisco is a traditional Peruvian drink - a spirit distilled from Peruvian wine varietals much like cognac or brandy. The sweet wine is a byproduct of the first fermentation. And of course there were tastings - just enough to sample the different products from the distilling process - thankfully given the desert sun and the early hour. Pure Pisco has quite a kick especially at noon…..

Lunch and the highlight of the day - dunebuggies and sandboarding in the enormous dunes south of Pisco. What a ride, what a driver - like a roller coaster in the sand. It was a blast. The sandboarding was more like tobagganing, but on dunes steeper and longer than any hill I ever went down. Actually the entire coast is a desert. it makes for an amazing landscape. Like going through a moonscape at times. Will upload pictures tomorrow.

Back on the mini-bus for the drive to Nazca, through the desert twilight to Nazca. A quick stop at an observation tower to overlook one of the Nazca lines - the tree - almost to dark to see. On to the hotel on the outskirts of Nazca, at the end of a dark, short road - we wondered where the hell we were going to end up - which ended up being a nice courtyard hotel in the middle of nowhere. Dinner and ping-pong...
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