Dune buggies!!

Trip Start Jun 11, 2010
Trip End Jul 11, 2010

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

     I had a restless sleep last night, waking every two hours.  However, I was excited for the day's activities and equally excited about the warm shower!
     We had breakfast with Pancho.  Breakfast consisted of rolls with jelly, eggs, coffee and/or tea.  I had rolls and jelly and bottled water. Go figure!  This is also what I eat for breakfast at the home base every day.
     The weather was a bit chilly and overcast so Pancho said we could have free time for an hour before heading out on the sand buggies.  I walked around the hotel area and took pictures of the beautiful sand dunes surrounding the hotel.  Then it was time to go ride the buggies!
     Riding buggies in the sand dunes was exhilarating! The scenery was absolutely breathtaking- sand dunes as far as the eye can see and beautiful blue skies! The ride was very adventurous...somewhat scary but also very exciting!  We went up and down the dunes in various directions and at high speeds. At times, it felt like we were definitely pulling some Gs because I was pushed down in the seat and then at other times, I was flying up out of my seat, catching air.  Thank goodness we had seat belts.  The ride was very jarring and probably was not the best for my back.  But it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
     Sandboarding was also amazing!  I went first down every dune.  We started with a smaller dune and progressed to larger dunes.  The technique of sandboarding involves lying on your stomach on the board, resting on your elbows with your hips 3/4 of the way back and your legs spread eagle.  If you close your legs while boarding, the board becomes unbalanced and you can wreck.  One girl, Holly, did wreck on the first hill, but thankfully, she was not injured.
     We saw a dried up oasis in the dunes.  Our hotel had an oasis that people went paddleboating in.
     After lunch, we went on a wine tour.  We visited two local wineries and our guide explained the wine-making process.  The first winery, Lazzo de bodega, was much more rustic than the second one.  It was full of antiques, including original textiles.  Our guide told us that locals would bring items to the winery and exchange them for wine.  Judging from the number of items in the bodega, many exchanges were made.  At the second winery, I tasted Peru's version of Bailey's.  It was really good!
     After the wineries, our guide took us to the town of Cachiche, a town that was famous for its witches years ago.  The witches reportedly healed all types of diseases and undid curses.  We saw the seven heads palm tree which had a story related to the witches. 
     The town was very impoverished.  Young boys ran next to our taxi, asking to tell the story about the town so they could earn a tip.  Two boys did assist our guide with telling the tale about the seven heads palm tree.
     After we visited Cachiche, we literally ran with our guide to catch a public bus to Nazca.  The bus ride was 2 1/2 hours long.  We rode through some very impoverished areas.  It was heartbreaking to see such poverty....various kinds of huts, people carrying water in buckets, huge amounts of garbage everywhere.
     Once we arrived in Nazca, our guide walked us to our hotel, Libon's Hotel.  The rooms were simple but clean.  We decided to go to a show about the Nazca lines at a local planetarium.  The narrator talked about the theory that the lines may be related to astronomy.  He also talked about the theory that the lines could be related to underground water since water was very significant to the Nazcas.  At the end of the show, we went outside and looked through a high powered telescope.  We saw the moon up close which was very cool.  We also saw Saturn which I really enjoyed.  We saw the Southern Cross without the telescope.
     We went to dinner at a local restaurant.  We all shared a pizza.  The crust was very good.  The cheese had a very strong flavor and I could not finish my slice because the taste was too strong for me.  I was very excited to get to drink a cold Diet Coke today!!  It was the first cold drink I have had since I arrived in Peru...they seem to drink their drinks at room temperature (maybe due to the cost of refrigeration?)  It was also my first Diet Coke since arriving in Peru.  Most places only sell Coke Zero or regular Coke, no diet.  I definitely have an appreciation for the simple things, like a cold drink and a hot shower!  Living in the States, it is easy to forget that we live far better than others!
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Marianne on

OK, again with the pizza! EAT SOME PERUVIAN FOOD - it's delicious! So are you flying over the Nazca lines? I can't remember what you decided before you left. Can't wait to hear more.......

Craig on

It looks like your new Canon camera is working great.

juliemsw on

Yes, Craig, my camera is working great! I love it! Hope you had a great trip to Alaska! Can't wait to see your photos!

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