Ica and the south coast

Trip Start Aug 05, 2005
Trip End Aug 21, 2005

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Monday, August 8, 2005

Wake up at 5:30- luggage out by 6 and back on the Pan Am by 7 for a long drive south.

First stop: La Pilota- very very nice servicios and quick cup of cafe con leche sitting with Dee and Kathy. Weather is....guess what? foggy, but with the addition of drizzle. I can see my breath a bit. I've got 4 layers on, so I am mostly comfy. Most everyone naps on the drive down, even when Julia & Dan are lecturing.

We arrive at La Centinela in Chincha Valley about 10 am. Remnants of rammed earth structure of the Chincha people, who existed about 900-1400 AC and later co-adopted by Incans. The structures are disappearing as they crumble away- too much damp air; much evidence of locals carving initials. Structure is "wicking" in moisture & salts from surrounding agriculture. Muddy trek over hill & dale; nice evidence of team work of the tour group getting the less agile through; everyone treks back to the bus dusty & muddy. I'm glad I wore the hiking boots, but now I've got to dig out my grooves.

Total of about 6 mounds, but others are visible on the horizon. The valley is so flat that any mound is man-made by Chincha people.

more information about La Centinela and the Chincha people at:

Box lunch on the bus- 11 am and continuing the drive; another 1.5 hours to Nazca planes in Ica.

Night time now in Las Dunas Hotel in Ica after an "interesting" afternoon. After rushing off to Ica to the Condor Airport (private), we were limited to small groups per plane and merged with other visitors, so I didn't take off until 4pm in last group. Great view of the dunes leading to the west and foothills of Andes to the east crossed by green river valley- all else beige dust. 1/2 hour to reach Nazca lines area. Pilot takes turns side to side to better display the figures to all on board- about 20 tightly fitted in. Then does tight angled turn to give the other side a view. The figures aren't all immediately obvious. I'm sitting next to Dan and he points at a number of them I wasn't "seeing". Not much time to react, snap a photo before we're swooping off to their tip the plane for the other side or swirl around to find the next one. I'm getting dizzy looking through the camera and trying to focus. I'm glad I bought the souvenir book of the different lines!

So, after several of these swoops and loops, I get sick. Then, after we're all leveled off & heading back, my entire Cold sweats, nausea, my entire intestinal system objects- that was the longest half hour return flight I've ever been on! I asked Dan to take my camera and stuff since I needed to run to the ladies REAL fast- they cleared everyone out of my way in the plane. I was the first one out and ran across the tarmac to the ladies. Luckily, it's a very small airport and not far to go. Not far afterwards to the hotel. Then a lecture and very small bland dinner for me- watery rice and some veggies. I'm still feeling a little shaky & my head aches. Just enough energy to write it all down and then I'm off to sleep- 9pm.

Late morning tomorrow- hah-hah- sleep in until 7, but bags out at 7:3 then departure at 8:30 for the museum we missed today.
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