Writing from the overnight bus to Arequipa...
Woke this morning at 6 AM. At 8 or so, we headed to the airport and took a morning flight over the Nazca lines. It was interesting to see all these shapes and animals drawn who knows how into the desert sand. I was seated in the very back right side seat in a 6-person plane. Our pilot was enthusiastic. He dipped the plane so people on the right could see, and then turned even further to the left side for people on the left to see. Even though I took one Gravol before getting on the plane, and one during, I was very nauseous before the end of the ride. For that reason, no one is seeing the pictures of me that Laura took on my camera while I was in plane. I look pretty queasy.
Once off the plane, we watched a documentary about the Nazca lines and their possible purposes while waiting for our tour leader and Neal. Oh yes, I haven't given much of a history about my travel companions... Erika was our tour leader...Neal is her friend who is shadowing her this trip to see if he has what it takes to be a leader. A nice guy, but I don't think he quite has it....
Anyway, after our flight and a lengthy wait, we drove on to Chauchilla cemetary. Our local guide for the cemetary was very knowledgable, although she was hard to understand and confusing as she went off on tangents about things and her english was hard to understand. Nentheless, it was interesting to see the mumified remains of these anceinet farmers whose remains were disturbed by grave robbers before any other recent peoples. There were pieces of pottery and bones lying on top of the earth. I had an interesting conversation with Jim about the school system and parenting approaches on the bus ride back.
We stopped briefly at a pottery maker who made the pottery using the ancient methods. The pottery was actually quite reasonable, but would have been difficult to carry for the rest of the trip. AS well, my group did not seem interested int sticking around too long and I was the last one out of the shop.
We headed back to our hotel down the dirt road for lunch. Sandra had decided to stay behind this morning and seemed a bit bored. For lunch, we had the traditional special occasion meal of Peru, a pachamanca. It's cooking meat and veggies over coals in the ground. Instead of wrapping everything in leaves, they actually used pots to keep the sand out for us tourists and for convenience sake. It was so filling and so good - chicken, beef, and pork dishes, tamales, beans, and kinds of potatoes I had never tried before. One looked like a potato on the outside, but was like a cooked zucchini on the inside. It was about 3 p.m. by the time we finished gorging ourselves. We then waited around.
Sandra and I played a couple of games of cards with the Britished girls. I re-packed but still couldnot find my earplugs. We watched some Spanish soap operas, and Simpsons in spanish. (yes the hotel also boasted television access although there were only two stations. The thought for today is that it is possible to follow soap operas, simpsons, and tom and jerry even in a foreign language). I also checked my email and was disappointed that Jon did not reply to the email I sent him. I am happy that everyone else responded though. I think I was feeling a bit worn down by the road the last couple of days and missing home a bit.
So, we got to the bus station a little after 10 p.m. We waited quite awhile for the overnight bus. I amused myself watching a little boy so happy drawing in chalk on the sidewalk.
Now here we are on our way to Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru. This overnight bus is outfitted with foot rests and reclines, but it is also musty, and damp, and hot at the moment. It is full of people. I am starting to feel a bit nauseous again. I guess I didn't quite get over the flight this morning although it seems like so long ago now.