Everyone dies. Not everyone truly lives. -William Wallace "Braveheart"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Off to Nazca

Today we woke up at the butt crack of dawn at 4:00 am and frantically packed for South Peru.  The bus station was closed when we got there so we walked down the street, with all our luggage, to a small gas station until Oltursa opened.  We were fortunate enough that they had some tables and chairs inside and some stuff for us to snack on to kill the time, but Alejandro and I kept telling everyone not to fill up too much because the food on Oltursa was awesome.  The last time we rode Oltursa up the Northern coast of Peru to Trujillo we were served a hot authentic Peruvian dish individually packaged in impressive little lunch trays, and the attendants, yes you have bus attendants, passed out free headphones to listen to the tv's.

When the bus station finally opened we went and waited inside for another hour.  The station was fairly empty and Alejandro was exhausted so he laid down across a couple seats and was yelled at by one of the security guards at the bus station.  I couldn't tell what was being said back and forth, but the conversation didn't sound friendly.  Alejandro told me later that he was trying to make an example of him and embarrass him and that he told him not to talk to him like that.  He told me that Peruvians tend to do that, make a big deal about nothing to exert their dominance or position...I don't know.  It always went right over my head or was lost in translation.

We boarded the bus and were off to Nazca.  A couple hours later the attendants came by with breakfast.  I reached my hand out eagerly to accept, what I was sure would be, a hot breakfast of tortilla (omelet) and pan with butter and marmalade and instead was handed.......a cold "sandwich" which consisted of 2 pieces of bread, one thin piece of ham, and one slice of cheese :-( We continued on our 7 hr trip hungry and disappointed.  At least we had an unbelievable view.  We sat in the very front row on the second story right in front of a huge convex window, so we had a panoramic view of the whole trip.  It almost felt as if we were flying.
Seat with a view

When we finally arrived Alejandro helped us roll the luggage into the Nazca station then disappeared to find a bathroom.  When I ventured off to find him a man stepped out from a doorway and asked me, in Spanish, if I was looking for my friend.  I followed him inside to find Alejandro sitting with a woman who had a bunch of fliers out...oh no, I thought someone trying to drag us to hostals that THEY get a commission for dragging unsuspecting tourists to.  I tried to tell Alejandro that I had already done extensive research and had already found a great place to stay, but he insisted we just check it out.  We pulled up to a very Spanish looking entrance with clay tile floors, stucco, and clay tile roof and when we walked in we were sold....It is hard to describe how beautiful this place was.  Score 1 for Alejandro.

We got settled then walked into town to eat lunch.  We ate at this restaurant called La Choz which specialized in pizza, but we got Papas a la Huancaina, Seco de Carne, Aji de Pollo, and Karma de Adobo.  After lunch we went shopping then we found this Pisco shop that had a bar inside, so we pulled up a stool and Alejandro started asking him about all the different types of Pisco.  He explained the differences between each and poured us full shots to try each.  We each picked our favorite and ordered some Pisco sours.  When the bill came we were shocked.  He didn't even charge us for the shots!

As we were walking back to the hotel we caught the tail end of a parade.  There were teenagers on this one float all painted up with white and blue paint throwing candy out toward the onlooking crowd.  Cops stood alongside to make sure order was kept and Alejandro asked one of them if I could step in front of him onto the street to get a picture.  "Of course!" he said "this is all for you!" he was so friendly.  Alejandro asked him if Mom and I could get a picture with him lol Sometimes I think Alejandro gets even more excited than us to see us experiencing and enjoying Peru.  I love it!

At 9:00 we headed back to the hostal, lured with the promise of free pisco sours.  We sat in the most romantic gazebo with candlelight and sipped on our pisco sours, then went to bed to prepare for another busy day.
The view from the gazebo

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