Sunday, October 21, 2012

Last Arm of the Trip: Nazca

August 30, 2012

We have the morning to ourselves. This is "Day 1" of our Nazca tour. Since this part of the tour actually starts around noontime, we rise early and head out on the town to check out an local artisan marketplace.

The marketplace we find is HUGE. It's got everything that you could think of, for souvenirs. Some tacky and lame and others that seem to be a great gift. We pick up some really nice shot and liquor glasses. AW grabs a vibrant nativity scene made out of a gourd (!) for his mum. Amazing prices for such ethnic souvenirs!

Anyways, we're on a tight schedule and need to return to the hotel to meet the (Client Experience Officer) CEO Miro. The day is overcast, foggy and cool. When Miro picks us up, he tells us that there is yet another local festival in the city and certain streets are closed. Our conversation with Miro is interesting since we discover that he's actually a Peruvian-American. He's not like our other G-Adventure guides/CEOs since his English is near perfect and even his mannerisms are a little different... more North American it seems. And, he's got a Dallas Cowboys logo in his car. He tells us that while in the US, he was grew up there and went to school but returned to Peru for his carrier since the marriage of his ethnic and cultural backgrounds make him a prime candidate for being able to relate to tourists like us and the locals.

He takes us to the bus station. He helps us get oriented and put together so that we are ready for our bus ride along the coast, to Nazca. Let me tell you, traveling by bus is an interesting endeavour in Lima. It's quite westernized and we get on the blue double decker bus and sit back to view the coastal scenery for the next 7-8 hours. The scenery is vastly different from the metropolitan city of Lima, the ancient mountain region of Cusco and certainly different from the Jungles.

The bus lulls us to an uncomfortable sleep and we wake to eat a served meal and then out again so that we don't get sick from the swaying of the bus. I don't think I like these double decker buses at all.

When we arrive in Nazca, it is dark and cool. Tired and stiff from our journey, we stumble off the bus, grab out bags and look for our local guide--who is to be waiting for us at the bus station. Many local guides of the area are seeking tourist attention since many people have come out this way completely unprepared with a tour guide. We spot ours and he introduces himself... Antonio--like Antonio BANDERAS.

He is of a cheerful disposition and tells us that we're in luck because the city is celebration a local festival (again) and that our hotel is nearby so we can certainly check out the main plaza to see what's going on.

First though, we're starving so we pick a restaurant across the street from the hotel: Roky's. They serve roast chicken family style. It's a westernized rotisserie with a huge cartoon flare about it. We have tonnes of trouble ordering because most of the servers speak VERY limited English.

We finish and head over towards the plaza... the streets are busy and the night is cool. Many people are out enjoying themselves and just having a good time socializing with their peers. As we stroll down the main street, we notice that we're getting some unusual looks from passer-bys... Something's not quite right, I think, without being able to place my finder on the exact issue. By now, AW and are are both feeling uneasy and decide to head back to the hotel. No, we weren't mugged or harassed.... but man, there was a strange vibe going on. It suddenly dawns on the two of us as we're quickly making our way back to the hotel: the population is seemingly 70%+ male! We arrive at the hotel, look at one another recognizing the twilight zone we just left, nod in agreement and turn in for the night.

Tomorrow: ready for the prop plane doing pivots in the air over the lines.

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