Friday, September 25, 2009

The Nazca Lines & Sandboarding

Ela fouf, and hello mother and father, hope your all enjoying the newest photos. It's fun sending up-to-date photos for all three of you to see.

After Porta Inca we continued down the coast to Nazca, to see the famous Nazca Lines. The lines are like giant sketches on the desert floor and were created by the ancient Inca's. There's various theories as to what the lines and drawings are, such as that they are a giant ancient calender. They are also so large they can only really be send from the air, which raises questions over how they were made.

Due to the fact they can only be seen from the air we all booked onto a light aircraft flight over them. We were warned that to see the giant drawings properly requires the pilot to throw the aircraft around alot, and they weren't joking... I have to say by the time the flight finished I was feeling more than a little queezy.

Me & Marco and the light aicraft

Hopefully you'll be able to make out the various shapes we saw. They weren't always quite so well defined against the desert floor.

The Alien

The desert floor

The spider

The humming bird

The tree

After flying over the lines we went to a nearby Nazca cemetary, where the mummified bodies of centuries old Nazca people are preserved. I have to say I found the cemetary trip all a little strange, looking at the mummified remains of people who died hundreds of years ago all felt a little wrong, like we shouldn't really be looking at them.

A mummy in the cemetary museum

The Nazca people used to bury their dead with offerings for them to take to the next life, as they believed this existance was only the beginning and therefore didn't fear death.

Remains in the actual cemetary

After visiting Nazca we headed on to another town relatively close by up the coast to camp for the night. On our arrival in the late afternoon Neil had arranged for us to go Sandboarding and Dune buggying. Both were amazing, sand boarding involved 'sledging' on your front down giant sand dunes... and sand buggying involved driving really really fast up, down and around massive dunes in the below vehicle. It was alot of fun and we managed to catch the sunset too.

The dune buggy

Me enjoying the breakneck speeds

Dunes, dunes...

and more dunes

The dunes we sandboarded down were huge, and alot of fun.

Neil contemplating the next run

Marco zooming down a dune

Lovely pink skies

Sunset over the dunes

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Porta Inca

Elaaaa foufi, and now hello mother and father too!

Finally after what seems like months of being cold in the mountains we have finally made it back to the coast, Porta Inca to be exact. We were camping on the beach, and me and Marco did have concerns we'd pitched our tent a little too close to the sea and that we could quite easily wake up floating out to sea!

The beach

Email time

Other than the beach there really wasn't much else in Porta Inca, but it was nice just to have a walk out on the headlands and just hangout. In the evening we had a delicious bbq again cooked by the drivers, then the next morning thankfully the weather was nice, so we decided to have a little swim. As we're on the Pacific the water was colllllddddd, and the waves were more than a little rough. We had a swim but as with so many of the places I've swum on the Pacific we had to be careful we didn't get pulled out by the rip.

The beach and the resort

The Headland

The boys contemplating the waves

Reluctantly going in

Over or under?

Wipe out

After the swimming we decided to have a little game of beach volleyball. Everything was going fine until disaster struck again! dam weak feet!

Beach volleyball

Lining up for another winning serve

I haven't put in any actual photos of the injury, but the below photo shows Ruth and Marco trying to operate... well clean it with Alcohol. Ouuucccchh. I'm pleased to say it's now fully healed and, as with all my foot injuries, but a distant memory.

Silly silly feet

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day Four - Machu Picchu

Hey you, so this was the final day... and the point everything had been building up to... getting to Machu Picchu.

We were up at 4am in order to get to the Sun Gate at sun rise. The Sun gate is the first point on the trail which you get to see Machu Picchu from. The idea was to watch the sun rise over the ruins however unfortunately some untimely mist put pay to that.

A misty Sun Gate

This rock was infact a temple, earlier in the trip we had all picked up a certain type of Granite which we kept with us until this point. We then placed the rock, along with an offering of cocoa leaves, on the temple and made a small request from the Inca gods.

This was our first view of Machu Picchu, it was still shrowded in mist at this point. Luckily the mist gradually lifted revealing the stunning ruins and Waynapichu mountain behind.

Seasonned trekkers

I love the fact in this picture I kind of look like a cardboard cut out, haha. like I wasn't really there, well i promise you I was.

Beard shot No. 1

Team photo infront of the ruins

Machu Picchu and Waynapicchu mountain

A different angle

I like this photo, nice colours in the plants

Inside one of the temples

This was the temple I think I mentioned in one of my emails, the windows are lined up so that on the Summer and Winter Solstices the first rays of sun over the mountains light up the alter. Our guide had a photo of it he took and it was amazing. Such clever people to say it was built about 800 yrs ago. Crazy.

Clever architecture

Another temple, the temple of the Three Windows

Very pretty Orchids

Me and the mountains

All around the site there were things the guide called niche's cut into the walls, especially in the temples etc. These were apparently so mummy's (or human sacrifices) could be kept and preserved. Me and Marco thought it would be entertaining to pretend we were mummy's.
Silly silly boys

And finally... look at how long my beard was haha. I'm pleased to say I've now had a trim, it was getting silly.

Beardy beardy beard
Me in a window, looking entertained yet slightly confused

And finally me sat feeling contented with all I'd achieved

After we'd looked around for a few hrs we headed down to the town at the foot of the mountains. It was a strange place... instead of a road running through the main street, there is a railway. trains literally come and people are just wandering on the tracks... there not mad keen on health & safety in Peru I have to say.

There was quite an entertaining end to our trip as we had a mix up with our train times, this resulted in me having to run the length of the town twice and Marco doing his best to refuse to let our train leave... this basically ment he put his bags in the door and refused to move haha. It all ended ok as I made it back to the train with seconds to spare.

The main street... the main tracks... Oh I don't know?

Poor little Marco was exhausted... within minutes I was asleep too.

Sleep sleep sleep

Day Three

Ela fouf, after yesterdays day of uphills and altitude, the third day was all about distance. We were up at 5 and away for 6 in an attempt to beat the traffic. In the morning it was very misty but that soon cleared as the day wore on. The first place we reached was a small Inca site perched on the side of a hill but it was too misty to photograph it.

Next we came to another pass, this time at about 3800m. At this point we took some silly photos, the one below shows me being christ the redeemer haha.

James the Redeemer

The gang at the highest point of the day

Me and Marco overexposed

The view across the valleys

After three or four hrs trekking we came to our next Inca site, called Sayaqwaka. This means cloud city I believe which was accurate as again it was perched on the side of a hugely steep valley... I literally have no idea how they made these places, amazing.


This is our tour guide, david, explaining about the site and what it was used for.

Inca knowledge

Arty shot

The view back to the rest point

More beautiful valleys

And again

The lunch point - on top of the world

The snow capped mountain I ran to the top of the hill with the guide to see

I may not look it, but I'm out of breath haha

Another Inca site straight after lunch - Phuyupatamarka

This sign basically means beware - spectacled bears haha

The Inca terraces - Yunkapata

And again, such beautiful views

Me sat on the terraces, moments after txting a certain someone... miss you foufi