Peru ll-An Adventure in The Land of the Incas

Wednesday, November 15,  2017

Part ll

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The Mossone hotel where we stayed while at Huacachina Oasis is an 132 year old resort. While I am pretty certain the guests back in those early days were not treated to the thrills an chills available to modern day guests via wild and crazy dune buggy rides in the dunes, those early days did offer a very tranquil, restful stay as you can see from these photos of the peaceful, relaxing courtyard and covered porticos. Our stay at the Mossone, even with somewhat dated rooms, was enjoyable. Rocking contentedly, the soothing sunlight wrapping its’ warmth upon me, I looked forward to more exciting adventures in the days ahead.         

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This part of Peru is dry and conducive to growing grapes. We were next to learn more about the national liqueur, Pisco, of which we had heard much soon after arriving in the country. We were told to be sure to enjoy the Peruvian national drink, the Pisco Sour (an accidental concoction that was intended to be a whiskey sour). It became an instant sensation and is offered throughout the country. 

Ica, Peru, the major city near to Huacachina Oasis, was the starting point of our education concerning wineries nearby, including the distilling of Pisco. Driving far out into the countryside over narrow dirt roads we visited a major winery set in the midst of its’ own lush surroundings. After touring many vintage buildings where the original processes were used, we then were introduced to the modern distillery. Different grapes, of course, produce different outcomes, as is true with Pisco(s). 

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While on the tour we learned more about the Spanish influences, including the ancient wine casks brought over to the New World, many with markings dating back several centuries.    

Compare the old ways of storing and the new ways.

While in Huacachina Oasis, a strap on my backpack tore loose and necessitated my buying a replacement. Surprising (to me) the city of Ica has a large shopping mall, very much like those in the US. With a multitude of store choices, our guide ushered me from one to another until we found a shop with a pack that met my needs. Between the two of us, we had bought several bottles of Pisco which added considerable weight to our duffel bags. In addition, having brought my laptop proved to be more burdensome than useful. So with the Pisco and laptop wrapped in my nearly useless backpack, we left those items with the tour representative with instructions to return the package to Lima, whereupon we would retrieve it when our trip ended on October 28th. With less weight, and concerns about breakage relieved, our next leg of the journey continued to the town of Nazca.

The Nazca Lines are the drawing card for this location. While planning our trip, I discovered this is the location of a marvel that I also have longed to see first hand. Upon the dry plains, centuries ago, the local natives etched designs into the earth, many in the form of living creatures (condors, spiders, hummingbirds, whales, trees, monkeys) and geometric designs. How they accomplished these feats and the purpose of creating them are a huge mystery.  A common belief is that they served a religious purpose, although there is some conjecture about a connection to other than earthly beings (outer space aliens?). Called geoglyphs, these marvelous drawings in the earth are most (and best) viewed from above in smaller airplanes. Our flight over the Nazca Lines was on a bright clear day, allowing us a fantastic viewing and narration from our co-pilot. The photos will speak for themselves. 

It is truly AMAZING!

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As you can see and imagine, these geogylphs are fascinating. And did you see the “astronaut” toward the beginning of these photos? A bit eerie, otherworldly, unearthly, don’t you think? All those lines look like runways and most are not caused by modern man. Many extend for miles out of sight from the aerial views. Leaves a lot for the imagination…

As we had soared to new heights over the Nazca Lines, as I had disclosed in ending the first part of this story, we were now about to begin ascending in elevation as our Peruvian adventure would take us from 1706 ft. to 7667 ft. above sea level to Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru.

u © Donald E. Kline 2012