Thursday, September 02, 2010

09 August: Pisco to Nazca

We were up quite early again this morning (05h30) to be ready for a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands. It's strange to me how similar it felt to the boat ride I did in Swakopmund, apparently because they're both West Coastlines, or so my Ageing Aunt tells me. The land at the port was pretty much all sand. The launch was full of pelicans and blue-footed boobys and we saw dolphins as we were going out on the boat too. En route to the islands we stopped for a look at El Candelabro on the cliffs. Apparently the Incas and "The Extraterrestrialies" made it :P I suspect that it was never supposed to represent a candle-stick (or some kind of ancient lighthouse, like we were joking!), but rather more likely to be a cactus (perhaps?).

And then it was on to the Islands themselves. They are completely barren and all rocky outcrops with awesome holes thru the rock and almost every surface is covered with birds. Mostly the boobys, and some pelicans and cormorants. There are a few seals around as well (nothing like Cape Cross in Namibia, which is sorta what I was expecting). It was quite interesting to see but, I'll be honest and say I'm not sure it was worth it personally.

After that we climbed into a private bus and drove to Ica (apparently one of the only towns in the world that is built around a sand dune). We went and had lunch at the Huacachina oasis. Had a delish avo stuffed with shredded chicken, carrots, peas and mayonnaise ("What's your favourite condiment?") called Palta Rellena. It seems to be quite a common dish because I've seen it on most of the menus. Also tried Inca Kola for the first time, it's a luminous yellow fizzy drink.

After lunch we took a wander around the oasis. I can only imagine what it would've been like long ago to come over the top of these giant dunes and find it there!

Then we went to a local distillery to hear about the history of Peruvian wine and how they make Pisco. It was quite interesting to see a small production site like that (it's still used in the summer months to make Pisco). Then they showed us how to test the purity of the Pisco and we got to taste a few different Pisco's (made with different grapes) and their Vino Perfecto Amor ("Perfect Love", which is a lot like sherry), which is also called "the Twin Maker" after some old local story they told us (can't find it online). And then they demonstrated how to make a Pisco Sour, which is quite easy :)

After starting on the alcohol, we decided to get some beers (Cristal) to drink on the bus (honestly, I can *not* believe how much beer I drank on this trip due to lack of options ... since I never drink beer in South Africa!). Eventually, we arrived at Hostel Alegria in Nazca and then went to dinner. Tonight I tried Aji de Gallina, which is quite a bit like a curried chicken dish and I really liked it.

After dinner we went for a drink and I had "Sex on Nazca Lines" (they were all Pisco-based cocktails). It was quite strong!!


Tamara said...

That avo dish sounds amazing!

And the oasis... wow. I would love to see something like that.

Does Inca Kola taste nice? I think I'd have to drink it with my eyes closed.

AngelConradie said...

So are you still not a beer drinker?

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