The Amazon was so impressive that we will always carry a little part of it with us. Alas, a little part joined us quite literally to Lima. When we arrived on the 14th of December we were both feeling quite tired and later in the evening Jan got ill. With a big fever and a lot of sweating he lay in bed during the whole next day, that was sadly my birthday. I practiced some Spanish on the balcony of our room and felt that the bug would come and get me too very soon. We were a bit concerned because of the fever from the jungle and of course all the scary diseases you can catch come to mind: zika, dengue, malaria, another parasite, some unknown scary little worm… All websites from the Belgian government and the tropical institute warn about those fevers and tell you to go to see a doctor if your fever lasts longer then 24 hours. We decided to go to the hospital to ease our minds. When we got to the doctor, she informed us that it was probably just a bad cold or the flew. We asked her what the symptoms were for malaria and she said: “You feel like dying. Your tongue and eyes turns yellow. Worse than the flew.” We felt a bit stupid but were relieved that it would all be over in a few days.
We went to the beach to get some fresh air…well, if it wouldn’t have been for all the cars speeding along the shore. We quickly climbed back up again to Miraflores and went to a fancy restaurant to celebrate my birthday + a day. The food was awesome. Apparently Lima is in the top 5 of culinary cities world wide. That came as a nice surprise.
We called it an early night, and the following morning it was my turn to be ill. No fever for me but a very nasty cold in the warm capital of Peru. We decided to give ourselves some time to get better and to rest, so we booked another, more quiet hostel and watched the whole extended edition of the Lord of the Rings and all the Bourne movies. It was awesome. 🙂 Jan prepared raw red onions in lime juice, a very good meal for a sore throat.
After a small week we were feeling better. We hooked up with two Belgians who know our photography teacher and went to a nice little restaurant with them.
The food made everything better and the next day we felt strong enough to visit the historic center, half an hour bus ride away from Miraflores. We enjoyed the old buildings but soon felt quite tired again and had to rest in a nice café. The cool thing here is that they sell fresh fruit juices everywhere, so after a big jugo de piña we got energized and visited the catacombs, went for lunch and then back to the hostel, to make sure we would feel strong enough to travel on the following morning.
And we did! The bus to Paracas, a little village at the seaside, was super fancy. We even got blankets and a pillow, you could charge your phone, watch movies, play games and your seat could transform into a bed. It was almost sad the ride only lasted for three hours.
In Paracas we had a room with seaview and street noise. We enjoyed the Islas Ballestas, beautiful rock formations with loads of birds and sea lions and even some penguins.
Back on the mainland we strolled around the beaches and had some fun watching pelicans doing their thing.
The day of Christmas eve we traveled on towards Nasca, where the famous Nasca lines are. The mamita of the owner of the hostel, Roy, cooked a delicious Christmas meal and we got to know a lot of nice people.
The following day we drove around with our host to visit the Palpa lines and some Nasca lines you can see from a mirador, because the little planes that take you for half an hour, were 80$ and thus way over our budget. We saw a tree and a frog and an alligator that was cut in two by the Panamerican Highway, since the lines were only discovered after the road was built.
Roy explained about the Nasca-culture that existed from 200 BC till 1000 AD. They drew the lines, not for other humans to see, but to please the stars, the moon, their gods… Besides the drawings of tropical animals (that don’t live in the desert, but were probably gifts from visitors who heard about the great Nasca-culture) there are also lines, leading to graveyards or rivers. Very smart that seems.
In the afternoon Qiwei and Anurag joined us to the ruins of temples of the Nasca-culture. We drove about twenty minutes through the desert with barely any road. It was great! There was also a lot of wind and we had fun making pictures and listened to yet another explanation of Roy about the different functions of the temples and some of the Nasca-culture rituals.
Later on we visited the aqueducts, build by people who were punished and send to the desert of Nasca to die, but who outsmarted their superiors by building these great structures that bring groundwater to the city of Nasca.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and made some Bollywood pictures of Anurag dancing his heart out. (Only on facebook)
In the evening la mamita made some guinea pig for Qiwei to taste and I could try some too. It was delicious but I’ll keep it a secret, because our two nieces, Lies and Roos, have three of them as pets. 😉
The next day we took the night bus to Cusco. It was the cheapest bus we could find and even I didn’t have enough space for my short legs. The ride lasted 14 hours… yet another experience never to forget.