We enjoyed our time in Lima-the capital of Peru-and visited the old town-which was full of beautiful plazas and buildings and Miraflores-the modern part of town. On one trip to the old town, we came upon a group of older people who were dancing to salsa music in a square. Others watched them, whilst knitting, chatting and just generally having a lovely time with their friends. Gav and I sat down to watch them and you can guess the rest. I could not resist joining them and I ended up dancing very badly, but with much enthusiasm, with the elderly ladies who were so happy and we laughed a lot.
One evening, in the Velo cafe, Gav and I had 3 great cocktails prepared for us by Michael. We then went to bed and fell fast asleep. The next day-we saw Michael in the afternoon and he told us that at midnight, his partner, Fatima, had fallen when coming out of the shower and really hurt herself. He told us she was screaming in agony(their apartment was just above ours) and that he knocked on our door to see if we could help. The ambulance came and noisily managed to manoeuvre her on a stretcher down the corridor and stairs outside our apartment whilst she screamed in pain. We did not hear a thing! we must have been knocked out by the cocktails-we couldn`t believe it! That evening, the Velo cafe got quite busy and Michael was on his own due to Fatima`s accident. We stepped in to help and had a great 2 hours waiting on tables, making crepe mix and washing up. I felt a little like Manuel from Fawlty Towers serving at the table with my limited Spanish and quite clumsy nature!
Following our boat trip-we headed for Nazca, stopping at a view point where you could see a couple of the Nazca lines. The Nazca lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca desert. Hundreds are simple lines and geometric shapes and more than 70 are designs of animals. Scholars believe that they were created by the Nazca culture between 500 BC and AD 500. The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. The largest figures are up to 1,200 ft (370 m) long.
At the end of the day we went to visit the Chauchilla cemetery outside of Nazca, where we also planned to wild camp for the night. Chauchilla Cemetery is an eerily compelling place, notable for its open pit graves where the bodies of the dead still sit were they were positioned centuries ago. Some remain complete skeletons, wrapped in shrouds, and all the skulls face east as Nazca tradition dictates.
The human remains were originally coated in resin and clothed in cotton before being placed in their open mud-brick tombs, helping to account for the remarkable preservation of the bodies. In spite of their age, many still have hair while others retain their skin. It was a fascinating, if not slightly macabre place although we got an excellent night's sleep here because there was none to disturb us, only the mummies in their graves nearby!