This and That

January 4, 2011

Day 8-9 Lima,Ica,Nasca

Filed under: travelogue, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — yaadayaada @ 6:09 am

On Day 8, packed our bags and the hotel staff dropped us at the airport and we left for Lima. We arrived at Lima around 10am and our tour operator/guide Mr.B was waiting for us much to our delight. We had paid him 60% cash advance and were praying all the Gods that he shows up! After getting some money from the ATM, we set off on our van ride to Ica. We went through downtown Lima to have a glance. Got delayed a bit due to some political rally. Lima is a city just like any other with its variety of neighborhoods (upscale, commercial, authors, touristy, etc).

The ride to Ica was long, stopped around 2pm for lunch. Had a good lunch of Pasta at a nice restaurant and what do we see when we were nearing Ica, see for yourself…. Bajaj Auto…

By the team we reached Ica, it was close to 5pm and our Sand buggy driver Mr.Ricardo was waiting for us. It was amazing to see the sand dunes in the middle of a town. We got into our own sand buggy and headed towards the dunes. It was a wonderful experience. The kids had a wonderful time riding the sand dunes. Right when we thought we had enough fun, the driver stopped on top of the dune and asked us to sand board. Wow, we had such a great time. The kids immediately declared that this was the best part of the trip.

After loads of fun, returned to our hotel. Had a dip in the pool with the kids, made some upma for dinner and called it a night.
Next day morning, after an early breakfast and rendezvous with parrot and parakeets, left for Nazca. Reached Nazca airport around 10:30am, and our flight was waiting for us. After a quick weight check and security check boarded our own Cessna 12 seater. Two more tourists joined us. It was a funny feeling for all of us since it was the first time, any of us were in a small plane. But we were so excited to see the lines. So the first few lines were fine, after the 2-3 line viewing, the 3 and 4 year old went to sleep. The rest of us were fighting nausea. Since I was holding hands with Chula who had to sit by herself across my seat, had to put a brave front. Chula held up very well. Since the pilots tilt the plane for us to see the lines, it really got to us. Somehow managed the short 25 minute flight without any major crisis. It was one adventurous ride viewing the mysterious Nazca lines.

After the flight, took a nice massage, did some souvenir shopping and left for Chauchilla tombs. It was interesting. But I wouldn’t recommend it if you are pressed for time. Then we stopped in a winery for lunch. Had awesome custom made vegetarian fried rice there. Got a personalized tour of the ancient pisco making process. Also picked raw mangoes from the grove there. We also got a nice tasting of the various piscos and wines made there. Then we raced back to Lima to catch our flight. Reached airport around 9:30pm. Thanked Mr.B for the wonderful and safe trip and waved Good Bye to beautiful Peru one last time.

December 19, 2010

Peru Trip Day 1 and 2 – SFO to Cusco

Filed under: travelogue — Tags: , , , , , , , , — yaadayaada @ 7:35 pm

Utbt, her husband, kids M & C, my husband and I left SFO on a Thursday morning for Lima with our 6 baggage and 6 backpacks in tow. I had packed idlies for everyone just in case. And that was a savior since the vegetarian food served by LAN was horrible to put it mildly. We reached Lima at around midnight. Our flight to Cusco was at around 6am. So we waited at the exchanged some money and slept off in the window sill while the kids slept on baggage carts. Finally left at around 6am. The flight to Cusco was short and sweet, the scenery from up above and the landing was breath-taking.

We were greeted by our hotel staff. They took us to the hotel. A majestic statue of King Pachacutti welcomed us to the city. Our rooms were in the 3rd floor, the hotel staff managed to lug our baggage up. The altitude was slowly getting to us. Cusco is at an elevation of 11,200 ft. We had a nice breakfast with Coca tea(helps with altitude sickness) and slept for a couple of hours to catch up on lost sleep. Our friends(R, K and kids S and K) from New Jersey arrived at around 10:30am. After catching up and some more rest, we rented a van to take us around the town. First we stopped at an Indian restaurant(India Cafe I think) in Cusco. Not too bad. Then we left to see Cusco ruins.

We took the partial ticket to see the 3 ruins and hired an English speaking guide to show us Sacsayhuaman ruins. The ruin is from 11th century.

The walls are still intact but the towers were destroyed by the Spanish and the stones used to build the main buildings and the churches in Cusco. The view of Cusco from the ruin is breath-taking. Cusco city is build in the shape of a Puma. From there we were driven to Tambomachay, that is the baths/resort for the Incans.


After a quick view Puca Pucara which is the guard post, we drove back to Cusco at dusk soaking in the colorful city. Stopped on the way at the Cusco market and went crazy shopping for souvenirs and Alpaca woolen clothes. Came back to our room and had yummy chappathis and theplas that we had taken with us and called it a day since we had an early day next morning.

December 7, 2010

What a vacation! Planes, trains and automobiles!

Filed under: travel tips, travelogue — Tags: , , , , , — yaadayaada @ 12:41 am

Had a great time the past 10 days in Peru! More than Peru, it was a vacation with 2 of my best friends and their family!

We visited Machu Pichchu, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Ica Sand dunes and Nasca lines. It was a last minute trip. Utbt initiated it, husband and I joined in. We started planning, when I say we, mainly utbt. Then friend R decided to join us on the trip from the east coast. So it was one marathon planning. We started planning this trip 3 weeks before thanksgiving. We planned to leave on thanksgiving day and be back the next weekend. We knew where and when we were going, but haven’t done a thing other than our flight booking. The last 10 days before the trip saw us running around crazy calling/mailing every possible hotel/travel agent to get the booking done. We decided to book by ourselves instead of going with a travel agent since we thought it would save us money. It did save us money but completely drained us out. Peru is very much like India when it comes to using credit cards and internet. Add to this the language barrier. Most don’t speak English. We booked hotels via emails. Tripadvisor was very helpful in deciding where to stay. For Nasca, we booked via a travel agent, but we had to wire him 1000+ dollars before we reached there. So we were left wondering if he would show up. We finalized on the Nasca trip and Arequipa hotel only the day before Thanksgiving. Finally left on Thanksgiving day and had the time of our life! It was Utbt’s dream vacation and we lived it along with her and enjoyed it more than her! The kids were rock solid through out the vacation. Meija and Chula of Utbt and S & K of friend R. Age 3,4,5,6. They were just awesome! They held up better on the 10000 feet plus altitude than their parents!

Travelogue and Travel tips to follow soon!

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