No food, no hats, no way home!

Trip Start Mar 31, 2010
Trip End Apr 25, 2010

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Flag of Peru  , Lima,
Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rather than spend a fortune on a guided tour we decided to do Pachacamac alone.  Despite warnings from the desk staff that it was extremely difficult to get to, and that even many locals weren't sure how to get there by public transport, we figured that we could take a taxi and do it alone for a quarter of the price....and at the same time, get a better insight into the local culture.  Wearing our trusty Sea-Bands and with a sense of steely determination, especially when we were quoted only 20 soles for the ride, we set off.  Aware of, but mostly having forgotten, our experience of being driven in Lima the day before, we gazed out of the windows at the mass of traffic on the streets and observed how dangerously they all seem to drive. Sarah suddenly pointed ahead as two lorries, side by side on a two lane road came hurtling towards us! I'm not sure how we avoided a collision as my eyes were firmly shut as I waited for the impact that never came. We eventually arrived in one piece - not looking forward to the ride back, and wondering how we would get back anyway, particularly as there were no other taxis anywhere to be seen!
Pachacamac is in the in the desert in the middle of nowhere and is, as described, an 'enormous' archeological sight.  In fact I think its over 7km long. Of course, most visitors arrive by car or with a bus tour - no-one (with the exception of us) walks around it, as it is vast. Not only is it vast, its hot, dusty and in the desert!!  We suddenly realised how unprepared we were, 100 degrees plus with no water, no hats and no way home!
We walked and walked, enjoying the lack of crowds, the quietness and the sun - whilst exploring the remains of the many Wari culture temple-pyramids.  Finally my bladder could take no more and being miles from the visitors centre, I squatted in a conveniently large dip of ruins while Sarah kept look out.  Suddenly, from the direction opposite where Sarah was looking, an open top red double decker bus appeared, loaded with tourists and cameras.  Too late for a warning shout from Sarah who was incredulous that such a vehicle could possibly appear here, in the desert!  I, red-faced and highly embarrassed, emerged from the sandy dip I was crouched in, only to wonder what sort of photos these people would now have on their cameras.  As you can imagine we spent the rest of the day in fits of laughter.  Sarah has a reputation for being the worst lookout, and she certainly lived up to that today! A big, red double decker bus, how can that be?
We eventually managed to arrange for a taxi back to Lima but it cost us a massive 50 soles this time. With 'ignorant gringos' written all over us, we had no choice but to agree.
Back in Lima it was time to meet up with the group we were to be travelling with for the next few weeks.  Two Australians, two Canadians, two Brits (from Essex) and Carmen our tour leader. After an expensive, but mediocre dinner, with even more Pisco Sours and a Macchu Picchu pisco we returned to our hotel to nurse the severe sunburn (even on our feet) that we had suffered due to over exposure in the desert earlier! Very tired tonight, but really looking forward to the start of our amazing adventure tomorrow, when we will be taking a four hour bus ride to Pisco.  No prizes for guessing what that town is famous for!
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