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Friday 7th May
By Claire
Monday, 10th May 2004 18:22

Just a quick aside first - it hadn't occured to me that ordering mulled wine with brandy in it at 3800m would have quite the effect it did. And Mikey didn't even let me finish it. Eating trout and drinking wine? I'm turning into my father!

The taxi picked us up at 6.15 and it took about 45 minutes to get to the airport in Juliaca. We checked our bags in and sat in the waiting room when those six panpipe guys who play outside BhS in Bath turned up and delighted us all with some Peuvian music. The wait until 8.45 seemed very long, for some reason. The flight to Lima went via Arequipa and we flew over a cartoon volcano which was really cool. In all, it took about three hours to get to Lima and we were met at the airport by a man with a sign again! It was one thing to be met at a bus station, but an airport? That's two wishes all in one! He took us on a very long ride to the bus station and Mikey and I checked our bags onto the bus and went to look for chocolate. We found it in a Shell station, which was very satisfying.

At about 1pm, half an hour before the bus was due to leave, a lady took us out of the main bus station and let us sit oncomfy setees and put HBO on the telly just for Mikey. About 10 minutes later she led us to the bus which was a bit confusing. The trip to Nazca was about 8 hours, and much of it was very foggy. We drove along the west coast of Peru and could often see the Pacific Ocean. It was quite rough and looked very cold, but I still fancied a swim. All along the beach were hundreds of enormous huts, containing thousands of chickens, stretching for miles. And a little beach hut with a Coca Cola sign saying "Restaurant Kevin" which made us laugh.

There were three films on the bus: Masterminds, in which Captain Jean Luc Picard takes school children hostage, Josh Lyman pays the ransom and Connor form Angel saves the day; Spiceworld (which defies description) and City of Angels which I quite enjoyed. The films were punctuated by the obligatory Peruvian cheese, ham and chicken sandwiches, but this time on bread that was almost real. And Inca Cola, the local soft drink: a luminous yellow affair that tastes a bit like bananas and bubblegum.

In Nazca we were met by a taxi driver who made the hundred yard journey across the road to the hotel into a 5-minute trip by going round a few roundabouts and we checked into the hotel and were told that our flight to the Nazca lines was at 10am. One thing that was strange though was that the vouchers from the tour operator had all specified 'matrimonial beds' for the hotels, but every one we'd been two had twin singles in it. Maybe that's what matrimonial means here.

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