Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 3, 2014 Nasca to Chalhuanca

After a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel we set the GPS for Chalhuanca which is in the Andes. The temperature at 7:30 am was 24 degrees C. and it wasn't long before we saw the desert in the rear-view mirror and set our sights on the Andes, higher elevations and cooler temperatures (at one point 10 degrees C.). The first hour and a half the landscape is very bleak with virtually no vegetation and then, without any warning everything turns green. The road is extremely winding with lots of switchbacks and again huge elevation changes, at one point the GPS reads in excess of 4200 meters above sea level.
Looking back at Nasca and the twisty road.
There are free range llama, alpacas, vicuna's everywhere and they will graze up to the edge of the highway. The vicunas are extremely fast and you need to be paying attention to their whereabouts.
 Vicuna's, a wild relative of the Llama.
 Diana was able walk slowly towards the Llama's and Alpaca's and get within 3 meters of them.
Nice hair accessories on this little one.

Tonight's forecast is for a low of 2 degrees C. and the hotel does not have heaters but they do have these massive wool blankets on the beds. If I die in my sleep it will probably be from a collapsed lung due to the weight of the blankets.
 The long and winding road through the Andes.
 The locals build miles of these stone fences for their animals, the stones are stacked and don't use mortar to hold them together.
 In the Andes we've noticed a change in building technique, at this abandoned settlement they've used a mixture of mud and straw to form uniform sized blocks to build the houses and fences. They have also used stones that are stacked together to form a fence or building. (in the desert and on the coast they used either cinder blocks or clay bricks) 
 Nice ear tags on this cow.


  1. Hi Ken & Diana! We just returned from our two-week vacation to West Palm Beach, Florida (which pales severely in the adventure category to the one you're on, but nonetheless, it was a nice break from Winterpeg). I'm just catching up on reading your blog and I just have to say - your pics are absolutely spectacular, as is the narrative!!! They both depict your experiences is such a way that truly reflects the people, the culture and the landscape of where you've been. Ie. I'm living vicariously through your blog!! As are many other people, no doubt! Continue to travel safe and I look forward to following your story as it unfolds! Take care, cousin Brenda :)

  2. Hi Brenda & James, We've been watching the Winnipeg weather and would agree that Florida is certainly a nice change from the snow and cold. Meeting and talking with the people, even with our limited Spanish has been the best part of our adventure and they almost always want to know if we are enjoying their home country. Some have even given us their cell phone numbers and are insistent that we call them should we have any concerns or problems during our travels in their country. Glad to hear you're enjoying the blog. We are off to the Amazon later this week and hopefully we can get some good photos of the jungle and it's wildlife.
    regards, Ken