Monthly Archives: August 2008

Blog from the Black Lagoon: Huacachina, Peru

Im writing this from Huacachina, an honest to gosh desert oasis comprised of a bunch of hotels and hostels clustered around a dark little lagoon near Ica, Peru. I arrivd by bus from Lima, a roughly 5 hour ride down a coastal highway with la playa on one side and the desert on the other. It was beautiful, and not too long. Anyway, I got to share the experience with a double-decker busload of European tourists, and what could be better than that?

I did meet one American today though, a minister from a church group that brought 300 people here to visit prisoners, provide medical care to the poor, etc. He said they even gave some people heart valve replacements. This made me wonder-are there church groups in the US arranging for poor people to have heart valve replacements and I just dont hear about it? If not, there ought to be! Not that its a replacement for a national health care policy, but in the lack thereof it would be a nice adjunct.

As long as Im waxing political, I should mention that I saw Obama posters on freeway overpasses all around Lima. That may not be a good thing for him- being popular with foreigners is probably a big negative in US Presidential politics.

All right, Im going to wax back in my room soon. I look forward to seeing the lagoon in the daylight tomorrow, and then going museum-hopping in Ica.

Greetings from Lima!

Ive wandered down to the hotel business center. Please excuse the lack of apostrophe- South American keyboards are perplexing.

I feel kind of like its (much) later on the same day I left, since my flight was after 1:00 AM on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Im just here for one night, then off by bus to Ica tomorrow. Ica has amazing archaeological goodies, and is on the way to Nazca, where the giant figures are drawn in the desert and only visible from the air.

My head is approaching maximum fuzziness, so Ill keep this brief, and head off to find dinner of some sort. The flights were really very smooth. Flights as in there was a stop-over in San Salvador, El Salvador. The most amazing part of that (other than a kerfluffle with an unanounced gate change that sent everyone connecting to Lima scrambling) was that there are active volcanoes on the way to the airport. Big cindery mountains, belching steam, which was quite a sight.

As for Lima, my exposure has been somewhat limited so far. I did notice that, for all the trepidation I had about not having done this kind of thing in so long, many of my travel instincts as honed in Asian are coming right back. In terms of physical infrastructure, if somebody made everyone here Asian and changed the spanish to chinese, it would be an a lot like a big city in China. It even smells like urban China- some kind of combination of diesel fuel and pervasive construction dust.

Ill share more, soon as can be. For now Im off to find dinner, and then rendezvous with the bath Ive been dreaming of for lo on these many hours…