Category Archives: Peru

Ica, day 2: I want my momia

This morning I went to the Museo Nacional de Ica. It´s devoted to the archaeology of this region, which spans thousands of years. The Inca were preceeded by many other advanced cultures in this part of Peru, each one replacing the one before it. I gor ro experience this backwards since the front desk staff warded off my attempt to start in prehistory and go forward, and instead had me start with the Inca and go backwards. I don´t know if this was a meaningful inversion, since I think they really wanted to send me to the Mummy room first, which happens to be at the front (or is it back?) end of the museum.

Mummies, or momias as they like to call them in that crazy language they speak here, are a big deal hereabouts. The dry desert terrain seems to have been ideal for preserving bodies buried in tombs by the various cultures that rose and fell. I think they think this is uniquely appealing to foreigners, because this section of the museum had more signage than any other. Well it WAS uniquely appealing to me- I love my momia(s).

I also got to see numerous skulls which had been trepenated. This primitive form of brain surgery performed in peru consisted of cutting incisions into the skull, many of which show evidence of healing over, i.e. the people this was performed on lived for a long time afterwards. I finally made it all the way backwards in time only to have to wade through a huge German tour group that was going from prehistory forward. Preferred time directionality is apparently inverted foir Europeans vis a vis Americans.

That was the morning, as opposed to the afternoon, where nothing I tried to do worked right. My attempted next stop was the Museo Cabrera Piedra. The taxi drivers insisted there was no such place. I finally ended up going back to my hotel, getting the travel guide that I had attempted to not lug around all day, and confirming the exacr address. Hail another taxi there. On the way, the screw on my glasses came loose and the lens popped out. After an emergency stop at an Optica, where everyone was very helpful and friendly, I finally arrived. Only to find the Museuo closed, with two padlocks on the door.

I take it there´s a lesson here somewhere. Maybe it´s that things can not work out, you deal with it, and it´s okay. I definitely feel like I´m now relearning that lesson, which I knew so well from travel situations in younger days. On the plus side of the afternoon, being downtown with nothing to do gave me a chance to confirm the bus time to Nazca for tomorrow (about a 2.5 hour trip), and to buy my long distance tickets from Nazca to Cusco, which I´m going to do later in the week. Maybe everything does work out.

I´´m done in twon for the day, soon to head back to my lagoon. Perhaps I can eat in the outdoor restaraunt where a guy with a pan pipe and ten string ukulele serendaes patrons with a roatation of Guantanamera, La Bamba and a Simon & Garfunkle medley. Ah, Earth…

What the hell do I know about Peru?

Okay, so I’m starting to get a little nervous about this trip. Nervous maybe isn’t quite the right word. Jarred by it’s reality and immanence is perhaps more accurate. When I started planning it around a year ago, it was a year away. Now it’s just days, and now I’m thinking-

WHAT THE HELL DO I KNOW ABOUT PERU?

It’s like I decided to go, did all necessary footwork, and now I’m getting ready to go. What kind of shit is that? It makes me wonder what else I might do under the same principle. Maybe this time next year I’ll be the king of the world!

But first I’m going to Peru. August 3rd-17th. I’ll try to write in from the road from time to time. See you all when I get back!