Pisco (San Martin), Peru

We’ve just had two more sea days – which we enjoy so much.  There are a lot of activities going on around the ship and the weather is getting warmer, so many passengers are taking advantage of the sun to swim and lounge around the spas and three swimming pools.

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This morning, Sunday 18 March, we headed off to see some of Peru.  One of the few counties where the desert goes right down to the ocean.  Once again, quite a long coach ride of about 90-minutes each way to reach our destination of Tambo Colorado, to explore one of Peru’s best-preserved examples of Inca coastal architecture, dating back to 1470.  Once home to about 200 special women, who may have been sold or sacrificed, there was much still intact, even down to faded bands of red, still visible on the outer walls.  We walked through several living areas on different levels, bed chambers, bathrooms etc while the guide told us how the Incas came to reign over such a vast empire.  Very interesting history.

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We passed through the town of Pisco, where the very poor live in shanty town, with no electricity or water connected; others in small square houses, flat roofed with unfinished upper floors to avoid paying taxes.  The result is depressing, with lots of rubble on top of the houses.  Some buildings are collapsing and left as is.

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Even though we had driven through sand dunes near the ship, there were green areas further along where farmers have utilized bore water to grow fields of corn, asparagus, cotton and grapes, using centuries-old irrigation techniques.  We also saw nomads with their goat herds who eke out a living by selling goats cheese.

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Something of interest was our guide’s mention of Pisco Sour.  We told him we’d tried it several times already, to which he laughed and said that this drink is really the national drink of Peru, not Chile!  Who knows?  We did pass through the town of Pisco, after all!  It sounds like a bit of rivalry between the two countries about this special brandy.  When we got back to the ship, there was a market set up outside and, on his recommendation, I found someone giving out sample shots and tried it straight, without the lemon – it had quite a kick.

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