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Southpark Jesus & the Andean Cross

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Yeah nerds, the pic is upside down. But check it out. It's only Southpark Jesus (Christian shindig, downtown Arequipa - Peru).

As we have a little downtime right now, we thought we would post up a few pics missing from our previous hasty thread. Once we locate a rifle that is... (to shoot the bastardo of a parrot that's outside our window. The feathered cnut has just worked out how to imitate a police siren.)

As stated, off to Buenos Aires on Friday (30th). Just booked ourselves an apartment:
http://www.sweethomebuenosaires.com/apartamentos_ampliado_en.php?id_Depto=86
One month of bad tango and cheap steak coming right up, yesssir!

Oh yeah, we're in Lima right now. Haven't updated route map, but who really gives a monkeys eh?! 2 days to explore, so we'll see y'all on the flip-side.

Roll 'em...

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Juanita. Incan sacrifice. Looking well...

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...after 500 years buried in Ampato. Sacrificed to pacify the volcano gods. (Pic taken from over 5000m above sea level - think Ampato peak is around 6500m?)

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Desert graves. Nazca.

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L-R: Andy, Lisa, Ricardo (pilot), Steve, Sarah, Adrianne. In front of our little plane, chartered to fly us out over the Nazca desert and the mysterious 'Nazca Lines'.

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And here they are. You'll probably need the high-res pic to spot anything though. 800 lines, 300 geoglyphs and some 70 biomorph animal and plant drawings. That's the Panamerican highway running right through them - I'm sure Maria Reiche is turning in her grave. You may also spot an observation tower down there too - where I got touched for by the gayest dude in South America!

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The 'Spaceman' (or Owlman), carved in rock, bottom left.

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Ica, Peru. The 'Inca trail' team off sandboarding in the desert.

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Looking for the perfect dune...

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Ready to roll...

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Shantytown, Nazca. People displaced following previous earthquake. (You may remember last August's quake? That essentially destroyed Pisco. Really ballbreaking to see the aftermath now - the church on the main square went down taking 400 people inside with it.)

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Random parrot, random house. Andes.

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Our crew for the Inca pilgrimage trail. More than 20 porters to support 15 of our sorry asses over 53km of high altitude exertion.

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Macchu Picchu. Sun temple. Main altar. Unfortunately no virgins handy to sacrifice. Well the missus is from Monkstown...cough.

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Tequile, Bolivia. Kid. Sign.

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Tequile. Archway. More bloody bowler hats. Eh?!

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Tequile. Men in traditional dress. The playa on right in pic is wearing the hat of a single man (you notice the white?), but he's only married. Gangsta.

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Tequile. Mudhouse. Dollhead embedded in wall. Eh?!

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Tequile, Titicaca. What a vista! The ubiquitous Inca Kola (Coca cola's product not competing in the Peruvian market? No problemo, just buy the competition out. Which they did.), and some damn fine quinoa soup.

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Titicaca. Uros women...

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...and the bad bwoy they use for catching fish.

This particular island had an internal dispute, and upon reaching no resolution the aggrieved party(s) brought out the saws and cut themselves off. Literally. Sawed off their part of the island. Floated off somewhere else for the quiet life. Quality.

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Puno. Hotel sign - 'no scruffs'. ('no pirates' maybe?) That's me f**ked then...

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Cuzco market. Anybody seen 'Village of the Damned'?

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A right royal Maoi laptop uprock on the blog machine...

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Raraku, Rapa Nui.

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Raraku. Maoi quarry. Original tool, and half complete Maoi statue in situ.

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Rapa Nui, 'Bellybutton of the Earth'. Strange magnetic stone, completely at odds with the geology of the island...

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Holds a certain 'mystical' significance amongst munchers of the lentil. Here's one...

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Hang on, that's the missus...

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S**t the bed captain, it's a Maoi dong!

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And where it all started. The first Polynesians arrived here, Anakena beach on Rapa Nui, several thousand years ago. Also where that crazy Finn Marko Kulju tried to steal a Maoi ear: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/26/7?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

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Santiago, Chile. Ice cream van. Or military vehicle deep cover...

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...on the Pio Nono, Bellavista. Real nice bohemian part of town.

Okay, we're gonna sign off now. But before we do, we gotta show you one of the sweetest things of the trip...

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The above mentioned porters from Inca trail cooked up me and the missus a kick ass wedding/honeymoon cake. I mean, this is on the Inca trail. And they cooked a cake. For us. Sweet Jaysus this was a magnificent gesture.

As the Andes are now becoming a backdrop to our lives (in much the same way as the Mekong river did for so long in S.E.Asia), from bathing our feet in glacial pools to sleeping above the clouds, let us introduce the Andean cross:

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Andean Cross, Macchu Picchu. Potent Andean icon. That particualr stone only forms the full cross on Solstice - the shadow on ground completing the symbol. If you look closely (maybe on the high-res pic) you'll notice my own smaller talisman resting upon the stone. Many theories - the triple step on each side representing the 3 layers of life (reminiscent of the 3 tiered Buddhist Wat roof), perhaps memorable Incan wars, pyramids, the 4 sections representing important ancient Incan territories, the 4 points representing the Southern Cross constellation...and so on.

And so it is that we are starting to feel South America getting under our skin. A certain je ne sais quoi we haven't felt since S.E.Asia. A more 'passionate' people for sure (did I mention my wedding ring and the sink incident in Santiago airport? Got a real 'passionate' bollocking from an airport official for taking apart the sink plumbing - you can guess what happened!). My thoery: http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2006/08/01/a_nation_of_cowards_blame_the.php (Well not mine, but Mr. Zimmer's. You know what I mean.) The fermented corn juice ('Chicha') tastes so damn good we just don't want to leave. (That Rio-London flight looking ever more likely to get moved...he he!)

But alas we must do one. We'll kick this place into shape when we settle in Buenos Aires. Until then, as always, all our love,

S&S
XO

EDIT: Maria Reiche devoted the latter part of her life to researching the Nazca Lines. Check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Reiche We would strongly advise visiting the Maria Reiche centre in Nazca before viewing (that p45 in the post for our researcher!). Also you get a chance to fit in some star gazing via their telescope - on the night of our visit we got to see a pretty damn flawless Saturn, rings and all! Result!

Posted by rea-neill 14:52 Archived in Peru

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