Where are we?

Driving back to the coast - Barranca and Àspero

We left our great little spot on Boxing day and started heading back to the coast.  It's about 200km, should be there mid afternoon. The scenery looks different when we drive back down, maybe because today it is sunny and when we arrived Christmas Eve it was cloudy and rainy.  Never noticed the horses before. Not often you see them, plus, I have yet to see a llama or alpaca anywhere other than behind a fence! Maybe once we get to Machu Picchu.  Which by the way is becoming quite a chore to try and book and make sure we are there on that date!  A lot of rigamarole to see those ruins! LOL!! My friend Sue was at MP a few years back so I told her, hey you're good at photoshop, take one of your pics and put us in it and I'll just use it! LOL!! And she did AND it looks real ;) ;)

Here we are in Machu Picchu😂😂😂😂😂 Looks real doesn't it!! Love it :) Thanks Sue 😘

Anyways, first I have to book the tickets for Machu Picchu, which I can't do on the government website until Jan 2. I could buy them on another site but never sure if it's legit. Plus the tickets are $25C more each.  Then I have to book the train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (no roads lead to Aguas Calientes- not for regular use anyways) Our plan is take the train Jan 7, go to the ruins Jan 8 and take the train back Jan 9th.  I booked the BnB for 2 nights since the price is only $26C a night for room, bathroom and breakfast. The place looks pretty decent. Don't want to book the train yet because it's expensive and if I can't get tickets for MP for Jan 8th we're screwed. So now I have to wait until Jan 2nd.  The good thing is that my cousin and his wife will be there at the same time so we still get to meet up and visit!

Buddy come to say good bye and looking for breakfast ;)

Nice little finca with a stone wall around the perimeter

These guys are smart, planting on the angle so the water doesnt wash away the seeds.

A man and his sheep - oh look a couple of black sheep LOL!!

How my head feels when we come down from the highlands! LOL!!

Going thru the canyon/valley before the coast

Yup a long ways down with no trees the stop the roll! LOL!!
I've probably mentioned this before when we are driving,  people try to wave us down thinking we are a collective! 😂 Once we get close they realize we are not and quickly put their hand down and go back to looking at their phone. If they are still looking I usually wave and smile. Today one guy was waving and then all of sudden smooths his hair when he drops his arm - so funny!

Once we get to Barannca we look for a  mall to find a grocery store. Happily we did find one and got a few groceries. Finally able to buy some sweet potatoes to make my veggie burgers. Not much else in this mall though.

Originally I thought we would go see the ruins at Caral outside of Barranca - which are the ruins from the Norte Chico civilization that lived here from 3000 BC to 1800BC. Thats means the ruins are 5000 years old!! But the road to those ruins are inland and on a crappy road that would take a couple of hours to drive.  So we decide to go to the Àspero ruins which are of the same age but the village is much smaller and the ruins are still mostly being excavated. Caral is suppose to be nicer.  This village which is one of about 19 along the Supe Valley is where the fishermen and family lived. They would trade their fish and shells for other things like weaving, vegetables with the Caral village.

We decide to drive out the the Àspero ruins which are about 30 minutes away and as we are driving along we're looking for a place to get the oil changed in Vanna - but didn't find anything. We've put on 8500KM so far,  so time for an oil change. When Dwayne checked the breaks a couple of days ago they are already half worn down 😲 Those roads in the highlands! We did get Vanna washed though at one of the roadside Lavadero carro - if you can afford a pressure washer and water tanks you have a roadside business :) S/15 ($6C)

When we get to Àspero it is closing so we asked if we could spend the night in the parking lot and go to the ruins in the morning. The guard called someone up and asked and guess it's no problem. This will be nice because they put the chain across the road to close off the site plus there is a guard on duty all night. Along with at least 10 dogs!! And every time any noise was made - like our pump starting up one dog would start barking and then the rest all chimed in!! OMG this could be a long night if they bark at anything that moves!

As it turned out they didn't bark all night and we had a very peaceful sleep. By 9:30 we go into the site and find out that we get in for only S/1 each since we are jubilados (retired people) :) BUT we have to have a guide go with us thru the site (to ensure nothing gets broken etc) but they only speak Spanish and it will cost us S/20 ($8C). I said that's kind of crazy since we won't understand much of what he is staying! The guy at the desk said he will try and get an English speaking guide - yes that would be nice. But it will take over an hour before he gets here! Ok lets go with the Spanish guide and work with him, since I don't want to walking out in the hot sun at noon! Because I KNOW it won't just be an hour ;) plus we want to get to Lima this afternoon.

So we start out and make the best of it. Not going to bad when all of a sudden the English speaking guide walks over to us to take over - Great! And he's pretty good with his English and goes thru everything in great detail.  The interpretation centre was interesting and then it was time to go out and walk in the hot sun and sand.  We walked to about 6 different sites that are still all undergoing excavation.  The main Huaca de los Idolos is the largest building being excavated. Then a number of small ones are still being worked on. Walked 4kms round there.

This site was actually discovered in 1905 but nothing was done until 2005 when 8500 tons of garbage was removed, since the site was used as a garbage dump since the 70's!!

Way back in 3000BC they knew to make these baskets out of reeds and put in rocks which were then put into the wall to give it a little wiggle room during an earthquake!

Here is a little more on it

A statute of a young Chico fisherman 

Picture of the area at the viewing stand

Back of the Huaca de los Idolos 

Stairs at the front

This shows the remains of the reed baskets that held the wall in place during earthquakes 

Still excavating the site

This is a large plaza in front of the Huaca 

Another building being excavated
They think this was a fish processing area 

And then the fish were stored in the ground in these holes 
After walking thru the site we then head towards Lima, 200kms away.  Can't get over all the sand dunes here.  Looks amazing with the Panamerican highway going thru parts of it. Also so many little houses all over the desert. There are also MANY chicken farms here in the desert. Guess a good place to have them. Lots of wind to blow the stink away! LOL!  But they do give jobs to the locals who all seem to have houses around the chicken farm.

Driving thru the desert and then.... 

All of a sudden there are plantations 

Then back to desert 

houses in the desert for workers at the chicken farms

And it's even a gated community! LOL!!

Chicken farms 

Coming up to a dusty city 

Looks like the roads are just sand to

But there is a sand business here

Why does it seem that we always seem to arrive into a big city on a Friday afternoon??  Lima has a population of 9M. 3M of them have to be crazy taxi drivers who don't care where they drive!! Then another 3M Peruvian drivers who DON'T have any idea of how to drive!! Unbelievable!! So far Ecuador is #1 for respectful and good drivers. The taxi vehicles are so banged up and dented it's a joke watching them! When we have to change lanes I just put out my arm and wave my fingers for traffic to stop and let us in just like taxi drivers! Kodos to Dwayne for getting us in and round Lima without a scratch! But what a lot of garbage as we drive into the city!! Just dumped along the side of the roads. Not just garbage but furniture, mattresses!! Maybe I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that it's all from the earthquake in May 2019.  We're going this way to try and avoid all the traffic on the main highway.  Plus we are looking for a Western Union to send money to Allianz in Argentina, who will be insuring Vanna when we are in Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. We do find an office and I had all the info on a piece of paper but the girl was asking to many questions I couldn't understand. Just send the money! So I gave up and called our daughter Nikki and asked her if she could go to the bank for us and send the money. No problem, she was going to the bank anyways later. Yeah!! So she went,  got it wired, sent me the receipt and I emailed it to the insurance rep to show it has been paid.  Oh ya guess I should send her an etransfer to cover the payment and wire charge 😃  Now have to print off the insurance policy at some internet place and we're ready to go into Bolivia :) But first we have still have another couple weeks in Peru.

Welcome to Lima!!

Look how bashed up that taxi is!!

Police directing traffic during rush time instead of watching the traffic lights 

Around the centre of Lima there are many nice looking buildings

Oh ya here we go, 2 lanes turning left that start off as 4!!

Dwayne liked this Jersey Dog LOL!!

San Martin Square

Since we aren't to sure yet of the city because of all the garbage we saw driving in, we stay in a secured parking garage for the first night which is right near the central plaza S/25 ($10C)  Once we are parked we walk around the area, have some pizza at Pizza Hut and back at the van by 7pm. Now this part of Lima is beautiful! So many beautiful buildings around the square! So much nicer than the outskirts of Lima. We found a place to buy some DVDs! Yes! new movies! Bought 5 - have to guess at the title because all in Spanish and they don't translate very well to English. I just look at the names of the actors to determine which ones to buy. We can change the language to English once we start watching it. Each movie S/2 (.80C)  We go back to Vanna and watch the movie Lucy in the Sky. Not bad :)

Next morning we leave the parkade and start our touring of Lima. That will be in my next blog :)


  1. Other than the central part of Lima which we thought was quite pretty, the rest of the city was the ugliest city we have ever visited and really have no desire to ever visit it again!

    1. That's true! Lots of garbage all over the place