Day 51: How Pisco is Made

Wed. 3rd October 2012

Pisco and PaddingtonIt was good to have a lie in this morning as we had opted out of the boat trip to Islas Ballestas to see penguins, sea lions and dolphins. We had been advised it would be disappointing after visiting the Galapagos and so decided to give it a miss.

Everyone else came back quite enthusiastic and with loads of photos – and told us that we missed out on lots of penguins (as we only saw one in the Galapagos).

Today we transfer to Nazca and will be continuing to drive down the Panamerica Highway that runs all the way from Alaska down to southern Chile. Yesterday we saw alot of desert and really began to appreciate what they mean when they claim that Chile has three climate zones – desert (by the coast), mountains (where we will soon be heading) and the jungle.

Our first stop is a winery where we first have a very superficial tour of how they used to make Pisco (grapes introduced by the Spanish but local fermentation process), followed by a tasting of both neat Pisco and then some mixes containing Pisco.  The 46% and the 42% Pisco was very strong but the Pisco Sour one and the one like Baileys were quite quaffable even at 11AM. We are not the only ones travelling with a mascot and Paddington is very appropriate for this part of our travels. Olly will shortly be meeting Paddington – he has been complaining that he hasn’t seen the light of day for a while.

Oasis in the desertWe were then ready to a snooze as we drove to  Huacachina Oasis  for sand boarding and lunch. We were not brave enough to sign up for the sand boarding, even after the Pisco tasting as we had envisaged something like surfing or snow-boarding but on unforgiving sand. Those who went said it was brilliant and spent more time bouncing around in a dune buggy than on a board, and even then it was lying down rather than standing up. They are however, still finding sand in eyes and ears etc 12 hours later. Meanwhile the rest of us had a leisurely lunch and stroll around the oasis – very pleasant.

Viewing tower for Nasca LinesBack on the bus to the next stop which was viewing the Nazca lines from a tower. I have opted for the safer/cheaper option (50p each) of viewing from this tower, whereas Dave has signed up for the flight tomorrow to see them in more detail. The idiots explanation is  they are like crop circles but in the rocky landscape. I am sure Dave will provide the technical explanation with pictures tomorrow! From the tower it was possible to make out the hands and part of a tree which was quite impressive and enough for me.Sparce landscape

Our Hotel is in a quiet location outside Nazca but has the luxury of a swimming pool which we hope to use tomorrow. However the food leaves a lot to be desired and as the only guests, we had to negotiate an extension on the bar opening hours from 9pm to 11pm closing time.

This entry was posted in Peru, RTW Trip and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *