October 14, 2005
The first thing on the agenda for today was to get an overnight bus ticket to Arequipa. After searching around for awhile, Morad and I found a good deal on a bus with decent-sized seats and a bathroom for the 9-hour ride.
Next, Morad, Francesca, and I took a taxi to the ancient Nazca cemetery. The cemetery is thirty minutes from town and is only reachable by taxi. It was a hot, dry day in the desert, and it wasn't easy to walk very far without sweating. Still, the cemetery was very interesting. I wasn't expecting much, but there were about a dozen grave sites, complete with well-preserved skeletons from over 2000 years ago. Some of the bodies were so well-mummified in the hot, dry climate that they still had skin and hair. I didn't bring any water with me, so I had had enough after about thirty minutes.
After the cemetery, we ate lunch and Francesca and I decided to check out the Nazca aqueducts. We were shown how the ancient Nazca people were able to get water from the mountains to the desert in ancient times, and we were told that the aqueducts still function today. After walking to the bottom of one of the spiraled observation points, our guide proceeded to take out a chalice and drink the water that was passing by! This is incredible because the tap water here is not drinkable, by tourists or locals. After he finished his cup, he offered me some. Slightly worried about infectious diseases, I took a few sips. I hope there won't be any repercussions later.
I spent the next several hours getting my website up-to-date in preparation for the overnight bus ride. I think I'll stay in Arequipa for a week or so before moving on to Cuzco because I don't have to be there until the 24th of October.
The bus to Arequipa was 1 hour late, something I had yet to experience on my trip. It wasn't a really big deal, but by the time I finally sat down on the bus, I instantly fell asleep.