Week two! Exploring and finding routine

By Ughetta Pratesi

Week two and beginning of week three are going quickly, I feel like it was just yesterday that we arrived in Chincha but a lot has happened since. Right now I’m sitting outside our studio in Laran, the afternoon sun shining bright, Sarah and Irina are teaching the pre-professional class.

The students we are working with area now familiar faces and the same goes for places, as we got to know Chincha and Laran we found a sort of familiarity in the daily routine of classes, taxis and rehearsals! The shop where we buy chocolates or the pop-corn street vendor, the usual chit-chat with the taxi drivers, or the shop we go for water that always try to overcharge us!

The more comfortable we got with the colourful Peruvian lifestyle, the more we wanted to explore, so last weekend was packed with activities. We left our “castle” early on Saturday morning, got a bus to Pisco to visit Paracas Natural Reserve, an absolutely stunning protected area where the desert meet the Pacific Ocean. The only problem was we slightly misjudged distances from the map and we ended up being rescued by a lovely couple who gave us a ride to the nearest beach, Playa La Mina, as what we thought was a walkable distance turned out to be a 12 km journey in the desert!

The water there was crystal clear, we did kayak, swim and sunbathe, beautiful!

On the way back we stop at Paracas for a few Pisco sours and food before heading for Nazca, a small town farther south, famous for the Nazca lines, geoglyphs build in the desert by the Nazca people, a pre-Inca civilization. The lines were only discovered in the 1920s and, as they cover a very big area, the best way to view them is by flying over them on very small planes so we did that as well…an experience we are extremely proud to have made and really glad we will never do it again!

But it was worth it, the lines were beautiful and so precise, my favourite design was the hummingbird and the one they called the astronaut. There are even theories that the lines are landing signs for Aliens!

After we headed back to Ica, we wanted to visit the “bodegas”, the Pisco vineyards but it was too late so we decided for a visit to Huacachina, an oasis close to Ica that turned out to be exactly what you would imagine, a green lagoon and palm trees, surrounded by high sand dunes! The place was full of locals swimming, enjoying the afternoon sun, drinking, dining, and the most fun activity of all: sandboarding! Great place!

After a beautiful sunset and with sands everywhere for the many falling while attempting to sand boarding, we got a bus all the way back to Chincha.

Awesome weekend! So far we’ve learned that buses in Peru’ are very reliable, that Sarah should not fly on tiny planes for a very long time and that the Eyewitness guide I got, combined with a very basic understanding of Spanish and a great team work, can take you safely all the way to Nazca and back!