Friday, March 30, 2012
So we board the bus for the 1 hour 20 minute ride to our next destination, Ica, Peru. But first I allow my camera a few shots around the bus station. Then it’s time for a short ride across the Peruvian desert.
It is very desolate here. The police checkpoint checks our papers and we go through a toll booth. We even see a grape vineyard before going into a manicured city square. But more desolation in the form of half destroyed building assault our senses. But then we arrive and check into our next hotel, the Villa Jazmin. This place is a 5 star oasis in the middle of a 3rd world country.
The morning has been eaten up and we are reminded that it is lunchtime. So our next taxi driver takes us first to a comfortable restaurant, but not before driving by a roadside ditch where we witness locals washing their laundry in the culvert. Once in the restaurant, “La Olla de Juanita”, we enjoy a well prepared meal of chicken and have our first “Pisco Sour”, a drink similar to a Margarita only with Pisco, a type of Brandy that is proprietary to Peru. The drink is topped off with whipped egg whites, go figure. But it was delicious!
After we are done with lunch, our driver heads out into a deserted desert. If he wanted to rob us and leave our bodies, we unlikely would be found for a long time. These thoughts go through our heads for what reason I do not know. But our driver is a pleasant guy and speaks enough English to describe what we are seeing and he brings us uneventfully to our destination, “Tacama Winery”, the oldest winery in Peru.
We walk into the winery just as the day workers are leaving. Every worker is inspected and frisked by a security team to make sure they are not taking anything out that they shouldn’t be. It is a bit unsettling to say the least. We are ushered into a waiting area/tasting room to await our guide for the tour.
Our guide takes us around and gives us the history of the winery and shows us some of the old and some of the new equipment that is used to make wine and to make Pisco! She even takes us up into a bell tower to see an overview of the vineyards. Elee hams it up and pretends to take a drink directly from a keg and my camera chuckles!
Now it’s time to go back to our hotel, the oasis in the desert. Dilapidated buildings and poverty surround us. It is eye opening.
Back in the serenity of our hotel, we don our swim costumes and take a refreshing dip in the sparkling blue water. The swim up bar speaks of luxury that people within 100 feet of this place will likely never know. My camera is whining about taking night photos so I find a couple angles for it to do its thing! In our room, the one thing that reminds us of the fact this is a 3rd world country is a sign in the bathroom. The same sign has been in every bathroom in the country, it says, “If it didn’t go through your body, don’t let it go in the toilet!” That’s right, nothing in toilets in Peru that you didn’t digest. Toilet paper? Put it in the trash can, period.
See you all in the morning for the next adventure!