Long hard road to Cuzco

Next destination was Nazca in order to see the famed Nazca lines. It took another 3 hour bus ride to get there from Ica. Nazca itself is a fairly plain town which lives off the sand drawings that attracts hordes of tourists from everywhere. In order to see the lines you can buy a trip in a small airplane or go to one of the viewpoints in the desert. The flight was a bit expensive ($55) so we opted on the viewpoints instead. We had to take the Soyus-bus there (2 soles each) which was a 15 minutes drive away. The drawings are located next to the highway in the middle of the desert and we felt they were a bit disappointing as we could only see a fraction of them. However, we got a general idea of how they looked. We thought we could grab a bus back but they didn't allow more passengers so we had to drive back to the town with a nice Peruvian family from Ica.

Some Nazca drawings in the background

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Poor Man’s Galapagos

Four hours after leaving Lima the bus dropped us off on the highway in the afternoon and we went to the nearby city Pisco to get Lisa's shot done with. Apparently there were two hospitals in Pisco and they wouldn't let us in at the nice one for some reason, so we had to try out the worn down hospital. The hospital consisted mostly of old army tents but we saw a doctor in a concrete building who gave Lisa her injection for free. The rest of Pisco didn't look like much as an earthquake had laid waste to most of the city two years ago.

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Scaaary Lima

Other travelers told us lots of bad things about Lima so we expected a dull super dangerous capital inhabited by criminals and murderers. We booked a hotel in advance with airport pickup included as we just wanted to stay there a single night before heading off to a safer place. Everything we had heard about Lima turned out to be lies. Lima is a nice and fairly safe city with plenty of caf├ęs, restaurants and bars and many historical sites and colonial buildings. Most of the city is a result of overpopulation and poverty but downtown and a few of the surrounding areas were interesting and safe to explore by foot. Of course you just have to use common sense and not flash your jewelry and camera. We stayed at Magdalen House, a nice hotel located in the mellow Magdalena area, for $20 (breakfast included) and the staff was the nicest and most helpful people we've met so far. Definitely recommendable.
Larcomar

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Panama to Peru

Our stay in Panama was unfortunately limited to Panama City as we only had three days before our plane went south to Peru. Lisa's never ending fever got worse once again which indicated the doctor in Costa Rica probably had no clue of what was wrong when she said we should quit the malaria pills. We went to a hospital and got incompetent overpriced advice and after some complaining we finally got an appointment with a so-called infection specialist. This specialist concluded, with lots of pride, that Lisa had contracted a kidney infection and should get a shot of antibiotics every day for 10 days. Quite inconvenient but it was nice to finally get a solid answer from someone.

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