Peru: Sea lions, birds, alpacas and other creatures alive or engraved on earth, pottery and stones

In Peru, there is an abundance of everything. In the endless ocean and the harsh desert land, we found a richness of life. From all the birds and sea lions on the coast to vicunas, alpacas and lamas in the high altiplano. 

I love cats, dogs, lamas and alpacas. I wish I could have taken a picture of each of the thousands of beautiful alpacas living in the high plains between Nazca and Cusco, but the driver didn’t stop the car all the time. The usual conversation in the car was like this:

Me: Stop, stop, see this beautiful alpaca/vicuna/lama. She has a very curious face, pleeeeease.

Him: Are you planning to photograph every one of them? This one looks exactly the same as the one 7 kilometres back.

Me: No, this one has one black ear and a brown spot on the tail. STOP NOW!

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When talking about the animals of Peru, we should mention the famous Nazca geoglyphs.


We took a plane which was too small, too scary and too noisy. The lines and the animals are huge, mysterious and beautiful.

In the northwest end of the country, close to Trujillo is the final resting place of the famous Lady of Cao, the first known high-ranked female ruler in the Moche culture. She was discovered in 2006, in the place known as Huaca El Brujo (it translates as The Sacred Place of the Shaman).

The site was a sacred burial place from pre-ceramic times, but the biggest constructions belong to the Moche culture.  The Lady of Cao died in her mid-twenties, about 1500 years ago, and was buried together with three young girls, a shaman and a few males, most likely war prisoners. It looks to me that it was not a good thing to be a teenage girl in this society, the chances to end up as an afterlife company to some ruler or a shaman was pretty high.

The Moche society is enigmatic pre-Inka culture with very bloody rituals, engraved on the wall murals in their temples and striking pottery. Moche people celebrated nature and engaged in violent acts of sacrifice and blood drinking.

The other amazing place we visited in the Trujillo area was Chan Chan. It is the largest city of the pre-Columbian era in South America, spread on about 20 square kilometres. The city is entirely built of mud, with outside walls about 9 meters high. Currently, only the city center of about 6 square km is partially restored.

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Knowing Marinela’s fear of flying and especially of small planes, I was surprised when she asked to take the Nazca flight over the geoglyphs. I was waiting to see her expression when she sees the small Cessna with an engine sounding like a lawn mower.

In the end, the shame was on me. The professional traveller with hundreds of thousands of miles flown got almost sick, while she enjoyed the flight to the full.

Good job, my old lady  🙂


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