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Around Iceland

Departure from Reykjavik

overcast 59 °F

After a short night at the Hilton Nordica (I didn't get into the hotel until 1:30am local time - they are on the same time as London), we hailed a taxi and headed a short distance to the pier, located right across from the Reykjavik Art Museum. At 1:00pm sharp, we boarded the Star Legend and headed right for our cabin, then a wonderful buffet lunch. With only about 325 people on board, it's easy to get around and takes only a few minutes to explore the ship.

We set sail at 5:00pm and headed out to sea. Although the Captain said to expect some wave motion. The sea was calm all night.

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Posted by rpickett 13:58 Archived in Iceland Tagged rekjavik Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Photo Album

Travelers, I have finished my photo album.

Click Legacy of the Incas. to view it
Once on the site, click a picture to go full screen
Click "i" at the top to see the description of the picture

The scroll the middle right and left side to go forward or back in the album

Please feel free to share with one and all!

Posted by rpickett 09:23 Archived in Peru Tagged the of incas legacy Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Ballestas Islands

sunny 80 °F

Today is our last full tour day in Peru. After checking out of the hotel, we head to the local pier to board a boat to the Ballestas Islands, the "Galapagos" of Peru. Although only two islands, the wildlife is amazing. Our guide stated that we witnessed more than 500,000 birds!

The Ballestas Islands are a group of small islands near the town of Paracas located within the Paracas District of the Pisco Province in the Ica Region, on the south coast of Peru. Composed largely of rock formations and covering an estimated area of 0.12 kmĀ², these islands are an important sanctuary for marine fauna like the guanay guano bird, the blue-footed booby and the tendril. Other notable species include Humboldt penguins and two varieties of seals (fur seals and sea lions), amongst other mammals. On the way to the islands, we sailed by El Candelabro, a large-scale geoglyph that may have served as a beacon to mariners. The mystery as to the origins of this particular geoglyph is ongoing with much speculation. Pottery found nearby has been radio carbon dated to 200 BCE, the time of the Paracas culture. The design is cut two feet into the soil, with stones possibly from a later date placed around it. The figure is 595 feet tall, large enough to be seen 12 miles at sea.

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After our boat ride, we headed back to Lima for our farewell dinner, packing and saying goodbye. Although strenuous, this was a remarkable trip, with a wonderful group of travelers.

Posted by rpickett 13:54 Archived in Peru Tagged paracus Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Paracas and the Nazca Lines

sunny 80 °F

After a great oxygen filled sleep and a good breakfast we boarded our bus and headed south on the Pan American Highway to Paracas. After a quick hour at the hotel, we headed to the local airport for our hour, 45 minute flight to view the Nazca Lines in our 12 passenger Cessna. The lines are easily one of the most mysterious man made features of the world. Scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards. The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than 70 are zoomorphic designs of animals such as birds, fish, llamas, jaguars, monkeys, or human figures. Other designs include phytomorphic shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 m (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general, they ascribe religious significance to them. Due to its isolation and to the dry, windless, and stable climate of the plateau, the lines have mostly been naturally preserved. Each figure is a single line from one end to the other to form the figure.

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Posted by rpickett 13:33 Archived in Peru Tagged and lines nazca paracus Comments (0)

Legacy of the Incas

Titicaca to Lima

sunny 65 °F

We were all about done with the beauty of the high altitude and were ready for our flight back to Lima and Sea Level. Our flight wasn't until early afternoon, so we meandered through the high plateau on the way to Juliaca. Our first stop was with a local family to get a taste of how the high country Andes natives live. They were very friendly and really enjoyed showing us their lifestyle and living conditions. You could see that they were proud of their Inca heritage.

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We reboarded our bus, and headed to the ruins of Sullustani (an elevation of 12,700ft) Sillustani is a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo near Puno. The tombs, which are built above ground in tower-like structures called chullpas, are the vestiges of the Colla people, Aymara who were conquered by the Inca in the 15th century. The structures housed the remains of complete family groups, although they were probably limited to nobility. Many of the tombs have been dynamited by grave robbers, while others were left unfinished.

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After an uneventful flight, we arrived at our hotel, and dinner and went to bed, relishing the "thick" air of sea level.

Posted by rpickett 13:10 Archived in Peru Tagged lima to puno Comments (1)

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