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HOMper to HOMper_s

Impressions of Pacific Perú

'Lima, the grey city'; but that only refers to the climate, which frankly is as weird as can be, because: how many places on earth do you know where the sky is always cloudy, nearly all year, but where it almost never rains? Responsible is the Humboldt Current, pushing moist North from the Antarctic region along the coastline of Pacific America. Fortunately, Lima is much more than the grey skies, it is also the country's capital of vibrant city life, also disposing of a couple of extraordinary museums, which introduce visitors to the fact that Perú's past of pre-Hispanic civilisation is not just about the Inkas. Especially along the long stretch of Pacific Ocean coast, a multitude of parallel and consecutive cultures emerged and faded away, coverimg thousands of years, all developing an amazing level of distinct creativity in arts, in engineering, in State organisation. Unlike the contemporary indigenous cultures in Central America, Paracas, Nasca, Ica-Chincha peoples had no script and of course left no written records, adding to mystery, fantasy and conjecture. Think for instance of the giant Nasca Lines, thousands of them drawn into the stone desert for reasons we still don't understand. Travelling from Lima South along the Pacific coast is travelling through this exciting sequence of history, signposted by pyramids, ancient cemeteries and temple ruins. And all this against a background of ever changing natural landscapes, equally extraordinary for the contrast between the rough Pacific coast of small guano islands and tall cliffs, violently beaten by the ocean waves, and the deserts of sand and stone, only hundreds of metres away from the sea and yet bone-dry, deprived of rain for months or even years on end. And then, there is Arequipa, the White City, reflecting Spanish colonial past like no other Peruvian town, surrounded by volcanoes, starting point for yet another Peruvian adventure, the Andes.

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