Left Huacachina on time, boarded only marginally late coach to Nasca only to find on arrival that due to unseasonal wind all flights had been cancelled. I think i took the news pretty well, all things considered!
On the coach we met Hans - an older solo traveller from Canada, so he joined us for what was left of our nasca itinerary, the excavations in Cahuachi, the amazing aquaducts (today's blogs photo) and the poor viewing platforms of a couple of the geoglyphs and the palpa figures.
We went to the english showing at the maria reiche planetarium, which was a hoot, before returning to the bus station for the overnigt to Arequipa, which was inevitably late. Hans couldnt change his ticket to continue on with us, so he waved us off and retook his seat in the 'departure lounge' for his bus an hour after ours. For all we know he may still be there!
Another highlight while at the aquaducts was the demonstration of cochineal production. Cactuses are grown for fruit (Indian figs) which crop twice times a year over the 2 year cactus life span. However, once cropped, bags of cochineal beetle larvae are stapled to the cactus leaf, they burrow into the leaf and reproduce. When the cactus leaf has turned white it is harvested and the pupae in the form of white ball bearings removed. These, when crushed, turn into a blackberry jam coloured paste used for lipstick - cochineal! Subsistence farmers now have a cash crop worth 140 USD per kilo!
The night bus arrived in Arequipa later still, despite the cruz del sur boasting of service, comfort and punctuality! A quiet word with their marketing department I think ...!