Ceri’s birthday surprise:    Coming down to the coast:Nazca and Paracas:   We were truly soaked from our trip up to Machu Picchu … train comes to take us to Ollantaytambo… surprise not engineered by me … they had taken Ceri’s birthday from her registration .. et Voila a birthday cake on the train which makes up for a very expensive train ticket !The railway is run as a private enterprise by ‘ Orient Express ‘ all the money goes back to shareholders not Peru … coke the revolution all will change . Ollantaytambo is a beautiful Inca village with preserved walkways and ruins everywhere . Pizarro was beaten here but not for long . We stayed in a delightful small hotel recommended by the Guardian… a real treasure after the tackiness of Aquas Calientes . It was run by a Scottish lady currently in Scotland. We stayed 2 nights drying out and took a collectivo back to Cusco . They are a clever way of travel . They set off at no particular time but wait for it to fill . All works well although I think our driver was a bit nervous as he was treading on someone else’s turf !           Cusco next what a lovely city/ town lots of lovely museums and walks . The rainy season at the moment so quite quiet . Fully acclimatised as we have been at 3,500 plus for 3 weeks or so . Next a night bus to Nazca down to sea level. Millions of hairpins and 14 hours sees us in Nazca . The buses here are more like planes with attendants and regular food , luggage checked in and out and luxury seating . Still sleep is difficult. Nazca lines were amazing from the air … still no one knows what they were for . Lots of theories … now we are in Paracas 300km up the road on the way to Lima . Full on Peruvian resort with lots of people . Lovely boat trip and desert journey to sea wildlife and the Candelabra carved in the sand . It has never rained here …. ever…. the sea is teeming with fish courtesy of the Humbolt current. I had a glorious swim with comorants and pelicans close by . Ceri decided to join me … bad news … unlucky trod on sea urchin . Picked lots out and then lots of minor surgery back in the hotel . We have feasted in Ceviche ( raw fish ) and the G and T of Peru … Pisco Sour . As I write we are waiting for the bus to Lima , with a passion fruit drink … times are hard !

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