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Meeting Miss Peru and Pondering about Sexual Positions
In the past week, I have escaped from the cold, wet Peruvian Highlands into the arid, desert plains of the coast, before flying into the damp, humid jungles of the Amazon. What an amazing country Peru is! The sheer diversity of landscapes, peoples and fauna is nothing short of spectacular. One moment I was complaining of the cold, rainy weather in places with altitude averaging 3000 meters above sea level and above, and within days I was on a plain that hasn't seen rainfall for a while. I had a wonderful time sandboarding and suntanning, and then soon found myself in hot tropical rainforests, battling heat and mosquitoes.
|Nazca Lines: Look in the dark part of the middle-bottom of the photo, and you'll see a spaceman-like figure – one of the mysteries of the Nazca Desert.|
After a torturous overnight bus journey from Cusco, old capital of the Incas, I arrived in Nazca, an oasis town located on a windswept coastal plain. This is the site of the mysterious Nazca Lines – strange symbols and lines formed on the plains by ancient peoples 2,000 years ago. What is unusual about them is that they are so large that they are only visible from the air, designed well before man learned to fly.
There are all sorts of theories about them. Some archaeologists believe that they have astronomical significance, and others thought they were ceremonial paths. However, the most widely publicized (and also most baseless ones) theories suggest that these are evidence of visits by extraterrestrial beings from outer space. Such theorists show how certain lines resemble spacecraft, spacemen, and other things one sees in movies like Star Wars or Aliens. I joined an aerial tour of the Nazca plains, flying in a 4-seater Cessna plane. What an amazing sight! Let the most ridiculous theories fly, and this godforsaken desert town will continue to attract thousands of tourists every year!
After popping by the local museum (with 2,000-year-old head trophies – mummified human heads severed from captured enemy soldiers, with a large hole punched into them and their lips sewed tight) and an ancient cemetery ransacked by tomb-robbers 60 years ago (with human bones and mummified remains scattered across the ground like a garbage dump), I spent one night at the resort village of Huacachina. This is a nice place, with hotels built around a lake surrounded by huge sand dunes. It is also the first day of the Huacachina International Festival, although the only thing international about it were not more than 20 foreign tourists and a 10-person film crew from the China Central TV Beijing, who were traveling around South America filming a documentary series along the lines of Pole to Pole.
Miss Peru opened the festival by appearing in an enormous clam floating on the lake, with hundreds of gawking, salivating men around the lake, followed by loud music and booths giving away samples of local wine (some of which tasted more like vinegar). As for me, I had an early night after being worn out by the Nazca flight and the free but horrible liquor. Nevertheless, I woke up early and had a wonderful time sandboarding on giant sand dunes. I have never sand- or snowboarded before, but had great fun with it, getting myself covered from top to bottom by sand.
Lima, capital of Peru, was next. The City of Kings, as it
is called, is a mere transit point for me at this stage. I stayed at
the nice suburb of Miraflores, getting recharged at the
modern shopping complexes and cinemas which are a far cry from the
Third World poverty of the Highlands. I met up with my Peruvian
friends of Marianne, my good friend in London, and was invited to
stay with them. What a wonderful time I had! I will be back again,
after my trip to Iquitos in the Peruvian part of the
Amazon Basin. I will explore Lima properly when I get back
Oh yes, I did visit one excellent collection of Peruvian
archaeological treasures, the Museo de la Nacion. Apart from the
wonderful Inca and pre-Inca relics, the erotic sculptures of the
Moche civilization deserves a special mention.
Oh yes, I did visit one excellent collection of Peruvian archaeological treasures, the Museo de la Nacion. Apart from the wonderful Inca and pre-Inca relics, the erotic sculptures of the Moche civilization deserves a special mention.
|Moche erotic art in the Museo de la Nacion.|
The Moche are a mysterious people who existed in northern Peru more than 1000 years ago. They were related to the famous Lord of Sipan finds, but are also particularly intriguing for the numerous erotic artifacts found, so much so that the famous historian Nigel Davis devoted more than a casual paragraph on them in his great work, The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru. He mentioned that art depicting sex between the dead and living are common, plus that of anal coitus. Historians debate about their significance, whether they are pornographic in nature or have religious significance. If it were the latter, it must be related to fertility. However, if that is the case, why do so many artifacts show anal coitus, which doesn't lead to additional fertility? (OK, for those not in the know, anal coitus means anal sex.)
Enough about sexual positions. I will write next about my adventures in the Amazon.
Tan Wee-Cheng http://weecheng.com
Copyright Tan Wee-Cheng. All rights reserved. Story reproduced with kind permission.
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