Aug 16 2007
09:07 pm

On my recent yearly vacation, my wife and I visited South America.

One of the towns that we visited was Ica.

Ica is probably most famous for being the tourist gateway to the Mesoamerican landmarks collectively known as the Nazca Lines. From the airport, you take a Cessna prop plane and take a look at some of these massive etchings.

What a gorgeous place, really. I didn't get much of a chance to visit the town, but the hospitality was world-class and the food was outstanding.

(Imagine a picture of an unadorned plate of ceviche de pulpo - octopus ceviche - here.)

It's something of a desert out there, although when we visited, it was balmy. People were out and about at the oasis known as Huacachina, which is one of the features that draws a lot of the locals.

One of the pastimes there is sandboarding. It's pretty much what it sounds like; sledding down these huge sand dunes which dominate the landscape. Here's a couple of people making their way up (probably not nearly as rewarding as going down)...

From the sky, it looks a lot like many other towns in Peru.

Just with a lot of sand.

Many of the buildings didn't look quite finished, but people did live in them. The construction wasn't exactly what you'd call elegant. Poverty is endemic in the area.

And because much of the surroundings are, in fact, desert...

...people there are buried above ground.

Soon, there will be more joining the already departed there.

Last night, the town of Ica in Peru was rocked by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. The foundations of these buildings probably couldn't withstand much. I have no idea what of these buildings have survived, or if those people with whom I'd come into passing contact are suffering.

My thoughts are with the Peruvian people; the good people that I met, and those I may never know. Les recordáramos siempre. We will always remember you.

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R. Neal's picture

Great photos, and great

Great photos, and great report. Thanks.

rikki's picture

how does it feel?

Wow, what a distressing end to the story. Let's hope the story that eventually filters out echoes Bob Dylan: When you ain't got much, you ain't got much to crash down on you during an earthquake.

Carole Borges's picture

Wonderful shots! What a locale...

I loved the strange cemetery picture with the odd variety of crosses and the sea of endless sand. I also hope the town is not suffering and that their historic buildings have not fallen. Thanks for sharing these..

Factchecker's picture

Very nice, Andy!

Thanks for the awesome reminder that it's not all about us. Not even America is just us, of course. But we appropriate the term as if it were.

Pam Strickland's picture


Seeing these beautiful photographs helped me to humanize the news reports on the earthquake. Thank you.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

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