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Impromptu Jam

Written on: Friday November 23rd, 2007

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Huacachina, Peru

Author: Julie and Kevin

Hola!

We spent the day sitting around the swimming pool just enjoying the feel of the hot sun on our skin. The sun in Peru is much stronger than we are used to and we?ve read that it also has some of the highest levels of UV rays in the world. Knowing that a cold pool of water was just a few steps away allowed us to spend as much time as we wanted without fear or overheating or burning.

In our hotel, there are photos of the oasis in the 1940s with little cabanas and ladies of society in their long swimsuits posing by its waters. Now, the cabanas are gone to be replaced by restaurants and hotels, but people still come here for the same reason: the beauty of the oasis.

After a lovely supper, Julie and I made our way down the boardwalk surrounding the little water oasis. We stopped to look at large skeletal shark jaws one of the local jewellery sellers had displayed on his table. The seller, Julio, showed us his products which included whale fossils and gigantic shark teeth that he had found in the desert fifty kilometres from Ica. There are no tours offered to go to that part but on the internet there are photo galleries of pre-historic whale and shark bones exposed to the elements in that part of the desert. A million years ago this area was at the bottom of the sea and this is where these dinosaurs came to rest.

Intrigued we stayed around for a while talking to him and found out that after the traumatizing experience of October earthquake he had made a decision to live in the desert. He felt that it was a sign from Pachemama that he needed to live closer to the earth. Every day he walks 45 minutes from his camp to the oasis to sell bracelets and talk with travellers. He offers walks in the desert for free; he just wants to open people?s minds to the beauty of it. He also spends a lot of time cleaning it since one dune over from us is the town of Ica?s garbage dump and the winds are continuously carrying plastic bags out of the dump and into the surrounding area. He offered to have us stay at his camp one night and we?re seriously considering taking him up on his offer. Sitting close by was a girl named Marie-Claire who had stayed his camp. She had a great experience with Julio and strongly recommended it to us. We continued to chat and the usual question of ?Where are you from?? was asked. Oddly enough Marie-Claire was also from our neck of the woods: Aylmer. Soon we were sipping glasses of Pisco with coca-cola with them and more and more people were joining our group, including Tom and Lionel from the British Isle of Jersey. Somehow the conversation came to guitars and Tom scurried for his guitar. One of the other travellers had a jimbay and before you knew it we were singing songs along the boardwalk, under a full-moon sky. A sundog circled the moon, and more people stopped in. Coincidently, many of them were guitar players and everyone took their turn to play. Two guitars, a drum, a harmonica, and whatever glass bottles we could find on the bench was played. It was fantastic as everyone played music they knew and loved, from all kinds of countries in various languages. The girls were dancing and one was juggling. This impromptu jam session lasted for hours and finished just as the sun came up.