25 October 2017:
Pisco, Peru:
The UFO Refueling Station?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Pisco is an island-like city in the midst of a desert-like stretch of southern Peru.

The surrounding desert was the home of the Nazca people…and, according to some, an airport for UFO landings.

And perhaps not coincidentally, it is the world headquarters for a very strong grape-based brandy.

An island in the desert with breweries for high-octane alcohol and an airport for aliens. Makes sense to me. (Just like Las Vegas…)

Speaking of booze, the firewater of this region is called Pisco, a colorless or yellowish brandy made by distilling fermented grape juice into a high-proof spirit.

It was developed by 16th century Spanish settlers as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain.

Annual pisco production in Peru is about 10 million liters, but they don’t much drink it here.

Like the asparagus crop, though, Peru makes the product mostly for export with neighboring Chile a major consumer.

Here in Pisco, they prefer to offer visiting aliens a whiskey to refuel their spaceship.

Sadly, Pisco was all but leveled in the earthquake of 2007.

Pisco, An island in the Desert. Photos by Corey Sandler

LOS ISLAS BALLESTAS

On this visit, I went with guests on a boat trip due West offshore to the amazing Ballestas Islands, a mini-Gallapagos that is home to uncounted millions of birds, sea lions, and other creatures.

Along the way we sailed abeam of El Candellario, an ancient figure drawn into the sand and soil of the coast, a cousin to the better-known Nazca Lines inland. No one knows what the drawing means, although it almost certainly does not represent a candelabra, since the ancients had no such device. It may represent a cactus, or it may be a road sign pointing the way inland to Pisco or out to sea toward the Ballestas.

Here is some of what we saw:

All photos and text Copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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