Flying Over the Nazca Lines

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November 12th 2008
Published: November 19th 2008
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Day 593 (11.11.08)

After a pretty sleepless and cold night on the bus we arrived in Nazca a little the worse for wear. Teaming up with a German girl called Kat we found our hostel, the WalkOn Inn and checked into our room. Unfortunately we couldn't get in until 12.30 so had a huge brekkie at the hostel and got chatting to a couple more of the guests staying who had a fascinating story of retiring and doing up a yacht before sailing it around to see the world.

With our room available, Chrissie got scrubbed up whilst Mark went into town to see what there was on offer and to see what the competitive price was for flights over the Nazca lines, the reason for our visit. Nazca is a small town so it didn't take long.

There are many theories about the Nazca lines: alien marking, astronomical maps, plans of underground aqueducts etc. etc. the most plausable being that ancient local cultures used the same routes for celebrating festivals or to honor gods, purposefully creating huge geoglifs or pictures in the sand and rock, clearly visible still today. The best way (well the only way really) to see them is by air.

After scoping out the current prices, whch can vary dramatically due to the time of year, we booked a flight for the next morning and took the rest of the afternoon and evening to relax.

Day 594 (12.11.08)

Waking to what sounded like all 101 dalmations barking at the same time and more chicken squawking than comes out of a Bernard Mathews factory, we got ourselves up and ready for our trip.

A short taxi ride later and we were at the air strip excitedly booking in for our flight. We had enough time waiting to watch a documentary on the lines and the theories behind them, before we were called forward and walking toward our plane. We had been told that the flights can be a little on the rough and turbulent side, so prepared by only having a very small brekkie, just in case.

Strapped in we were off, hurtling down the runway, then up and away. A short flight over the town and we reached the Nazca desert. The pilot told us which side we would see the geoglif and for the important ones would turn so we could see them on both sides. They were absolutely incredible. Massive pictoral animals, people (or a spaceman depending on how you look at it), trees and other line drawings. When you saw them, it was immediately apparent why people have become obsessed in finding out the why's and the how's behind them, however we were happy to see them and marvel at the enormity of what had been acheived in creating them.

Having seen the main pictograms in the area we were headed back to the airport with massive grins on our faces. A superb trip which i'm sure is globally unique and gave us yet another of those 'pinch yourself' moments. Big thanks go to Graeme and Katy as they gave us some xmas money early and we decided to use it for our flights.

In the afternoon we caught the bus a couple of hours up the road to Ica and then grabbed a cab to nearby Huacachina. This tiny oasis town, built for the Peruvian elite to holiday in, nestles next to a pretty green lagoon and is dwarfed by huge surrounding sand dunes.

We found ourselves a cheap and basic room and had just enough time to check out the lagoon before the night closed in. We met a canadian couple looking for somewhere cheap to eat and joined them in the search finding just one place in town that suited our strict budget! Thankfully the food was great, the beer was cheap and we were served by the most charming giggly lady you could hope to meet.

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