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Published: July 17th 2007
Arrived fresh from boarding the dunes at Huacachina (wow, that makes us sound so much better than 'falling over and hitting ourselves with our boards'!) still covered in sand so checked straight into a hostal in order to shower. The tout who had met us at the bus terminal to take us to a hostal (which was the top of the list in the Lonely Planet anyway so we didn't mind) was trying to sell tours of the Nazca lines. After having talked to people on the way down through Peru and considering it is high season it didn't seem too bad so I signed up for a forty minute flight the following morning.
Wandered around Nazca in search of food and red wine (we'd had enough of budgeting by this point!) to end the day.
Woke up bright and early to have breakfast and to get a call from the reception to tell me my taxi was there already with the French couple I was joining for the flight. Got taken to the 'airport'. And I use that in the loosest sense of the word as it was actually a wooden hut with a small strip of
The plane I flew
Yes, really, the pilot was that stupid!
tarmac. I managed to get myself sat in the co-pilot seat while our (very) friendly pilot who talked constantly and almost deafened us whilst trying to sort out our headphones.
Finally got sorted and took off. Never realised how bumpy small planes are! It is actually very good advice to take travel sickness pills although I laughed at it at the time! We flew over ten of the main formations as well as some smaller ones which seem not to have names as no-one can quite work out what they are. The photos really don't do justice to what you see as the view was incredible. (Try clicking on the images to enlarge them as they come out slightly better.)
Our over-friendly pilot decided he needed to turn around to tell the other passengers all about the joy of Peruvian food so, completely unconcernedly, handed the controls to me. Well, I didn't want to seem rude so I just sat there like a lemon praying that the plane wouldn't suddenly decide to nose-dive. I mean, this is me we're talking about - about as accident-prone and technophobic as they come! He seemed to realise that I was slightly
panicked so took over again on the understanding that I was now official translator so as to educate the poor people all about the wonder that is Peruvian fruit. Ever tried explaining what a chilimoya is to a couple of people when they don't speak English or Spanish, you don't speak French and the only language you have in common is high-school German whilst the pilot's main contribution seemed to be making yummy noises and miming the rather suggestive shape of the fruit in question?! I do seem to find myself in rather ridiculous situations sometimes. Whilst this was going on, Louisa had gone to the viewing tower and managed to get herself stuck for an hour waiting for the bus whilst helping the guard with his English homework - though I don't know if ending up with a Sheffield accent was really what he wanted! (Sorry Lou!)
Over far too quickly although I was feeling a little nauseous towards the end. Andy decided to try and let me fly again as I was obviously that amusing. I declined which I'm sure the other passengers were very thankful - the landing was bumpy enough without me doing it!
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