Nazca – sick, homesick and flying in a Cessna

Nazca was hot. There was no air con, so we went to a supermarket to stand by a fridge. The locals gave us odd looks. We obviously made quite an impression though – one of the locals commented “The English speak very good English”. You would hope so.

We liked Nazca- a small town which was much less touristy than Cusco. We stumbled upon a few celebrations going on in the town – one with small children doing cute dancing while dressed in traditional costumes, and another one a dance show in the town square. We also went to a gold panning place where they pan for gold, unsurprisingly. They were not shy about asking for a tip, which I guess is another way of panning for gold 😉

We were glad that we were staying in Nazca a few days- I was ill so it was good to rest and recuperate. The hotel we stayed at also had a TV and we watched Love Actually, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing – when you’re miles from home, feeling ill, watching Christmassy English films just makes you homesick! When we arrived there was internet access, so at least we were able to e-mail home. Unfortunately a few days later the internet to the whole town was down – apparently because someone had stolen the copper from the wires!

The main reason we came to Nazca was for the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are big drawings in the desert, for example a monkey, a hummingbird, and (bizarrely) a spaceman, amongst others. They can only be seen from the air, which is weird as ancient man didn’t have planes. So they remain a mystery as to who made them, how, and why. We flew over them in a tiny Cessna – only the pilot, me, and my boyfriend. It was terrifying. You could feel the wind rushing against the plane, and I remember looking out the window and thinking “if I fell from here, would I survive?”. Probably not!

The pilot flew in two tight circles over each of “The Lines”. It was the closest I have ever got to doing aerobatics, and predictably I felt sick. Luckily however the Pilot noticed I had gone a bit green and gave me a special Nazca Lines commemorative sickbag, and started doing only one circle over each “Nazca Line”, not two. Once again, I was glad to see Mother Earth again when we landed! And I found that if you can resist vomiting, the sickbag makes a great souvenir 😉

Plane on its side circling one of the Nazca Lines (the shoes of the spaceman just visible)

Driving back from the Nazca Lines airfield into town, the taxi had what looked like a bullet hole in the windscreen, which was interesting!

Due to the disastrous journey into Nazca (see previous blog, here), I was determined that I was not going on another overnight bus. However, although there is an airport at Nazca, you cannot fly to Lima. After much negotiation with various travel agents, we settled upon getting a day bus for the short journey to Ica, and then flying from Ica to Lima.

Next blog: Ica, Peru.

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