Lima and the Nasca Lines

Trip Start Sep 18, 2004
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Trip End Apr 27, 2005


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Monday, March 7, 2005

I arrived into Lima with warning of the dodgy taxis. Apparently they sell the taxi signs at the traffic lights here and a lot of people moonlight as drivers to earn extra cash. Therefore you hear more than you average amount of taxi horror stories here. With this in mind I was on full paranoid alert as we drove through the city. Maybe it is all the stories that I had heard about the place but it just didn`t feel safe until I arrived at the hostel safe and sound (although I did still manage to have one of my customary arguments with the taxi driver over the price). When I went into my room I found out that all my roommates were english speaking. They probably didn`t know what had hit them as all my English that I had been penting up for the last week came exploding out! Even better when I ventured up to the bar I bumped into a group of friends that I had made in Quito and I had a great night finally managing to have the English conversations I had holding out for days for!

The lads were flying to Cusco the following morning and I arranged to meet them there in 3 days. I too had decided to fly as the one hour flight was only a few pounds more expensive than the 30 hour bus journey over untarmacked roads.

But before I met them in 3 days there were two important things I needed to do - first to see the ancient and awe inspiring Nasca lines, a striking network of lines dating from 900BC to 600AD, some arranged in shapes of animals and rectangles, and second to watch the second leg of Chelsea champions league tie with Barcelona.

As time was short I watched Chelsea's historic victory (for the very few of you who might not know, Barca`s 2-1 lead from the first stage was turned on its head with a thumping 4-2 victory!) and then jumped straight aboard an overnight bus which arrived 8 hours later (around 7am) in Nasca. Arriving there I walked directly to a tour operator and booked myself onto a flight a couple of hours later.

The plane I went up in was a light 4 seater. I had never been in such a small aircraft and this was an experience in itself! It took a bit of getting used the way the thermals pushed it up and down and the sharp banks over the nasca shapes had the person sitting in front of me looking very green but I quickly got used to it and really enjoyed the experience. I did not even freak out when the pilot took his hands off the "steering wheel" and turned round to me to point out stuff on his map that was below - I supposed there was much chance of him crashing into something at this height!

The lines were pretty cool and I can see how they would have freaked out the original discoverers back in the 40s but they definately do not proove extraterrestrial life as some would like to say - but it is still amazing to think that people were able to create them all those centuries ago.

After the flight it was straight back to the bus station to board a 10.30am bus back to Lima. After another day there I was up at 4am for my flight to Cusco, the launch pad for all treks to Machu Pichu.......
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