Nazca And Surrounds

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
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Trip End May 02, 2013


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Where I stayed
Anccalla Inn

Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, August 5, 2012

The road out of Paracas was surrounded by sand for as far as the eye could see. Further south, agricultural attempts of varying size and success began to dominate the landscape.  Our comfortable Oltursa bus had free wifi on board.

Developing nations seem to have a thing for three-wheeled vehicles.  Perhaps it's because there are less tires and parts to replace or maybe it's the enhanced views from the back seats.  Either way, Peru, with its little pods resting on three small wheels, is no exception.

Peru also has the most similar national flag to that of Canada.  That would prove to be one of very few similarities.

A vast desert appeared.  Mountains floated on the sand.  Only the highway and a single line of wire connected this desolate place to the nearest civilization.

Then the highway cut through the mountains of grey rock.  We slowly rose over a pass, snaked our way down to a green valley and climbed up the other side, only to descend again rapidly.

We arrived in Nazca later than expected.  Our host met us at the bus station and we walked to the hostel.  Our room was nicely appointed.  We showered and set out to find a tour and a bus out of town for the next day.

After all that we strolled through town in search of dinner.  La Choza restaurant took us in and we sampled our first pisco sour.  Made from a brandy grape grown in the region it was tart and frothy, as it should be.  We spent the rest of the night researching and blogging.  Evening tea and biscuits were delivered to our room; quite a treat indeed.

With plenty of ambient noise everywhere, earplugs became a nightly necessity.  Jason woke feeling just as spaced out as he had been for days, unable to put his finger on why.

Breakfast was delivered to our room bright and early.  On our brand new ultra-flat Sony TV we watched Andy Murray defeat Roger Federer to win Olympic gold at home.

We checked out, left our luggage in storage and waited to be picked up and driven to the airport for a short flight over the Nazca Lines.  When they didn't arrive we decided to walk over to their office.

On arrival at the airport we were checked in by an older man who could barely see staring at the laptop screen less than six inches from his face as he one finger typed in our passport information.  We hoped he wasn't a pilot.  His younger assistant informed us the wait would be about an hour and a half.

While waiting outside we bumped into a Nazca man in traditional dress.  We chatted for a while and took a picture.  The skies had cleared dramatically since morning, which boded well for good views of the geometric masterpieces below.

The Nazca Lines are a group of gigantic drawings created in the desert by ancient civilizations.  Only truly visible from the sky, the purpose of painstakingly planning and creating them remains a mystery.  Despite some reports of suspect plane maintenance and crashes in the not too distant past, we did our research and mustered up the courage to do a flyover.

About two and a half hours after arriving at the airport we boarded a tight six seat cessna and took off.  A German couple joined us on the 30 minute trip.  The pilot pitched the wings from one side to the other in order to give each of us a bird's eye view of all the patterns.  We clicked like crazy but couldn't possibly capture a perfect collection of images.

Despite adequate pharmacist- (i.e. Jason) recommended prophylaxis, Sylvia began to feel nauseous and warm from the tight turns.  Her symptoms worsened throughout the flight and culminated in sweating all over and cramping in both hands and arms.  Even with gentle hand massage offered by the German man, it took a while for the unusual symptoms to wear off.  We chalked it up to another Nazca oddity.

With hours to spare before our late night bus departure we hung around town, soaking it up from a number of different vantage points and reading.  We decided to dine at one of Nazca's many fire roasted chicken restaurants, but we ordered beef dishes.  Still, the noodle soup and lomo saltado stir fry with rice and french fries were very tasty.  Sated and ready for the overnight ride we picked up our bags, said adios to Angela from Anccalla Inn and walked over to the bus station.  We were over an hour and a half early for the 22:00 departure.
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Comments

henniterness
henniterness on

Prior to doing this flight, I had always laughed at people getting sick on rocky flights. Not any more!
Your entry just made me relive it. Glad to see you caught some good pix nevertheless. I couldn't even claim those....

I just started to catch-up on your last few week's entries and looking forward to the rest of it :)

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