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Nazca

Flying into Lima, Peru from Rio de Janeiro we waste no time and get some information brochures from the iPeru tourist information.  We then get a cab with Taxi Green straight to the main Cruz Del Sur bus station and get an afternoon bus to go to Nazca. The journey is supposed to take seven hours but somehow we get delayed by about an hour and a half but the bus is very comfortable so it doesn't matter too much with the extra time travelling. We had one hostel in mind before arriving in Nazca called Hospedaje Brabant but as they were full they recommended a similarly priced hotel down the road called Guang Zhou. We have a look and the room they offer us looks nice, spacious and clean so we go for it. It’s quite late and we're tired but also hungry – the hunger overrules the tiredness though and we head down to the main street to find a restaurant. We have a look in the guide and find a couple of recommendations, but unfortunately one is closed down and the other doesn't look too inviting – we're left to find a good restaurant on our own, as per normal, and end up at a place called Los Angeles. The food is excellent and the service is impeccable – the waiter is really friendly, inquisitive and full of information. Well fed we head back to get some rest before the next day’s adventures.

We get up semi-early and looking forward to the included breakfast, but it’s not quite what we'd hoped for. Two small pieces of bread, with not enough butter and a little bit of jam is all they spare us. I'm used to bread and jam so that’s fine but I'm used to more food than this – it’s not enough food to fill the gaps in-between my front teeth, let alone to keep me going till lunchtime. For Hannah it’s more the fact that once again it’s just bread and jam and no option of cereal, some fruit or maybe some eggs and bacon.

After our less than impressive breakfast we go on a mission to find a travel agent who won't rip us off too much for the privilege of sending us up in a tiny flying tin box. As it turns out, the first office we walk into is already cheaper than what our guide suggests, so no need for further investigation really and we settle with this one. We also ponder on booking an afternoon sightseeing trip for after our flight but leave the decision for later – a good decision as we don't really feel like cooking in the sun any more after returning from the Nazca Lines sightseeing. Had we more days here it would have been nice to see some of the ruins from the ancient civilisation, but it wasn't to be. We have a little wait in the office of the tour agent before our taxi arrives to take us to the airfield, which is a ten minute or so drive out of town. After registering with the reception, and of course paying for the flight, we have to wait for about half an hour before it’s our turn to take to the sky, so we sit down to watch a documentary about the mystery of the Nazca Lines (Nazca Lines: the buried secrets). It’s difficult to hear the commentary due to some loud Russians making a racket behind us and we get called up before the film ends, meaning as we go up in the air the history behind the Nazca Lines are still all a mystery to us and all we can do is to admire the view and make up our own theories. Our captain goes through the flight-path with us before takeoff and points out on a map where to spot the shapes and also very importantly how to spot them - this proves to be essential information as we're cruising at an average height (according to my camera’s GPS) of about 975 meters, which works out as roughly 400 meters above the ground, and many of the shapes are hard to spot. Some of the figures are quite faint and not very big whilst some are absolutely gigantic but still difficult to spot because they're faint, damaged, or disappear into the landscape due to the amount of stronger lines that are crisscrossing everywhere on the ground - I hope you are able to spot the figures in the photos... The captain also warns us that the flight can be a little bit bumpy and he was not exaggerating... I hardly ever get any motion sickness but at the end of the flight I'm starting to feel a little bit on the edge, but it seem I get out of it the lightest followed by Hannah. Our other two fellow passengers are having a bit rougher time up in the skies with the lady next to me sounding like she’s is trying to vomit all her internal organs out half way into the flight – it does not sound like she is having much fun. Despite being thrown around in a tin can for almost an hour we all come down to earth in one piece though. And even our fellow passengers seem to be glad they did the tour despite their condition. I would really recommend taking the light airplane sightseeing of the Nazca Lines – it’s really amazing to see these ancient monuments, and the only way you can see them properly is from above. It’s not cheap but also not so expensive that it’s out of reach for us on a budget. But remember to take the advice about only having a light breakfast seriously.

[caption id="attachment_2452" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The light aircraft that were to carry us over the Nazca Lines. The light aircraft that were to carry us over the Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2453" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Hannah getting ready for take-off, Nazca. Hannah getting ready for take-off, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2454" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Whale, Nazca Lines. The Whale, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2455" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca Lines. Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2456" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Giant, Nazca Lines. The Giant, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2457" align="aligncenter" width="533"]The Giant, Nazca Lines. The Giant, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2458" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca Lines. Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2459" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Monkey, Nazca Lines. The Monkey, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2460" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Dog, Nazca Lines. The Dog, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2461" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2462" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Hummingbird (Colibri), Nazca Lines. The Hummingbird (Colibri), Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2463" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca Lines. Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2464" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Spider, Nazca Lines. The Spider, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2465" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Condor, Nazca Lines. The Condor, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2466" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Heron, Nazca Lines. The Heron, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2467" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Pelican, Nazca Lines. The Pelican, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2468" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Parrot, Nazca Lines. The Parrot, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2469" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The Hands and The Tree, Nazca Lines. The Hands and The Tree, Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2470" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2471" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca Lines. Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2490" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2473" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2474" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2475" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2476" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Nazca. Nazca.[/caption]

Back in the town centre again we search out a place to have lunch, and although they have no menu and don’t speak a word of English, and I can't decipher anything that the waiter tells us about their selection, with a pit of pointing we get a lovely lunch served including a drink for a very reasonable price – I think it must be the cheapest meal so far in South America. After lunch we initially plan to go to the museum but half way there we’re feeling drained by the immense desert heat – during the flight the plain had become like an oven and we were still suffering from this along with the fact it’s the hottest part of the day and there is no shade to hide under. We decide to can the idea of the museum and go back to our hotel to relax by the pool and maybe update our blogs a little while waiting for our bus to Arequipa in the evening. To our surprise we find one of our fellow passengers from the flight earlier relaxing by the pool as well also waiting for his bus but in a different direction – he’s heading back to Lima. He had arrived by bus to Nazca earlier in the morning and had bought his flight ticket from one of the touts at the bus station – something our guide had strongly advised us against. We're therefore curious of how much he'd paid for his flight and it turns out he forked out about another 50% more than we ended up paying. We feel sorry for the guy and he tells us he sort of knew that he was being taken for a ride but didn't want to have the hassle of searching for a travel agent after a long overnight bus journey – we know that feeling well but we still always squeeze the last of our energy out to avoid any touts when we get presented with that kind of situation. It’s exactly why they prey on people who are fatigued – it’s often much easier just to give in even if you full well know you'll be paying over the odds.

[caption id="attachment_2477" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Dentist sign, Nazca. Dentist sign, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2478" align="aligncenter" width="545"]The local clinic, Nazca. The local clinic, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2479" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Enrique Fracchia mural, Nazca. Enrique Fracchia mural, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2480" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Murals, Nazca. Murals, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2481" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Murals, Nazca. Murals, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2482" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Mural, Nazca. Mural, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2483" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Mural in honour of Maria Reiche Neumann, who discovered the Nazca Lines. Mural in honour of Maria Reiche Neumann, who discovered the Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2484" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Random food-shot - the starter of the Menu del Dia, Nazca. Random food-shot - the starter of the Menu del Dia, Nazca.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2485" align="aligncenter" width="533"]Statue in honour of Maria Reiche Neumann, who discovered the Nazca Lines. Statue in honour of Maria Reiche Neumann, who discovered the Nazca Lines.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2486" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca "skyline". Nazca "skyline".[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2488" align="aligncenter" width="545"]Nazca "skyline". Nazca "skyline".[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2489" align="aligncenter" width="533"]The pool area at Hotel Guang Zhou in Nazca. The pool area at Hotel Guang Zhou in Nazca.[/caption]

Our bus leaves at 22:00 so we have a few hours to kill before we have to head from the hotel to the bus station. We kick back and write a little bit in our blogs and have a couple of beers, but making sure not to drink too much beer as they might not want to let us on the bus if they notice we've been drinking – they’re very strict on this at Cruz del Sur apparently. The journey to Arequipa takes roughly ten hours and is a very comfortable ride – I had planned to make the best out of the time on the bus and spend a few hours writing for the blog but fall asleep almost instantly after the snack we get served and wake only about an hour before we reach our destination.