Nazca Lines, Boarding in Huacachina and Hanging Out in Lima
09.04.2008 - 23.04.2008 35 °C
One of the many mysteries Peru has to offer are the Nazca lines. That was to be the next place on our hit list before finally bringing the trip to an end with some relaxation. We arrived in Nazca at 4.15am and were picked up by someone from the airport, where in turn we hung out for another 4 hours. It turned out the airport had been closed the day before so there were quite a few flights to be caught up on and we were pushed back the queue a little.
By the time we finally got on our 6 seater plane - 5 tourists and 1 pilot - we had discovered the airport had closed the previous day because of an accident which killed 5 French tourists. Hardly re-assuring but we were here now and on the runway. The flight lasted just over 30 minutes and we passed over around 15-18 different sets of lines in the desert. There are many stories as to how they first appeared there ranging from aliens to early serttler's using them for sport to agriculture. The only sure thing is that the shapes the lines make are also represented on lots of pottery etc found that dates back to the same time. The flight itself wasn't too bad at times although you could see how an accident would be easy. The planes fly low and circle around the lines left and then right so everyone can get a look and/or photo. To be honest I was slightly dissappointed. I thought the lines would be wider, deeper and basically clearer from the air. It was a worth while trip but hardly one I have found myself recommending to those we have since met.
That same day we jumped on the first bus that came for Ica. Near Ica we had read of an oasis in the sand massive sand dunes called Huacachina. After a short time on the bus and a quick taxi ride we arrived at a hotel where we pitched up intending to stay for 3 days. In the end we were there for 5. It was beautiful there, not least because we were pretty much the only people there but because we got 35+ degrees and a lovely garden. It was time to relax. With less than 2 weeks of the trip left we had very few plans left and it was nice to sit back and reflect, something I think a lot of people miss out on at the end of a journey.
So other than sleep, sunbathe, eat and drink there was very little to do around here. Well, until I discovered sand boarding that is. The sand dunes cover something like 300 square km's and are huge. In fact, huge does not even do them justice. I found a company with some dune buggies and along with 2 others we set out for an afternoon's boarding. I had watched some others in action by now and it didn't look that difficult. In fact I had found myself almost shouting at them for making such a meal of it at times. So there we were at the top of one of these massive dunes. Before the instructor even had time to start I was off down. It wasn't planned, it just happened. I was quite taken aback by just how fast you could go and before I knew it I was approaching the bottom without even having fallen which was quite a surprise. Anyway, that was soon rectified as I tumbled, face first, down the last of the dune. It took a good few minutes before I managed to pull myself up although it felt like an eternity. And it bloody well hurt. A lot. After brushing myself down I was up and away again though with a lesson learned. We stayed out till the sun went down which was fairly stunning and then sped off back to the oasis. The driver was a bit of a luanitic but I am still on the assumption that he'd done that before.
We awoke on Tuesday 15th with a decision to make, do we go to Pisco and local islands or head on to our final destination Lima. Before long the maid in the hotel came over and asked if I had felt the earthquake in the night. I hadn't. Turned out there had been an earthquake reading 4.9 through the night. That pretty much made our mind up to go to Lima where we would be safe. Already last year Pisco was desemated by an earthquake and now this. Turns out there were about 3 volcano's on the fault line having a small eruption too. Lima it was then!
So, here we are in Lima. The last week has seen us find a really amazing new hostel right in the centre. We've a room over looking the park and christened the new bar last night with some beers. So new they have nothing else as yet!! It's definately been a week of lazing around and as such nothing much to report.
Catching movies, shopping for some momento's, and those final meal's out before we hit the reality of home prices. Having said that it was bliss to use a kitchen for the first time in over 2 months when we arrived here. Unbelievably eating out every meal, day, week and month does catch up.
So that's it, over for now. The trip has been everything we hoped it would be and more. Before long we'll no doubt find ourselves saving up for the next one. Until then see you all soon.