The Nazca Lines

Nazca Travel Blog

 › entry 50 of 93 › view all entries

The overnight bus to from Arequipa to Nazca started well enough. We had fully-reclining seats on the top-deck of a pretty plush coach, and were served a half-decent meal shortly after setting off. The bad times started when trying to sleep, as the driver was on a death-wish, lurching around corners hard enough to make us all think we were going over the edge of a cliff. So we arrived in Nazca at 6am, very groggy from the journey and with frayed nerves.

 

Nazca doesn't have too much going for it, and seems to exist solely to cater for tourists and the flights. Ysabel did a quick show of hands to see who was interested in the flight, despite the price hike (we were still unsure).

After a quick nap at the hotel, we got up at 11am to find that the rudimentary show of hands in the transfer that morning had somehow evolved into a set-in-stone booking and it looked like we could miss out altogether. Tim, Em and I found ourselves in the same boat (certainly not in an airplane) and went round town looking for independent agents, with no luck.

 

We made our way to the airport, where we met up with Frank and Sarah, in similar predicaments. Em - not that fussed about the lines anyway - headed back to the hotel to lounge around the pool. Tim got understandably annoyed with it all and went home too (more likely the nice weather and the fact that the girls were round the pool in bikinis if you ask me). So, Frank and I went off in search of a flight.

Look carefully, there's an astronaut in this one
Frank telling the guy on the flight desk that he was form the Federal Aviation Authority seemed to gain us no ground (bizarrely). Eventually, after being told yes, no, maybe, yes, no a dozen times ("Come back in 30 minutes", "Ok, but you said that 30 minutes ago!") we found a flight, paid US$95 (about £50) and headed out. The flight itself was very good, taking us over twelve of the ancient lines in the Nazca plains. Very impressive, and it's amazing that the lines are still so prominent. A monkey, hummingbird, spider and even an astronaut (more likely an owl-headed priest, apparently) were all visible. Our pilot was a little crazy, and not being the best traveller (coupled with all the extreme banking to see the lines) I was feeling a bit green 15 minutes in and regretting the few beers we'd had to ease our frustration at the airport.
On the way back to base he did his little party trick, flying us no more than five or six metres above the pan-american highway and pretending to land, before pulling us back up sharply. I was very happy to get back on terra firma. Despite all the hassle (and the queasiness), it was well worth the effort. The pics would be better but I was concentrating on looking at the lines myself... and trying not to be sick.

 

After dinner in a Chifa (Chinese) we found a funky little bar for a few drinks, where we bumped into our pilot. After a few beers he confessed that he gets a little bored with the tour of the lines and likes to spice things up every so often. As it turns out, had it not been for a couple of lorries in the way, we probably would have touched down onto the highway earlier that aftrnoon! We moved on to a very dodgy nightclub where things got a bit hazy.

 

The pan-american highway cuts right across the plains of Nazca, even (incredulously) straight through one of the drawings, the lizard. It was the next day and we were headed for Pisco via the dunes of Ica on a private bus and first stop was a 10 metre-high tower, from where two of the lines (hands and tree) are clearly visible. If only they were all visible from the ground....

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Look carefully, theres an astrona…
Look carefully, there's an astron…
Theres a monkey in the middle of …
There's a monkey in the middle of…
Think this was mean to be a bird, …
Think this was mean to be a bird,…
Nazca
photo by: ulysses