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Muchos flying

Over lines and down sand dunes


So I finally managed to get a bus to Nazca. The plan was to arrive in the morning, head straight for the airport, see the lines then get out of there. By all accounts that I had heard Nazca was a bit of a dump and not worth hanging around in.
So I arrived about 6am. There was a guy there who did flights so I went with him to his shop to wait till I could get on one. First problem - it was a very misty morning so the guy reckoned it would be a few hours before there were any flights. Never mind. I had the internet to keep me entertained. Then at about 9ish the guy gave me a shout and we were off to the airport. Great! I would be out of here soon. At the airport I watched a National Geographic programme about the lines (it seems this how you explain something in Peru.) and then waited. And waited. And then waited some more. Some other people turned up. Then they got on a flight and left. I was still waiting. I made several enquiries as to why the hell I was still waiting. Answers ranged from 'in half an hour you go', to 'we are waiting for the fog to clear' (although lots of other flights had gone and I didn't see much sign of fog), to finally 'we are waiting for our slot at 12.30'. My complaints that no one had told me I would have to wait, that others had been and gone, and that more importantly I was hungry didn't get me very far. Well, I lie. I got a lift down on a motorbike down to the local shop for a free toastie and juice. Shut me up for a bit. And when we got back I finally got on my flight!
As for the lines themselves, well I thought they were pretty cool. There are various lines. Some are just triangles or trapezoids, but there are also lots of pictures of animals. The general consensus after much debate seems to be that they were made by the Nazca people as offerings to the gods to make them bring the rain. What with it being a desert an all rain is pretty scarce. And it is because of the lack of rainfall that the lines are still there undisturbed. It is also thought that the big giant pictures of animals are there so that the Nazca people could walk the lines of them and try and gain some of the animal's powers in special rituals. Of course there is another theory. There are many Americans (and probably one or two of other nationalities) just dying to be analy probed who think that these lines are evidence of alien visitations. Why else would they be only viewed properly from the sky? The Nazca people couldn't fly. There is also one drawing on the side of a hill that looks a bit like a little spaceman. He is quite cute really! I'm not really down with the alien theory, but who knows....
Back on land, I was intending to complain to the man who sold me the ticket, but low and behold he was nowhere to be seen! I thought he might be back at his shop where I was taken to get my bag. But no joy there either, just a young boy who didn't speak English and clearly wasn't going to be in a position to give me any kind of refund. I decided to let it go and get the hell out of Nazca asap! And so I got on my way to Huacachina on particularly over-priced bus full of the joys of chicken and chips (the toastie was breakfast, this was lunch).
Huacachina was much nicer. It is basically a desert oasis. A little villiage made up of a pond, a few hostels and restaurants and entirely surrounded by sand dunes. I spent my first few hours in a hammock, which is always a good start. That evening I enjoyed much banter with guy who was French/English but living in Spain. After getting over the fact that Anglo French relelations had managed to produce offspring, we had yet more chicken and chips at a cheapo restaurant followed by a few beers at the hostel bar.
The next day I had a strenous day again sunbathing in the hammock before heading off for a trip to the sand dunes. This involved getting in a open buggy type vehicle and being raced around for a few hours. This was made scarier as it was our drivers first time. He basically flew up very steep sand dunes and then lauched us off the other side with the passengers either laughing, crying or screaming. It was good fun. And we stopped occasionally for a bit of sandboarding. Standing up on the sandboard didn't seem to result in too much speed being built up, but due to past snowboarding experiences I opted for the lying down method. This was basically lying face first on the board, holding on, tucking your arms in and getting pushed down the dune. It was all good fun. However after going down a particularly steep slope, getting a few cuts and bruises on a bumpy bit and then ploughing into a couple of Israely girls due to an inabillity to steer, I thought it time to give the sandboarding a rest. The girls were not happy! But I had done my best to warn them to move by screaming at them as I approached. And they were standing where everyone who had gone down had ended up. So I feel they were at least partly responsible for their own fate.
That evening I had been intending on having a few drinks at the bar. But instead I passed out stupidly early in my room reading my book. Lame! But for the best maybe as I had to be up early the next day to head to Lima.

Posted by MilyP 14:54 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking

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