Luckily my pick up time for the flight over the Nasca lines was not till 11am, so after my long day of travel yesterday and still trying to get over a hideous cold which had left me voiceless for a couple of days, I wanted a lie in. No such luck wide awake by 6am so I tried to update the blog (slow going now), had breakfast then went for a wander around the town of Nasca.
It seems a nice town and noticeably very clean, I also noted the lack of traditional dress on the women. This was really interesting to me, since La Pax and beyond I'd kind of got accustomed to the local women running around in bowler hats, or the more colorful hats of the Colca Valley, or even the high topped fedora style hats we saw in Cusco. Also missing were the women carrying babies and or their market wares, in big bright colourful wraps of material. None of this seemed present in Nasca, it somehow had a more modern feel to it. I looked around the market, lots of dead plucked chickens for sale. I then returned to the hotel and waited for my excursion pick up.
The excursion company was late to collect me, so once they arrived we dashed to the airport at high speed, I was ushered on some scales (seems I need to be weighed for this flight, lol) then before I knew it I was on a 12 seater plane hurtling down the runway. Luckily I'm pretty used to these small planes from living in the Caribbean so i was not nervous about flying in one. The point of all this was to fly above the Nasca lines to get the best view of their shapes. I had hoped that for this excursion there might be some little briefing before hand about what they were and how they were created, etc etc. Nothing, just bundled onto the plane, humm. Luckily I had read my guide book (sorry Betsy's guide book before she left) and had a brief understanding that these lines (some as big as football pitches) were draw out into the desert in shapes like monkeys, spiders and condors. There are many such shapes all over the desert and it's not really know who created them, or why they are there, but they date back hundreds of years.
While I saw most of the shapes the pilots pointed out during the 30 min flight, I quickly became motion sick. In order to get the best possible view the pilot banked the plane heavily to the left, then quickly round to the right so both sides of the plane got a view. It was like being on a roller coaster. For me the first 10 mins were fine, but after that I was quickly glancing out the window to see the shape being pointed out before returning to staring up at the ceiling trying to catch some of the piped cool air to lesson the feeling of sickness. For me (and a couple of others on the plane) this was not really the best experience.
I was pleased when we landed and had mixed feeling when I heard ours was the last plane up for the day. The airport had been closed as there was a lot of desert sand in the air making for poor visibility. Anyway I'd done it now, I even got given a certificate to prove it :)
After this there was time for lunch, then onto another bus and off to Paracas. Same nice bus company only this time the bus ride was only 4 hours long, after yesterday that flew by. Again not much in the way of scenery, just lots more sand.
I arrived at Paracas early evening and the hotel was by far the nicest I had stayed in during all of my traveling this month. As it was on the coast it had a lovely resort feel to it, with swimming pools (yup the weather here is warmer and it's nice to be back at sea level I realized). My room was lovely with a huge double bed, comfy linens and a massive bathroom with a bath. Oh I'm back in my old world again I realized with a smile. I slept the best i think I had slept the whole trip.