We had quite a trek to get to Nazca. We had to get from Huacachina to Ica, the main town nearby, then a bus 2 hours or so to Nazca. Tonino our Peru Hop guide had booked our flight for us, and being new to the job he was really keen to make sure we got there ok. He came in a taxi with us to Ica, and after we had our bus tickets he took us to the markets for a quick breakfast before returning us to the bus station and all but waving us off.
The airline picked us up from the bus station in Nazca and transferred us to the airport. After a quick weigh in and payment of the relevant gringo taxes we were making our way across the tarmac to our tiny 8 seated Cessna. The co-pilot gave us a quick safety briefing and explanation of our flight path, and before long we were loaded in and taking off.
The Nazca flights are well known to be very rough, so we had both taken motion sickness tablets before hand. We saw the first line, the whale, within no time, followed by the triangles, then the astronaut. Over each of the lines the pilot would bank steeply to one side, then loop back and bank to the other side allowing passengers on both sides to see.
It was around this point, 10 minutes into the flight, that the motion sickness tablets proved no match or all the banking left and right for Lindsay and some of the other passengers. Determined not to miss anything Lindsay ignored the dizziness, tingly and numb fingers, and profuse sweating and continued to admire the lines below.
Next was the monkey and the dog, and one of the clearest of the lines, the hummingbird. It was around this time, halfway into the flight, that one of the passengers started to throw up and the smell spread through the plane.
After that it was all over. Lindsay spent half of the rest of the flight with her face buried in a sick bag and the other half trying to time a glance out the window at the right moments. Fortunately Fergus was far less effected and was able to take photos throughout the whole ordeal.
We also saw the spider, condor, parrot, tree, hands and Alcatraz. We were fortunate after this able to fly in a straight line for a little while to loop past the aqueducts, spiralling wells that the Nazcas had built to reach underground water channels.
After half an hour that seemed to Lindsay like 3 hours we finally touched down on land sweet land again. Just like the buggy ride the day before this had been both a thrilling and torturous experience. Given the sketchy safety record of these flights, touching down was particularly welcomed, but despite all this the Nazca Lines are well worth the suffering.
Nazca itself isn't much so we didn't hang around long. After some lunch we were back on a bus to Huacachina. We managed to catch the tail end of some sandboard slalom on the dune behind the hostel, part of the very poorly attended World Sandboarding Championships that were on in Huacachina that weekend.
We had one more full day in Huacachina. We spent much of it by the pool, reading and eating, and for sunset we made the trek on foot up one of the dunes to watch the sunset and check out the views. Unfortunately the sunset wasn't much but running back down the dune was heaps of fun. If only it took more than 30 seconds to get down given the 30 minutes to get up there!
The next day around lunch time, after another morning by the pool, we were back on the bus bound for Arequipa. First we stopped for a vineyard tour, where they create Pisco. We had been told it was an all you can drink affair, though it proved to be only a few tastings, which with a long bus trip ahead was probably a good thing! We then passed by Nazca one more time and stopped at the rickety old viewing tower near the tree and hands. This terrible view of the lines made us extremely glad we had forked out the money and suffered through the flight. After some dinner in the middle of nowhere we began the horrible overnight journey to Arequipa.