Nazca & Huacachina
After 12 days in Cusco we thought it was about time to leave! We got a night bus to Nazca, home of the Nazca lines. The lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs made up of animal figures and geometric shapes. Research indicates the lines were created by the Nazca culture but there are still many theories regarding their purpose and one of the great mysteries of South America.
Our bus dropped us off on a dusty and busy highway with no indication of where we were in Nazca. Taking a gamble we hailed the first tuk tuk that came our way and found our hostel. Nazca is a small desert town where backpackers solely visit to see the lines. Almost at sea level again and in the desert, the temperature was very warm compared to the altitude we were accustomed to.
We visited the lookout tower just outside of town on a busy highway where you get to see 3 of the Nazca lines - the tree, lizard and a pair of hands. It was hard to believe these lines were created between 400 and 650 AD and still here today. Due to the rare changes in weather in the desert and preservation the lines are still clear and prominent. Nick forked out for the flight and got to see the entire collection from the sky which is the best way of seeing the lines.
After our whirlwind visit to Nazca we hopped on a 4 hour bus the next day to the sand dune oasis of Huacachina. The village is surrounded by huge sand dunes with a lake in the centre of the village. It's main tourist attraction is the adrenaline dune buggy riding and sand boarding opportunities. Being the adrenaline junkies we are we absolutely loved it, similar to a roller coaster ride we were flying out of our seats. It was definitely a fun afternoon. Once we were at the top of the dunes we had the chance to go sand boarding. I flew down the sand dunes face first on the sand boards whilst Nick practiced his sand boarding skills he learnt in Florianopolis in Brazil. We were both covered head to toe in sand!
We chilled out that evening by the hostel pool and enjoyed their daily BBQ. Our second day we were taken to 2 vineyards for wine and pisco tasting. Pisco is Peru's national liquor made from grapes into a strong grape brandy. The popular national cocktail that I absolutely love is called a pisco sour! I'll try to bring a bottle home and make you all one.
With not much else to see in Huacachina our short and sweet visit was over. We are now heading further north to Lima, the capital.