A Travellerspoint blog

Day 12 - Highways of the Gods

Nazca, Peru

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Having come come this far, and with remote chances of every returning to see Nazca again, I am back next morning for a new flight - but with a different operator.

Everything around the crew's checks and preparations for the flight seem measured and unhurried.

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In the air we bank and circle over a series of lines, geometric designs and geoglyphs, including a whale, a condor, a monkey, a spider, a hummingbird - and an astronaut? Clearly aliens must be behind this? Or just plain human ingenuity and imagination.

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Other remains of the people who drew these lines are in the local museum, skulls and a few shards of pots.

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Posted by Greenmantle 18:01 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Day 11 - Back to earth

Paracas to Nasca, Peru


View South America on Greenmantle's travel map.

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Back to the harbour in the morning to take a boat to Islas Ballestas, an island of seals and seabirds - and mountains of guano.

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Then another first class bus journey across a landscape of bare, rock-strewn plain. Aircraft buzz overhead, and some of us are to board one of these.
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It is getting late in the day and it is a rushed check-in as we are hustled into an eight-seat Cessna. The plane climbs over the town of Nazca and we experience some turbulence as we bank over the first lines drawn in the earth below, then abruptly we are swinging back and down towards the aerodrome. The engine may have spluttered before the turn is made. I am in to the back of the aircraft and cannot see what is happening. Those in front will say that they saw a fuel gauge reading low or empty. On the ground there are no explanations other than a suggestion that the communications went down. Language is a barrier to any more details, or is a convenient excuse to avoid explanations. They would have us take off again, but with another pilot for some reason. We decide not to risk it this day.

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There have been previous incidents of planes falling out of the sky over Nazca. We later find that the same aircraft, OB-1888, had made a forced landing onto the Panamericana Sur in November 2014. Aviation safety link. Better maintenance regimes and co-pilots had been introduced in response to the incidents. But has this been enough? Dare we risk another flight?

Posted by Greenmantle 22:29 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Day 10 - A desert in the tropics

Paracas, Peru


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Early start to the main bus station. Peruvian bus companies are set up with airport styles baggage check-ins, bag searches (what are they looking for?) and body screening, We are in the top deck with first-class reclining seats and AV screens.

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Four hours gets us to the Reserva Nacional de Paracas, an equatorial desert region.

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In recent years tourism has expanded the town which started as a small fishing village. Finish with drinks at Minsky's bar and and an impromptu jam session at a pizza place.

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Posted by Greenmantle 22:27 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Day 9 - Old Lima

Lima, Peru

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Not much sleep last night. In the morning, take a taxi to the old city of Lima. The central square is on a grand scale, and a strong police presence near the presidential palace. Tour the catacombs under the old Franciscan monastery, including some glimpses of 16th century colonial life in the frescoes, but no photos allowed inside.

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Missed the changing of the guard. Get the metro bus back to the hotel to flake out.

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Posted by Greenmantle 22:26 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Day 8 - Race to the border

Lima, Peru


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We are ready to go at 4.45am. We need to be at the Peruvian border by 10.30am to make it in time for the flight to Lima. We do make, though only just, after some further processing at the border for one member of the group.

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Arrive at Lima, at sea-level and with a sea-breeze, breathing oxygen-rich air after Cuenca's elevation of 2530 metres.

Meet Mike, our Peruvian guide, and some new travellers, then walk along the foreshore to a restaurant. Later, one last drink at a quiet place becomes an odyssey - again mucho borracho

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Posted by Greenmantle 22:24 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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