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Day 11 - Back to earth

Paracas to Nasca, Peru

View South America on Greenmantle's travel map.


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


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.

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.


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

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