We arrived in Nazca at Midnight and jumped in a taxi to the Nazca Lodge, which was to be our hostel for the night. We were greeted by a lovely lady who helped us call the flight agency for the Nazca lines . The hostel seemed empty but had a nice, homey feel to it.
After a refreshing sleep we made our way to the airport, I began to feel a little nervous when I saw the size of the planes which were to fly us over the Nazca lines. They were only big enough to carry around ten people and did not exactly look sturdy. The flight company with whom we had booked our flight were one of four government-authorised companies for the Nazca lines; this made me panic slightly less. We handed in our tickets and paid the airport tax. We were warned it could be a couple of hours before take-off due to the waiting list. This was the perfect excuse for us to wander down to the market stalls opposite the departure lounge to barter for some Peruvian goodies. Unfortunately, about ten minutes later a women came running outside shouting our names and warning us that our flight was about to take off. This is quite typical for me.
We boarded our own teeny-weeny plane and were welcomed by a smiley tour guide who told us a little about the history of the Nazca lines. The Nazca culture created striking pictures on the dusty ground in order to appease a particularly grumpy god who felt he was not appreciated enough. The lines were created so that they could only be seen by this formidable god, and it wasnt until the early 20th century that us lowly humans were able to appreciate them too.
The Nazca lines were indeed amazing to behold and I was particularly taken by the fabled astronaut and the hummingbird. We were very fortunate, it was a beautiful day and visibility was excellent. However, I would warn anyone who travels over the Nazca lines to brace themselves for some seriously dizzy moments. The plane flies around in circles. Many times. Despite this, the travel sickness was well worth the chance to see these incredible designs firsthand.
After a couple of hours, feeling a little dazed from the plane ride, we went back to the Nazca lodge and got chatting to a couple, Richard and Nicola, who had been travelling for the last year around South America. As we seemed to be the only people in the hostel, we decided to join forces and find somewhere to eat for lunch. We ended up sitting in a restaurant that was absolutely covered in graffiti, with words of affection covering all available space on the walls (of course we could see a couple of penis drawings, which seem to pop up everywhere). Although the food was tasty, the service was rather abysmal and after an hour and a half Richard had still not received his chips.
For some bizarre reason, I ended up talking about my time on the dig last year and mentioned that we used to eat sandwiches everyday with “Fanny Jam”, a food brand in South American which just cracked us up. In fact, Richard and Nicola found this so priceless we ended up walking to the nearest supermarket to take some photos. It turned out that as well as fanny jam, you could also eat fanny mustard and fanny peaches if you felt so desired. By this time we were in hysterics and the other shoppers were probably wondering what the hell we found so hilarious.
In was in this supermarket that we bid farewell to our fanny-loving friends as we had to catch a bus to Arequipa. This was to be a long ride (ten hours) but fortunately there were several films to keep us amused. Less fortunately, one of these films was The Book of Eli, a post-apocalyptic tale involving the last bible, ominous sepia lighting and a lot of crying. I have to admit I was less than inspired. However, we were sitting opposite some very French-looking Frenchman who insisted we watch a comedy. We ended up watching the sequel to Night at the Museum and it actually wasn’t too bad.
At about two in the morning we finally arrived at the Wild Rovers hostel in Arequipa and were greeted by a rather flamboyant Mexican called Jay. We decided to call it a night as we only had one day in Arequipa before we left for Puno!