Exploring a new continent

Travel time: March - June 2010  |  by Dominik Weber

19 - 20 April Nazca

We arrived almost one hour earlier than scheduled and although my hostel (Walk on Inn) provides every guest with a complimentary transfer from the bus station, I decided to walk the few blocks from the bus station to the hostel. Nazca is very small and very safe, so I started walking towards the centre. But as soon as you leave the small terminal building, some guys want to offer you either their taxis or any kind of tourist trip. I declined the taxis but one guy was walking with me towards the centre. As always, they are saying that they are having the same way anyway... We had a chat, but since I had booked my hostel (he owned one) and since I had booked a flight over the famous Nazca lines (he was also a travel agent), we were walking together in the dark street - the was a power failure that day in that neighborhood. I arrived with my personal guide in my hostel, checked in, got a candle and went to bed. It was already after 10pm and I didn´t feel well that day. Electricity came back shortly after I went to bed.
One of the Flying Dog hostels in Lima also had a permanent travel agent in the house. There I had booked a flight over the Nazca lines that morning. Since I had booked Saturday and wanted to fly that day (Monday), I didn´t know at what time my flight will be. But the hostel was very helpful, called the airline and they told me that I will be picked up about 4 hours later, at 1pm. I thanked her for helping out.
10 Minutes later, the girl from the hostel came again to tell me that there is a taxi and a guide outside the hostel, waiting for me to bring me to the airport. That´s Peru - nobody knows anything...

The brought me to the small airport and I had to get immediately to the little plane. They are really small: two pilots and four passengers. It is recommended that you don´t have breakfast before the flight, and after the flight, I realized why...
The Nazca lines (again, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are lines and symbols that are drawn by the Nazca culture into the dessert and they are around 2500 years old. It was a German lady, Maria Reiche, back in the 1940, who started to map them and to try to find out their meanings. Until today, the exact meaning behind the lines and symbols are not yet determined, but the most likely theory is that they were used for spiritual ceremonies - some are lined up exactly with sun and star constellations.
Since the lines and symbols are speaded over an area of several kilometers and some of the symbols are as wide as 200m, you can only see the dimension of all that by flying over it. But 200m are not really big for a plane and since every symbol has to be seen by the passangers on the left and then by them on the right, the planes are constantly flying small circles. Well, it was just fine for me, but the lady next to me had a very common problem...
Beside these lines, Nazca has not much to offer. I was walking around, enjoyed the street life, had a bite to eat, but since I still didn´t feel so well, I decided to spend the afternoon watching TV. I decided to take the night bus to Arequipa - as the travel agent suggested, in a VIP seat since it was a 10 hours drive. And it was worth every penny - with a sleeping pill, I slept the entire time. I had dinner with Carmen from Lucerne (who was so kind to give me the pages about Bolivia out of her travel guide) and took off in a very luxurious bus. When I arrived in Arequipa, I already felt much better.

The so called "Astronaut".

The so called "Astronaut".

And when I wanted to take a photo of the best known symbol, my battery was empty. Hence, only a photo of a model of the Colibri.

And when I wanted to take a photo of the best known symbol, my battery was empty. Hence, only a photo of a model of the Colibri.

Don´t worry, he only took a nap...

Don´t worry, he only took a nap...

© Dominik Weber, 2010
You are here : Overview The Americas Peru 19 - 20 April Nazca
The trip
 
Description:
After working for too long without a real break, I decided to go on a long planned backpack trip. After changing the departure date and the destination several times, I decided to go to South America. Starting in Colombia, then Peru and finishing in Bolivia. At least, this was the plan but once on tour, you never know what to expect. This report is for all people asking how I am doing, but also for those who are thinking about doing something similar. I hope I can inspire them.
Details:
Start of journey: Mar 19, 2010
Duration: 13 weeks
End of journey: Jun 15, 2010
Travelled countries: Colombia
Peru
Bolivia
The Author
 
Dominik Weber is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 11 years.
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