This is a really tough blog entry to write because I know how it turns out. You see there is a happy ending and two bad endings. Before we got onto the shuttle we met two young German guys who were traveling around Peru for a month. One of the two confessed to clogging every toilet he used in Peru because he was tossing the toilet paper in the bowl (FYI if you ever travel to Latin America, ask if you can throw the paper in the toilet). Not a big deal but I appreciated his honesty. As we headed to the airport, we stopped by a small hotel and picked up two more travelers who seemed to me to be European, but I did not get a chance to talk with them so I cant be sure. All six of us quietly headed to the airport. We were all excited to finally be able to see the Nazca lines. When we arrived at the airport we entered a small building where there were a whole bunch of small counters just like at a regular size airport except they were a lot smaller. There was a lot of hustle bustle and people were waiting. There were more than a few with unhappy looks on their faces. As soon as we walked in the door, we were bombarded with information. This is no joke. The people move you around the airport as if you were cattle. They don’t explain a lot and expect you to know where you are going. When we walked up to the counter of our airline, right away they had us pull out our passports and stand on a scale so they could evenly distribute the weight on the plane.
We were given the first of the two bad endings to this story while this whole process was going on. Because they got a late start this day, they told us that they would not be able to take everyone up that came in our group. They could however fly up the three of us that day because we had already been delayed so much. The two Germans and the other couple were out of luck. They told us to keep it on the down low and not say anything as to not cause a scene. They said that we would not be able to take one of their planes because they were all booked up. Instead they set us up with one of their comepetadors called Aeroplacazu. We walked up to their counter and they told us that before we could fly we had to pay a 30 sol fee. I’m not really sure what the fee was for but to be honest there is an extra fee for everything in Latin America. I think it is just a way to nickel and dime tourists. I could be wrong though. Anyway, we paid the fee and then we were escorted to a security check point where I had to remove everything from my pockets and take anything off that would cause problems. While we were passing through security, Alisa ran back to her bag to take one more motion sickness pill–a good idea. We walked onto the tarmac which was really nice after being stuck in such a small lobby. There were dozens of planes lined up and ready to go. We ended up being pared up with another family from Poland in the plane. Before we boarded the co-pilot went over some general guidelines for us to follow.
1. He said to not look higher than the wing because you can get sick easily.
2. He said that if we want to take a picture of one of the Nazca lines that we would find the line with our eyes first and then use the phone. If we try to find the line with the screen on our phone we would get sick.
3. In case we got sick there were vomit bags in he plane.
I thought the plane ride was awesome. I do not get motion sickness very often, but I did a little on this plane. We were flying really low to the ground and were doing some pretty fast maneuvers over the lines so that wee could get a better look at the them. I had never been in a plane that moved that much. It twisted and turned so quickly that I am glad that it had been several hours since we ate. The lines were amazing. I think we got a lot of good video but it’s hard to say cause I was too afraid to look through the screen to line up the shot. All in all we say about 12 official lines that were on a map given o use before the flight and we probably saw a couple more that were just as impressive that surround the area. I think there are hundreds of other formations in the area, however, the plane only takes us by the ones that stand out the most.
No at the beginning of this entry I said that there were two bad endings this blog entry. You head the first one and if you know my wife Alisa, I sure you can predict the second bad ending. She almost made it through the 30 minute flight. She was having a great time although I could tell that she was a little uncomfortable. At the last turn to get back to the air strip, the pilot made a really quick maneuver and with that Alisa threw her phone on my lap. I turned to look at her as she grabbed the plastic bag that was in the seat in front of her. I think you can use your imagination to figure out what happens next. If you can’t…well I’ll tell you. The contents of the afternoon lunch were emptied into the bag. It’s a good thing it was so loud in the plane because I don’t think anyone really noticed. To be honest, as easily as she gets motion sickness, I am really proud that she lasted that long. It reallly made the whole day an interesting experience.
We landed, got off the plane, and headed back to the lobby where we gathered our things and waited outside for a shuttle to pick us up. I bought several Nazca stickers and we ended up sitting down at a small coffee shop named Mama’s Café. The coffee was great, and we had an opportunity to chat about what we liked most about the trip.
That was pretty much our Nazca day. As I write this we are about an hour and a half from Lima. Once we arrive, we will have spent about 10-11 hours on a bus today for only 30 minutes in the air. Is it worth it? I think so. I would, however, do a little research on the lines before you head out just so you can have a little perspective as to what you are looking at and how much. It’s great. I only wish the flight was a little bit longer.