Here’s an exerpt from my other journal…
Background: My Peruvian friend and I split since he needed to go to Ayacucho and I was taking my “extra trip” to Nazca. I took the 4 PM first class bus from Lima (you have to because the lower class buses are VERY uncomfortable—backpacking and doing things on the cheap gets really old fast and trust me, I’ve done that too) and I didn’t get to Nazca until midnight. I didn’t have reservations for any hotel there.
“… When I got dropped of at Nazca, I was the only person getting off there. It was pitch black. The bus station (Ormeno) was literally across the street from a youth hostel and at midnight, you don’t have much of a choice so I went ahead and took it. It was $5 a night. The adjoing bathroom (it wasn’t shared at least) was worse.
I also had another problem. I only had dollars and was down to the last S./20. I needed to find a cajero automatico (ATM) first thing in the morning.
Before I went to bed, the nice young man that checked me in asked me about a Nazca Lines tour. One tour group stopped at that hostel all the time so I told him to hook me up with the 8 AM tour. My body was still on Pacific time and I couldn’t wake up early. Peru is on Eastern time. So I was signed up for 8 AM. I was going to use my credit card to pay for my tour at the airport and that was fine with them.
I was so afraid to turn off the lights for fear of bugs of every kind but at that point, I was so tired, I stopped caring. Within seconds, I was snoring. I woke up the next day at 7:30 AM and took the fastest shower known to man. I didn’t want to miss my 8 AM tour.
However, because this was Latin America, my 8 AM tour turned into 11 AM which in turn turned into 12 PM. Between 8 AM and 11 AM, I had a chance to finally find an ATM that took my card (not all banks in Latin America take my card!). I had some breakfast and no, I didn’t get sick. BUT, I made sure I took two Dramamine pills, my pharmacy impulse buy (THANKGOD!).
I was worried for my safety and sanity about doing this whole Nazca Lines tour. I knew I was going to be in a little plane. The smallest plane I had ever rode in was the 12-seater from Panama City to San Blas (where the Kuna Yala live) in Panama. The scariest thing I had ever done in my life was to go bungee jumping over a bridge and that was 6 years ago. So needless to say, I was ready for this experience to be worse than the 12-seater and slightly less worse than the bungee jump.
Also, I wanted to tell you about the big German guy in the tour that almost hurled. He was so scared and uncomfortable during that 20-minute ride that he barely looked out the window, he was sweating SHEETS all over his body (when he placed his hand over his thighs, sweat beaded through), and he admitted that if the flight were 10 minutes longer, he would’ve hurled his breakfast. In these little planes you can feel every turn, and tilt, and bump of turbulence. Imagine a long roller-coaster ride. The German guy asked the pilot to open up the window during flight because he was hot and sweaty. But the open window did nothing but cause more turbulence in the little plane. I asked the pilot to close the window about a minute later since he was holding the window with one hand and steering the plane with the other. The inside of the plane got 2x noisier too. I did that not to be mean but I’d rather the pilot have both hands on the wheel and besides, the turbulence was going to start making me sick too regardless of the two Dramamine I took earlier that morning.
So in an adventure and fear factor of 10 (10 being the bungee jump), this experience was a 9.5. I already know that I will be the only person in my family who can do this, maybe my one other cousin if she popped half a valium and two Dramamine. It’s that frightening. But no, I took this adventure on perfectly sober. This is NOT for the faint of heart, I assure you all with no exagerration."
1. When I went there, it was in the height of summer. Nazca is a desert and it was very hot and dry. Do NOT go there around summertime (the northern hemisphere’s winter).
2. It is best to get to Nazca at around 6 PM so you can go to perhaps the best hotel in all of Nazca called Hotel Allegria. Nazca as a town is nothing to write home about. You go to the hotel, you sleep, you wake up at 6 AM to catch the 6 AM, 7 AM or 8 AM Nazca Lines tour. The light is better around those times.
3. If you suffer from motion sickness, as I do, bring Dramamine.
4. The bus OUT of Nazca to Lima (or Ica) from the Nazca Ormeno station leaves at 2 PM. Make sure you’re on it if you want to go to other locations in Peru.
Oh yeah, I was the only girl in that plane. Otherwise, that was my summer vacation. :)
over 7 years ago