Shreddin Sand!!

Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 01, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We´ve started to accept the fact we are masocists.  Even after the painful 40 hour bus experience from Bogota to Canoa we decided on another 32 hour trip south from Mancora to Nazca.  

Due to the unplanned visit to the Galapagos we needed to cut a few days here, nip a few days there.  Northern Peru took the brunt of our trimming.  On the bus we watched hours upon hours of sand dunes pass by the window, and realized we probably weren´t missing much.  We found a bus company callled Cruz Del Sur that is pretty sweet.  Double decker buses, fully reclining seats, drinks, and a hot meal service (nicer than flying in Canada).  Late Sundy night we arrived in Nazca, home of the mysterious Nazca Lines.  Ohhh...Ahhhh.

At our hostel one of the local girls who worked the tour desk was having a her 24th birthday party and invited us along.  Mystery BBQ meat, salad, and our first taste of pisco sour, a popular Peruvian drink.  

In the morning we did some bartering for a tour.  The obvious tour in Nazca is taking a flight over the lines.  While it would be nice, we were more appealed by sandboarding down the mother of all sand dunes, the Cerro Blanco. 
We substituted the flight over Nazca with a trip to a mountian viewpoint and look-out tower where several lines and 3 figures are visible in addition to visiting a planetarium that takes you through the various theories for why the lines are even there.  The jist of it is that a german mathemetician, Maria Reitche, spent most of her life studying and protecting the lines.  She felt the lines were a celestial calendar.  However, current day researchers mainly believe the lines were related to water sources above and below the earth, prayer paths for the Nazca´s water loving culture, and the characters were good luck signals to their God, a flying Puma. 

Later on we also paid a small fee to be transfered out of dirty backpacker world, and into luxury travel world.  One of the nicest hotels in town has a deal where you can use their pool, have lunch, and drinks for about the price of a lunch anywhere else in town.  It was amazing - clear pool, blue skies, deck chairs and pool side service.  The hotel also had hot water and free soap, so Arik washed his musky travel towel in their bathroom sink.  Sort of strange to visit a hotel and the first thing you think about is washing your towel in their sink...

The next day it was up at 5AM to start our hike up Cerro Blanco before cuttin lines back down.  3 hours later we made it to the top.  At the top we spent 20 mins perfecting our skills on the bunny hill before dropping the largest dune in the world.  Our guide, Isreal the self proclaimed rastafarian competitive sandboarder was great.  The sandboarding was similar to snowboarding, but also different.  It is hard to explain so all you curious types will just have to try it out yourself. 

We did learn an important lesson.  Camera + Largest Sand Dune in the World = NO MORE WORKY...that´s right, our camera is kaput giving an annoying lens error message....with only a few days before Machu Pichu thats not good...
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