Flying dead high

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
Trip End Aug 16, 2013

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It had been amazing to share 2 weeks travelling with one of my friends from back home and I cried as soon as April left.  I spent a further day wallowing my sorrows away in El Ecuentro, my favourite vegetarian restaurant in the world, before I decided to move onwards and upwards and took the night bus to Nasca.

Thinking I would be able to get a good nights rest on the bus was a bad idea - the first 6 of the 14 hour journey involves winding your way accross the Andes and they were quite a few people getting up and down with travel sickness - it was not a pleasant ride!

I arrived into Nasca at 8am, and after checking into my hostel I booked up to go on a flight over the Nasca lines straight away at 9am, as the weather conditions were perfect - not a cloud in the sky and perfect visibility.  The following morning I had been really glad of this as it was hazy and no where near as clear, so I definitely chose the right day!  Before the flight commenced we all had to be weighed in... not something that I had been looking forward to after spending the last two weeks "enjoying" myself a bit too much with April!  With that out the way, me and 3 others from my hostel climbed into a tiny tiny aeroplane that could only hold 4 passengers, the pilot and the co-pilot, and spent the next 30 minutes flying at 500m above the famous images, banking left and right to make sure everyone in the plane got a good view of each one, and giving us all a second taste of our breakfast!

There's lots of different theories about how the Nasca lines were made and why - an alien invasion, an agricultural calendar, but my favourite thoery I heard is that it was a giant Nasca open temple with the drawings being offerings to the gods.  Nasca´s existed before the Inca´s, between 1500 and 2500 yrs ago, so the thought of how they made these giant images on the ground without being able to see what they were drawing is incredible, another mystery like how the pyramids were built!  My favourite was the image of the monkey, just because it looks cute!

After the flight was over, I bumped into Jeffrey outside the airport. Jeffrey had been my taxi driver that morning and had been trying to sell me every tour going, so I gave in and arranged with him to go to ancient aquaducts later that day.  I talked a Taiwanese guy from hostel into going along with me to share the cost of the taxi ride.  It turns out that Jeffrey is a bit of a Del-boy character.... he knows everyone, has the gift of the gab and was a lot of fun to take an unofficial tour with, but I{ve no idea if anything he told us was actually true!!  He ended our "tour" by taking us to his family´s home where they grow grapes and make their own wine and pisco.  It turned out that they had hosted a party there the night before and we were obviously not expected as we woke up his uncle who had ot quickly go and put his pyjamaas on, and then led us through to his homebrew cellar and gave us loads of samples of all the wines and pisco´s in their various stages, ending with a plastic water bottle filled with Chicara, a young wine only 6 or 7%, which really didn't taste too bad but by the end of it the Tawanese guy was very drunk, it was so funny!  I only survied by giving generous amounts of my shots to Pacha Mama, the token offering to the Mother Earth at the start of every glass!

As Jeffrey had tuined out to be a lot of fun and cheaper than taking official tours, the next morning I arranged  to go to Chauchilla, a Nasca cemetary with him.  The cemetary was found 60 years ago by graverobbers who were just interested in taking the ceramics as these were worth more money, then later came back and stole the gold and textiles too, and then preserved and reconstructed by archeologists roughly 50 years ago.   The Nasca people were mummified in the foetal position (they were sent onto the next life in the same position they were bought into this life) and then encased in tombs, facing the mountains on the east where the sun rises along with all their possessions they use in daily life as they believed that they would need the same possessions in their afterlife - cups, plates, food etc.  Everything has been so well preserved because of the dryness in the desert and the lack of humidity.  All the clothing and hair is still intact, and you can get close enough to the tombs that you can almost reach out and touch the mummies - you could even see that one of them still had their feet fully intact - it was pretty eerie!


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