It's not easy being green - Nasca Overflight

Trip Start Oct 16, 2009
Trip End Nov 01, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, October 30, 2009

Now this really was stupid o'clock. We were being picked up at 5am but the phone in the room rang at 4.30am -  The tour company were here. How soon could we get down into reception? I was nearly ready so dashed down to see our guide. But  I had forgotten the camera! Before I could dash back upstairs he told me in a quiet voice that the other people on the trip had booked and evidently paid for the longer trip via Las Islas Ballestas and as we were the only other people going we would get to do that for free. Absolute bonus. All we had to do was not tell the other people! (This also means though that I'm not going to say the name of the tour company here to protect the guilty - It will have to remain a mystery)

Easy! So camera and husband retrieved we set off in the darkness southwards out of Lima. It was a long and mostly boring drive down the Pan American Highway. Around 10-ish we reached Paracas. Then I realised we were not dressed approriately. We had dressed for the desert - shorts, trecking sandals etc.  It was cold and murky (still quite Lima-ish weather on this bit of the coast)  and we were about to get on a boat for an hour!

The life jackets helped a bit but mostly we were freezing. While we were motoring out to the islands pelicans were flying along side us. It was amazing and magical but hard to take a photo of! We did try. 

The closer we got to the islands the more we could smell the birds. The guano here is harvested regularly. I think it was due for a collection! It was amazing though - particularly the penguins and sea lions. We could see and hear the big bull sea lions on the shore. This was a really excellent trip. There is also El Candelabro, an ancient line drawing in the sand, similar to the Nasca Lines.  It has only remain untouched for so long because it virtually never rains here.

After we returned to shore we had coffee in Paracas and then headed towards Nasca. It was still a long drive and we hadn't eaten. Just as well, it transpired. 

Once we got to the airport we had to wait a while before our flight. We were flying with Aero Condor. There are loads of different companies to choose from if you make your own way out there though. Eventually the captain arrived and it was time to go. Within minutes of taking off and after just the first 'bank', we hadn't even seen anything yet, I felt sick. The pilot passed me something to smell which helped but in front of me I could see the colour had totally drained out of my husband. He was unwell and I was worried about him so we probably didn't get the best out of it! We got off the plane after the longest 30 minutes of our lives and with a very apologetic pilot! We were the same colour as Ole! I did my best with the photos under the circumstances.

We did recover back in the van but it was another long drive to the Huachina Oasis where we were going to eat (not so much lunch as supper by the time we got there).  It was dark now so we were glad to be on our way back to Lima and eventually get to bed!
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