I’m Redefining My Definition of Exhilerating

Trip Start Jul 31, 2010
Trip End Aug 26, 2010

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

What a day…exhilherating, scary, fantastic, riveting… and wow-wee!

Woke up at 5:30 and there was Pancho, gathering us to take the 2 hr. taxi ride to Nazca to see the Nazca lines…this was a 35 year old battleaxe car that reminded Patty of one from the Dukes of Hazard…and the driver was equally crusty.   I really hadn't had the biggest of expectations but it really was pretty incredible….unfortunately, I’m not sure if the pictures will be as vivid as the actual line figures really were.  Got to the airport and unfortunately they changed the rules and you needed to show your passport.  Patty & I had ours, but Cynthia & Max left theirs at the hotel.  The security was holding very firm and wouldn’t allow them on unless they had their passports…. A 2hr. ride back to the hotel...hope not.  After about 20 minutes of Pancho pleading their case, I thought that it just wasn’t going to happen.  All of a sudden a security honcho comes over to Pancho & says 'Let’s get a cup of coffee’… 10 minutes later, all 4 of us were on the plane…hmmm.  Never doubt Pancho…he’s been around too long, knows a lot of things and a lot of people.

Anyway, we missed our booked time with all this happening, so I had to go up by myself because there was just one opening and only 3 on the next flight…that’s fine tho.  So, this tiny little prop plane that held just four was my plane… Sky King would have laughed because the Songbird was bigger and all the other planes seemed to hold at least eight.  I was seated right behind the pilot and off we went.  It really was quite amazing to think that these lines were created of monkey shapes, hummingbirds etc. nearly 1,500 yrs. ago and are perfectly in tact since the Nazca desert has no rain, little if any humidity and very little wind.  The plane followed a very tight course and made tighter turns in order for both sides of the plane to see.

Now it is back to the hotel in Ica as we will be doing our sandboarding and dune buggies right near the hotel…and it was right near.  I hadn’t noticed the night before, but right across the street were these fast rising & huge sand dunes…never have seen anything like it.  We were booked to go at about 4pm for a couple of hours in order to see the sunset over the dunes as an added bonus.

Having my hearing aid & cochlear implant to deal with could be a problem… tho the last thing I want to do is take them off and be totally deaf.  I found the only hat that would stay on my head and probably do the job of keeping the sand out of these devices…but it’s hot out and I’d much prefer not wearing a hat or cap… but while Goofus Ken considered going sans hat, Galant Ken decided he needed to buy one.  Being the only person on the hill with a hat, I felt like an idiot, and even more so since I had this snoopy hat with a pom-pom on top…. But it worked!

We took the dune buggy to the top of the dunes…as I said, some of the dunes supposedly are nearly a mile high of this soft, white beautiful sand.  From the top, you can see that these dunes extend as far as one can see and it is nothing like anything I have ever seen before.  Breathtakingly beautiful, so barren except for these wispy mountains of sand… I truly felt that I was on the moon or something so out of this world…I will never forget the sight and the feeling… like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I don’t know how to describe the sandboarding other than to show you the video Cynthia took of my 2nd medium sized run.  This is steep, this is fast…much faster than any sleigh ride…just keep your elbows in or you’ll get a sandburn like none you’ve had before.  This sand is so billowy it also is nearly impossible to walk up any incline…it’s like 2 steps up, 1 step back and it is tiring.

As for the dune buggying…also can’t fairly describe it except to show a short video that I have of it also…all I can say is that the downs & ups rival any rollercoaster I have been on…it was a total blast!

Finally, after Pancho took us out to a nice place for dinner, it was time to hit the sack.  Pancho is truly a wonderful, wonderful person…was with us and took care of every detail.  Next morning, we had an early morning boat tour to Paracas Island, the Galapagos Islands of Peru.  Again, to keep water & mist out of my hearing stuff, I donned a ridiculous hefty bag type pancho that Cynthia had and this made yesterday’s hat look like a fashion statement.  It just slipped over the head and you rolled it down to the floor…thus the Kendom was born.  The isles were ok at best, and I dozed off frequently.

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Vinny on

Wow Ken ! You are really getting to do some cool stuff on this trip ! I can only imagine how cool see the Nazca lines really is. That sandboarding and dune buggie adventure really looked cool too ! Sorry the mini Galapagos was disappointing, but you can't win them all. As far as the hat goes......good choice, buddy. I'm surprised the locals didn't think you were one of the Gods returning ! LOL !!!! Looking forward to your next post.

Garry on

Looks like a blast Ken.I can imagine what it must be like going up and down those dunes.KOWABUNGA.............Have fun and be safe...G

carol imbriaco on

ken...enjoying reading your posts...and seeing your pictures! those sand dunes were amazing!!! what an adventure you're having! have fun and enjoy yourself! stay safe!

Amy on

Incredible couple of days you've had. It's so much fun to read your posts, thanks.

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