Categories: Peru, Travel
We had to boogie our way South to Lima because a)we needed to sort out our camper electrics and b) Dan’s parents were coming for a visit!
First stop in Lima was meeting the awesome Alberto, who runs RVperu. He just happens to rent out trucks with 4 wheel pop up campers, what a coincidence, although he couldn’t fix the problem himself, he got our converter to an electrician that was able to fix it, for very cheap (woohoo!). Then it was a matter of buying a step down transformer, lucky for us most hardware stores sell them since for a long time Peru imported most appliances from 110v countries so every house used to (and some still do) have these transformers. With that solved we spent the rest of our time wandering the beautiful parks of Lima and eating lots of good bread.
We were lucky enough to get to pick up the parents at 5:30 am at the airport! They looked as exhausted as us and we only had a 7 hour drive ahead of us! Once we got out of Lima we were able to properly catch up so much so that we kind of got lost in the conversation and got into our first accident of the trip. First off, it can hardly be called an accident, it was really more of a gentle nudge, but nonetheless it happened and we were the gringos with the much bigger vehicle. The Hulk had no damage and the Peruvian men we “nudged” desperately tried to find damage on their vehicle, there was some liquid on the ground so immediately it was assumed that we had ruined their engine. We pointed out that their car would have had to spit the liquid 2 feet forward and that cars don’t do that. Eventually a scuff was found on their plastic bumper, and they asked for money. This all happened at a toll booth and there was a toll booth policeman there, he was rooting for us and didn’t want us to pay the guys but to call the transit police. We didn’t want to wait around plus there was no guarantee that they would side with us. So in the end we paid up and drove away with traumatized parents.
Our first stop was the town of Huacachina, an oasis in the desert, famous for sand boarding and cheap happy hour specials. Dan and I were initially overwhelmed by the amount of gringos around and the fact that everyone spoke English, but otherwise it was a very pretty local. After a few happy hour cocktails, sampling Peru’s famous Pisco sour, we dragged our exhausted (and tipsy) parents up a sand dune to watch the sunset with a few beers. Then we made them run down said dune because we wanted dinner, it has to be said running down dunes is infinitely more fun than walking up.
Our next stop was the town of Nazca, famous for those funny lines and geoglyphs that zigzag the desert. We first stopped at the viewing platforms along the PanAm, for a couple soles you can climb a structure of questionable stability and view two of the Nazca lines , the tree and the hands. A little bit further away are the Palpa lines, which are on a hill and have been restored but are still cool to see.
Of course the best way to see the lines is in the air, which means climbing into a tiny plane and flying around for 35 minutes. We decided to pop into the airport and book our flight for the next day, but wouldn’t you know it one airline could take us right then. As Dan talked them down in price and up in flight time, my tummy sank, I wasn’t going to have time to take any motion sickness medication, but surely I could manage 35 minutes, right?
We flew in a Cessna just the four of us and our two pilots, one would drive and the other would point things out, I located my barf bag and we took to the sky. Within the first minute we saw our first shape, the whale, it was smaller and harder to spot than I expected, but it was neat. Then we banked around so the other side of the plane could see it, my stomach immediately flew in mouth and I suddenly got very hot -“ok”, I told myself “keep it together, only 30 more minutes, you can do this, focus”. This is how the rest of the flight went for me;
“Wow, the astronaut, cool”
“Why is it so hot in here, can’t we open a window?”
“Look, the condor, awesome”
“Why is it so bouncy, do we really need to bank this steeply”
“Oh yes, there’s the dog, neat”
“Um, why are my arms tingling?”
“Hummingbird, that’s a pretty big hummingbird”
“Ok, I can’t control my hands, stay calm and ask Ann if she can feel hers, oh she can, I’m sure this is just….”
“Hey, there’s the monkey!”
“But seriously what’s wrong with my hands, listen hands my stomach is too upset for you to not work too, it’s got to be one or the other”
“I don’t see the Heron, oh yes there it is”
“Ok how much longer, because my feet are staring to tingle and I really want to be sick”
“I need to hold my sick bag, hands please just get the sick bag, maybe if I hold it I won’t be sick?”
“The hands and tree and wobbly observation tower, don’t care anymore”
“Breath woman, just breath, almost over”
“Ancient Incan Aqueducts!”
“Blurrgggg” – that’s me being sick.
Back on the ground the pilot apologized and so did I. It was a cool experience, and I could feel my arms again, but I will never again go in a tiny, banking plane. Everyone else enjoyed there sick free, appendage feeling flight.
Our last stop around Nazca was to the Chauchilla Cemetery. This is spot where the Inca’s mummified and buried their dead. Unfortunately grave robbers got all the treasure and pretty much ruined the mummies but some have been restored to show what they would have looked like if they hadn’t been disturbed. The coolest part about this site is that there were bones strewn about everywhere, and as some who deals in bones as a profession, I totally geeked out.
On a final note this is one of the geoglyphs from the Palpa Lines. Does anyone else think it resembles someone?