Archive for June 14th, 2010

Nazca Lines

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Our bus ride from Arequipa passed by fast-I sat down in my seat and woke up nine hours later: exactly 2 minutes before we pulled into the Nazca bus station.
Since we are taking the same bus company this afternoon to Paracas we were able to leave our bags there which was super nice.
FYI, there are more theories on the reasons behind the Nazca lines than wild dogs in Cusco. They range from interesting to insane including alien landing strips, giant calendar, map of the universe and march trails to appease the rain god.
We were welcomed by a passionate mob of taxi drivers yelling at us through the fence offering to take us to the airport. Sense of survival dictated to pick one really fast, which we did.
Apparently the local taxi drivers work with the airlines and we were unwillingly joined by a representative of condor air who gave us a spiel and we took a nice big drink of the koolaid.
In a moment of complete insanity We signed up for a 45 min plane ride instead of the traditional 20 min ride, because that way we could spend more time circling each formation and also see the aquaducts. That moment will always be etched in my mind as the moment I sold my soul to the devil for a bag of vomit.
Yes, dear readers: heed my warning-this gory story does not have a happy ending.
Our plane was a little bigger than a dragonfly and seated the two pilots and the two of us with our knees in our chin. Though as I was about to learn-fetal position was quite appropriate for this flight to the depths of hell. A maintanace guy standing right by our left wing gave us thumbs up which meant “get on the runway”. The pilot gave him the thumbs up back and we went on our way. Why bother with radio? The takeoff was actually very smooth and I even enjoyed myself. The bliss came to an abrupt halt when the pilot angled the plane like a freaking F-16 and we were flying on our side. I could see my poise dashing away from me but was able to hold unto it for three more seconds until we started circling each formation while still angled on our side. This was to provide us with the best possible view–as if i was looking at anything but my partially digested breakfast. I started praying to every god I have ever heard of and included some aliens just in case. I wanted to crash with all my heart – anything to get me back on the ground. I spent the last 40 minutes of our 45 minute flight with my eyes closed, a heavy plastic bag in front of my mouth, curled up against David’s masculine shoulder. I only managed to open one eye for a split second to see the lines below when the pilot said that we were flying over one of the formations. After seeing the aquaducts we finally landed. Again the landing was super smooth. I just sat in the plane on the runway evaluating my life. When I finally got out I lay down on the runway, inching toward the light at the end of the tunnel. A nice nurse lady came and gave me some alcohol to sniff. I thoroughly enjoyed that. She then let me lie down in here office since my lying on the runway was discouraging to the other suicidal maniacs.
So, there you go. The lesson is — fly only on 747s, no matter how much they charge for the second piece of luggage.