|Today we left Lima to journey down to Paracs and see the Nazca lines.
Another early morning start at 5:30 to pack and get ready with our coach leaving at 7. The coach had two passengers already, both American/Chinese who seemed pleasant enough.
The idea was to get out of Lima before the rush hour traffic started.
The day was foggy from the sea mist and traffic slow. Everyone was trying to get to their destination and I am glad that I was not driving as it was chaos. How there are not more accidents I do not know. I was cringing at every set of lights or junction we came to. All seemed to have a death wish or wanted to be a racing car driver.
Fortunately it did not take too long to get out of the city and we were soon travelling through desert and next to the ocean as we headed south for about four hours. Again we saw real shanty town dwellings some of which looked like it was impossible to live in but people seem to be all around making a living somehow. I don’t think we realise how well off we are in the UK as there is nothing like this and no roads like the ones they use.
After a while we stopped at some services to get a drink and freshen up. I manged to get some batteries as th ones in my camera have gone again! Bear in mind I brought some at Machu Picchu I can’t believe they have gone already. Too late to complain now grrrrrr.
Anyway we got back on the bus and all of a sudden the young Chinese girl came on the bus screaming and crying. We thought that she must have been attacked and she was so distressed we had no idea what she was saying. Her clothes looked like something had happened and she appeared to be sodden. A group of people had come to the bus door and they were looking very worried. Eventually she calmed down to say that a man in the queue in front of her had knocked her with his large backpack and her coffee had gone all over her. Whilst we are sympathetic I think we struggled to see how an innocent spilling of a drink could bring so much distress. Particularly as the chap had already apologised profusely which she acknowledged and also that it was not his fault. Any way after about half an hour of sobbing she fell asleep and no more was said - drama queen!
We saw so many chicken farms with the animals in sheds like our old battery farms. There were hundreds of them and all in the desert. Makes you wonder how they survive.
Eventually we arrived at Pisco airport to start our flight over the Nazca lines.
You will have to wait till tomorrow as it is bedtime now! Goodnight for now but really good stomach churning stuff to come......
So after our incident we travelled on and arrived at Pisco (Now famous in our minds for their delicious Sours) airport.
It looked really impressive as it was all shiny new and ready for us to fly from. We went in and soon found out that it is only a year old and main flights have not started yet. So what looked like it would be really efficient turned out to be a nice building but normal paper process. We walked backwards and forwards between desks whilst we gained extra bits to the puzzle of a boarding pass. Along with us was lots of other tourists doing the same dance but eventually we made our way to check-in with boarding passes clasped tightly to our bodies.
Once we walked through we were dismayed to see loads of people waiting (about 30) but it turned out that they were on different flights. Gradually they all disappeared and left 11 of us. The airport still had wrapping on parts of it and as it was so empty we decided it was like Kilkenny airport in Cabin Pressure. If this is not something you know about then I will have to explain at a later date.
Anyway as we waited around we spoke to some of the people their. There was a tall American chap who was telling everyone of his flying exploits ‘In Honduras we flew on the plane that was held together by gaffa tape.......’ You know the type!
Boarding commenced and we sat in the seats that were allocated, me with the american chap behind me. We took off and flew out over the landscape of Southern Peru. As we were going over the mountains we hit a bit of turbulence and the plane dropped a bit. The chap behind was telling me some more exploits of his and all of a sudden said something like ‘Ohhhh’ then went very quiet.
The flight was quite long and very bumpy as it was a small 12 seater. Once we got to the Nazca lines the pilots flew over them so that both sides had an equal chance of taking photos. The American chap had a large camera but I don’t think he even looked out of the window. We spun round pivoting on the left wing then they would turn and spin on the right wing so that everyone got a good view. I have to say after a few of these and the heat of the plane I was not feeling great. I tried taking photos but looking through the lens at the ground was not doing me much good at all. I was sweating a lot and feeling a bit grey. At the end I just clicked the camera and tried to focus on the horizon. If we had done any more I am not sure I would have survived. Eventually the pilot confirmed that we had finished and was heading back. No word from the chap behind. The route back was slightly inland and so across the foothills of the Andes and more turbulence. Eventually I spied Pisco and the pilots started to reduce altitude and turned for the runway. At this time I heard the chap behind reach for the bag in the pocket and started being ill. He did well to last this long but all I was really concerned about was that he did not do anything over me! Good news was that he didn’t and we landed safe and sound to rapturous applause. As we got ready to get off I turned round to see the chap and he looked so grey and had his bag clasped tightly in his hand. I suggested to him that he should perhaps get off first which he did and made his way to the bathroom. Sometimes it does make you feel good when something like that happens to the person that does really deserve it - perhaps a bit cruel but his partner did not care a bit and confirmed that she had got loads of pictures.
So after our adventure in the plane we got back in the bus and went to our hotel. Our guide mentioned that he was going to take the two other passengers there as well so that they could freshen up, particularly the young mentally disturbed one! We got checked in, dropped our bags off and went to get some lunch. Ordered beers and cocktails and sat down to enjoy the scenery as the hotel was right on the coast and was simply lovely. After we had sat there for a while we noticed our guide walking up towards the cocktail bar that was furthest from the hotel. We then noticed he was following his young charge who was looking at everything, presumably deciding where she was going to get changed or something like that. Bless him he looked so unhappy as he marched about ten feet behind her. We think he regretted offering her use of the facilities.
We had ordered some lunch and I had confidently looked at the menu and ordered what I thought was a three sausage pizza and asked for extra chips. When they brought the meals they brought mine and it was a huge bowl of chips with three different types of sausages on top (none of them were Eric’s either) I questioned what it was and they took it away. I said if that was what I had ordered then that was fine but the next second I had the manager there apologising for not understanding my order. I explained it was my fault and I was happy to eat it so they relented and brought it back to me. I think that they really want to please their guests!
Back to the room to get changed and wander about to see what was on offer. Apparently you can hire bikes, sail boards, catamarans or go snorkelling or lots of other things. Two pools and lots of restaurant and bars so we should be well catered for. Later we decided to try the Italian restaurant so that I could discover what a real pizza was. Again great service and a lovely time had by all. Time for bed and an earlish start in the morning to go and see the birds on the island in the ocean.