So I woke up in Arequipa with blood coming from something on my back. I could feel it and assumed the worst that some parasitic bug had decided I was to be its host. I had breakfast and then headed to the local hospital for further inspection.
My limited Spanish when it comes to medical terms managed to say “mi espalda sangraba” ie. My back is bleeding! Now my friends Claire and Jane may be surprised to hear this is the first medical related issue this trip. The three of us went to a pharmacy/doctor every day for a week in Bolivia a few years back!
The nurse informed me it was not a parasitic insect thus robbing my brothers of an opportunity to send me you tube videos of parasites and larvae being removed From people. The nurses managed to cut off my back what looked like a cyst of some kind. They sterilised and dressed the wound and said I’d be ok. I was then charged 177 Soles for the visit or about $70 AUD. I wonder if my travel insurance will reimburse me!
After the fun I had a 10 hr bus ride to Nasca. I arrived at 11pm and Juan Dom the Nasca Trails B&B was there to meet me and drop others off. Juan informed me he had booked my flight for the following day in advance and to be ready at 7:30am. My room was clean, simple and quite good for $20 a night. Given the trip to Nasca was a little over 13 hrs total I don’t think I’d need any luxury.
I was picked up at 7:30 and met my fellow Nasca line flyers, an Aussie couple, a Mexican girl with good English and a Japanese lady whose husband was too scared and that this flight was get childhood dream to do one day. Nasca airport literally consists of a small building with half a dozen operators, tourist info and a small cafe. A spot for an ATM that no longer exists meant I couldn’t get money to pay.
Check in on AeroNasca involved my passport and then standing on the scales with my camera. Apparently this is to balance the plane correctly. We then waited for over 30 minutes, which was ample time to watch most of a NatGeo doco about the Nasca people focussing on things like beheadings and the lines themselves.
It came time to board the flight and we had the standard metal detector walk through, except there were two detectors for 5 people boarding and we were through in no time. It took longer to remove my belt!
The plane looked very small. How it fit two pilots and up to 6 passengers is beyond me. Surprisingly once in the plane it was not too bad, I believe it was a Cessna 207A. I had more room than international economy class seats. Take off was smooth and uneventful as well. The first petroglyph was a whale, followed by some large geometric figures and then the “astronaut” on the side of a hill.
We then flew to the monkey and the dog, each time the right hand side often got a first look and then the pilot sharply turned the plane and circled back so the left hand side could see. This tended to make my stomach glad it had not had breakfast yet.
All up there were 12 different petroglyphs visible on this trip plusmany, many lines and geometric shapes. The doco suggested that these lines were no art, but temples, others suggestion included some scientific reasoning. The Nasca lived from around 100 BC to 700 AD, so how they did these lines so straight for kilometres suggests they were quite advanced in some ways. Maybe their astronaut friends helped?
By the end of the flight I felt a bit queasy, but the return to the airport was 10 minutes of straight flying which settled it all down. It was such an amazing experience and I was probably in awe of this more so than Machu Picchu (although the mist didn’t help). It also means my trip is coming to an end very soon now. I have a couple of days in Paracas, of which a few hours is on a boat trip to see some penguin and seal colonies. Then its the trip home with another night in Lima, before flying out early Tuesday and arriving home Wednesday.