Huacachina and Nazca Lines

July 14, 2008 - Ica, Peru

After few days spent enjoying cusco Myself, Niall and Ger headed south west to the town of Nazca (with shane staying on in cusco for and extra two days) Niall headed onto Huacachina just outside Ica and myself and Ger hopped off the bus too see the famous Nazca Lines. It was after one of the worst bus journeys i've had yet in south america - the leg room was shockingly bad and I was pretty much wedged into my seat with a fat local woman on the aisle seat taking up her fair share of room beside me - they don't make bus seats for people over 6ft i don't think and especially not so in peru it seems - this was a 16 hour overnight bus ride and I didn't sleep a wink which is nothing new for me on bus journeys but it is really getting annoying at this stage. Ger who is taller than me also had a nightmare journey (although he did have two seats to himself)

So when we got off the bus it was a relief but also we where totally shattered and it was 7am in the morning, so we wandered around looking for an agency who give a good deal for a flight over the nazca lines that day but they where all charging extortionate prices and since there was a heavy fog over the area and no flightd would be going till the afternoon we decided to go with a different option of a tour to a museum and to a tower overlooking some of the drawings and finally to a natural lookout (mirador) up on a hill. This suited us as we where staying the night in nazca and wanted to move on early enough.

The Nazca Lines themselves are a series of lines and drawings over stretching over 80km of desert/arid land that where created by the Nazca Culture between 200 BC and 700 AD. Just why the lines and drawings where created is still a bit of a mystery with a few plausible theories but no definite idea for there creation. Maria Reiche came up with one of the earliest theories that the lines where intended to point to places on the horizon where the sun and other celestial bodies rose and set so it could be used as a kind of calendar to keep track of the right time for harvest and planting etc. But this theory has been dismissed in some quarters. Other Therories include that it was for religious purposes and the animal symbols was to do with worship of gods and fertility of crops etc. but the precise meaning of any one of the drawings is uncertain. The truth is not known so it still remains a mystery... a job for moulder and scully me thinks.

It was interesting to see but would have been better from a plane but wasn't willing to spend 90 to 100 dollars on it. Next that afternoon we hopped on a bus headed for the city of Ica.

On arrival in Ica we headed to an oasis around a lagoon in the desert near by called Huacachina, we had heard of this place from a few other travellers and it was reputed to be a nice place to chill out for a few days. Its exactly what you would imagine of an oasis - surrounded by huge sand dunes and with palm trees and greenery that looks out of place. The hostel was cheap as chips and there was a pool and deck chairs to chill out in the sun - it was very popular with Israeli tourists. The main activity you could do in this place was sand boarding and dune buggeying or do them combined. So the morning after our arrival Myself, Niall and Ger headed off on dune buggey spin with sand boards in the back - we had heard the drivers can be pretty crazy and have to say it was really good fun (and good scary) bombing up and down the sand dunes. Then we stopped to do some sand boarding which is the same principle as snow boarding same kinda board and bindings and all... so for me was strange initially as last time I was on a similar board I ended up with a broken collar bone ha - but I went first as I wanted to prove to myself it was just a bad mistake that time and no broken bones to show for it anyways so I was happy with that - although i was a bit rusty and its not as good as snow boarding to be honest - for one thing you need to wax the bottom of the board everytime which is annoying otherwise you don't get much speed.

Shane caught up with us here again the next day. Other than that we just chilled out for a few days and eat well - one of the restaurants there had top notch food. Next we head onto Lima and back to the coast.


3 Comments

Thomas:
July 25, 2008
You're looking so miserable there on all you're photos, are you sure you're not homesick? are you sure you dont wanna come home? come on Brian, come home, come home, your family misses you. Seriously hope your keeping well. Looks quality and youre missing nothing.
Rachel:
July 30, 2008
Hiya Brian!
Looks like you are having a fab time! We are getting good tips on where to go and what not to do (like swimmming with crocs!)hehe :-)
Take care
Brian:
August 4, 2008
Haha tommy - yeah i'm completely miserable... yeah it has been quality was surfing a Balsan wood surf board the last few days here in Ecuador pretty sweet board and they look cool too - i'll definitely buy one in a few years when i'm absolutely loaded and have more money than sense ha

Glad you are getting some good tips for your travels from my blog rachel - by the sounds of it i might see yee down in austraila or new zealand around december or january
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