Thursday, 22 March 2012

Nazca - "Is this a joke?"

The next morning after an early night, we were feeling refreshed and got up relatively early to enjoy the sun.

I had had so much fun with the girls and as we were heading in roughly the same direction, we decided to travel together until Cusco, where they would be doing the Inca trail. So after a couple of hours soaking up the sun, we thought it was time to move onto our next stop, which was Nazca.

A few people I had met along the way mentioned to me that Nazca was only worth visiting if you are going to do the air flights over the famous lines. I wasn't going to do the flight, but I did want to see the lines with my own eyes and make up me own decision about it all, so we headed to the bus station and were on our way.

Nazca was pretty busy that day (no idea why) and it took us ages to find a hostel that had space for us. It gave us a little tour of the town though and let us see that it really wasn't very nice. It was quite grimy, everything seemed dirty, the people were not friendly at all, the men were really forward, and it was in the middle of the desert with nothing surrounding it - not ideal!

Nevertheless, we stayed the night and in the morning got up earlyish to go the the 'viewing platform' and see the lines from as high as possible without taking the flight.

So we took a local bus for about 20 mins down the road which was even more into the middle of the dessert. When we arrived we were a little in shock as the 'viewing platform' was literally just a rickety, thin metal staircase with a flat bit at the top. It seemed like it was only the height of a 2 storey building and even from the top your couldn't see anything. Oh and of course you had to pay for the privalidge of climbing up there. And to top it all off, the site is classed as a Unesco natural heritage site?!

From my past experience in South America, I am not sure why I thought it would be any different, we were in Peru after all.

From the top you just about see a couple of the figures in the lines, but it did at least show they were there and pretty deep into the desert sandy ground. The whole thing was pretty funny and we found ourselves asking more than once if the whole of the Nazca experience (including the town) was a joke!

After only about 30 mins at the platform, we headed back into town and decided it was time to get away from Nazca and booked to get on an overnight bus to Arequipa that night.