At eight o'clock, Paddy and I were sitting in the hotel reception waiting for our ride to the airport. Eight o'clock sharp, we were told, and no breakfast. At eight fifteen, our ride arrived. This should have been a hint of what was to come.
At eight thirty, we were sitting under an awning at the airport, waiting for our flight. Two hours later, without a single word of explanation as to the delay, we were finally lifting off into the late morning heat. Our six seater Cessna banked sharply, exerting G-Forces found only in space craft, whenever we flew over a major geoglyph, drawn into the desert floor. This is how you best see the Nazca lines.
The Humming bird, Spider, Astronaut and Monkey are just a few that you see. Some are difficult to make out, that is until the pilot goes into a Kamikaze dive and points rabidly.
You can see why breakfast was avoided.
Back on very dry land, this is a desert after all, we were whisked away to a potters, then a mineral workshop. This was the beginning of a tour to see Mummies in the dessert (Cemetery of Chauchilla). We eventually got to those, after a 30km rally drive though the sand in an American gas guzzling Dodge. It was as though we were in a chase scene from the Blues Brothers.
At this point, past lunchtime and still without breakfast, the archeology of Chauchilla didn't hold a vast amount of interest. The surrounding sand, strewn with bones was more interesting.
By one thirty, we were dropped off at our hotel, only it wasn't. Instead of driving us there, the taxi driver gesticulated in the general direction we should go.
Finally rolling into our Hotel, we immediately asked to pay for our room and told off for not checking out before 11am. Heated words later, we refused to pay any charges as it was the trip organised by the hotel that had not brought us back for breakfast and had delayed us by hours.
We got our bags and headed out for some lunch and then the bus to Ica. Nazca was left behind and neither of us was sad to see the back of it. Nazca is second only to Machu Picchu for the efficient fleesing of tourists.
But the day was not lost. After all the lines were great and two ours later we rolled into Ica, from which a short taxi ride took us to the lagoon of Huacachina. Dominated by a backdrop of giant sand dunes, the guide book advises us we can hire dune boards for $1.50 an hour…….
Checking in at the Casa de Arena, we realised the guide book wasn't lying when it said; "This is a funky sociable place with clean rooms and outdoor bar and disco." Well funky and social it was too, until 3am.
The first person we met was the very tall and very load American from way back at the start of our trip in Lima. He's here to get married to his Peruvian girlfriend and was keen to get me on a dune board even though it was dark. "Man, I gotta huge light". He did, not that it helped with boards made of thick chipboard and designed to dig into the sand.
We also met a couple of English girls from the Midlands. We proceeded to have our first extended conversation in English, without regards for simplifying it, for three weeks. 1am was late enough for me, Paddy tore himself away from the bar and dancing bodies by 3am.