Daily Archives: September 25, 2015

Day 65/164: Rest day in Nazca

I have organized to go flying over the Nazca lines today. I am starting to regret this, thinking of small planes and motion sickness. However the only way to see them is in the air.

These lines were built over hundreds of years and anthropologists are still trying to work out the reasoning behind them. There are lines that are pictures of hummingbirds, whales, families, and an astronaut (or as one line of thought goes – an alien). There are other lines that are geometrical shapes and then lines straight and diagonal that line them up. This is really impressive having been done from the ground over hundreds of miles.

The lines were plotted by the line creators, who put stakes in the ground and then joined them with string. Then other workers came and cleared the stones and a layer of dirt. The stones were placed at the outside of the lines which helped protect them from the wind. The language of these people has gone but the lines remain.

Also as they were dependent on water, they suffered drought and practiced human sacrifice. This is not yet fully understood whether it was people from other tribes or from within their own. Also they discovered they could get water deep below the surface of the desert and created huge wells with steps in a circle going down. They also built quite sophisticated irrigation systems for their crops.

With flying in mind, I had a plain breakfast of rolls and tea. (Editor’s note: Love the seamless change of topic here 🙂

A group of us were picked up at the hotel at 8:30am  to go to the airport, once again in a beat up old car.

When we arrived at the airport we had to pay departure tax of $20 sole, and watch a video about the history of the lines. Then set off for the 55 minute flight!

I had my camera with me but only managed to take about three photos, as every time I looked down and tried to focus the camera the motion sickness started to creep in.

It did not help that the plane was a six seater and the pilot was showing passengers on both sides of the plane each of the lines, so lot of banking and rolling.

The lines were amazing and I am really pleased I saw them. It was also great to see the vastness of the desert, and see the road we had rode in on. I managed to keep the motion sickness at bay whilst on the plane, but had the bag on my knee just in case!

Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines

Nazca lines

Nazca lines

The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird

Nazca lines

Nazca lines

The very small plane

The very small plane

I got back onto the ground and was waiting to be picked up, when I was still feeling very queasy and then lost my breakfast into a garden. Probably just as well, as would not have been good if it had been in the driver’s car.

I had taken my broken glasses with me as figured it would be easier to ask where to go for new ones. I showed the driver, he nodded and smiled and took me to a shop in town, which turned out to be an optician. Luckily I managed to convey that I just needed them for reading, and got two pairs for $20 sole each. The spare pair is now in a case. I will still need to get more so am keeping a look out for a street vendor.

After this I was hungry having lost breakfast. I had a sandwich, then off to the supermarket for supplies and back to the hotel. I ended up having to get Ponds moisturizer as it was the only one that I was sure was actually moisturizer.

I spent the afternoon sending photos, which was really frustrating as the Internet was really slow, and going through my gear. I am having lots of problems trying to shut my day bag, so was trying to take stuff out plus put more warm clothes in. Net result was I got the warm clothes in and some stuff out, and it is still just as hard to shut.

I decided to have dinner at the hotel rather than go into town again. Out of curiosity I chose pork steak, which ended up being like schnitzel but not crumbed, rice, an egg, and my favourite: plantain – oh well, I had a good meal last night.

Then an early night as we have a big day tomorrow – 90 kilometres, all uphill climbing from 400 meters to 3,200 meters!

A whole pile of lines and trapezoids (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

A whole pile of lines and trapezoids (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

The Astronaut (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

The Astronaut (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

This is a general shot of the valley.  Lots of agriculture and a dry river.  A lot of the lines have been affected by water flows, whenever it happens  (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

This is a general shot of the valley. Lots of agriculture and a dry river. A lot of the lines have been affected by water flows, whenever it happens (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

nazca lines

nazca lines2

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Day 64/164: Santiago Ica to Nazca – 124 kilometres

1,300 up and 1,300 down

A cold morning again once more, again about 8 degrees. It was really foggy and hard to see and lots of trucks and cars. I was wearing my high viz stuff.

All of a sudden after about an hour the fog cleared, bright blue skies, hot sun, temperature jumped up 10 degrees in an hour.

I started the ride looking forward to the rest day but feeling a bit daunted by the 13 kilometre hill at 57 kilometres that was in our riders briefing. I got to 53 kilometres, stopped and bought a drink, had some fruit, reapplied sunscreen, and got mentally geared up for the challenge! I got to the hill, went up about 4 kilometres, then the rest of it was down 😀 :D.

Nice little downhill chunk just before the lunch truck (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Nice little downhill chunk just before the lunch truck
(Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

I got to lunch and could see another hill stretching up into the distance – I was thinking that hopefully it is not like the hill before the last rest day, which turned out to be 15 kilometres.

Great spot for lunch - an abandoned roadside restaurant (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Great spot for lunch – an abandoned roadside restaurant (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

I left the lunch spot with Michelle and Tony. Thankfully the hill was about 4 kilometres up, and then down again. After about 5 kilometres Tony got a flat, and said to Michelle for us to head off and he would catch up.

The rest of the ride was rolling hills with a few steeper climbs – it was really hot! The desert stretched away on both sides, and although we were riding well the day seemed to drag. Tony caught us up about 5 kilometres out from Nazca, and then was riding too fast for us to stay with him.

When we got to town the lunch truck passed us and went round a roundabout so without looking for flags we followed. Thankfully Luiz noticed us behind him and and stopped and said he was going for ice and we needed to go back to the roundabout and turn left! It turned out our mistake meant we did not go past some raised road markers that two other rides fell off on. Sue fell and grazed her arm and broke her helmet in 3 places.

We got to the hotel, nice rooms, quite big, a few were still having doors hung when we arrived! We are staying Nazca Oasis Hotel.

Thankfully the hotel does laundry so just needed to sort out gear and then shower and relax.

We had beer at the bar and paid as we went, but the girl who served us kept asking for our room number and name. This was all being written in scraps of paper and given to the guy at reception. I was highly suspicious that this was going to translate into being charged twice, so I got Luiz to speak to the guy at reception, and got the scraps of paper for our table back.

A group of us decided to head off into town for dinner. We went to the reception to order two taxis. After waiting for ages an unmarked car turned up and took one car full  into town. Then after about 15 minutes it arrived back for the rest. We reckon it was a relative of the guy at reception.

We managed to regroup in town, and went to a nice looking restaurant. By this stage it was 7:30 and we were getting pretty hungry. By the time our order was taken and the food arrived it was nearly 8pm. We were looking with envy at those eating. Alex, a young guy from the UK who joined us in Lima, looked a bit nervous when his food came out at least 5 minutes before anyone else’s and we were all staring at it. The food was good, I had steak stuffed with cheese and mushrooms.

There are no tuk tuk’s in Nazca but plenty of beat up old cars, with or without signs, stopping to provide rides.

It was nice to get into clean sheets, with no alarm set for the morning.

Endless road and dunes and then mountains as we continue along.  They planted splindly little trees along each side of the road for about 50 km.  Don't know if they are surviving (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Endless road and dunes and then mountains as we continue along. They planted splindly little trees along each side of the road for about 50 km. Don’t know if they are surviving (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

Typical mountains in this area.  Dead tree along the road (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

Typical mountains in this area. Dead tree along the road (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

A view of Rio Grande.  We came down through the pass on the far side and are going up on this side(Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

A view of Rio Grande. We came down through the pass on the far side and are going up on this side (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

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