Monday, July 06, 2009


getting to nazca from lima via bus was difficult. i mean, the bus was very luxurious, with comfy seats, blankets, pillows, and snack service--but an 8-hour bus ride sucks no matter what the quality of conveyance. And unfortunately despite the comfort there was no way to turn off or turn down the sound of occasional kenny g tracks. and even worse were the movies: a Tim Allen xmas movie which ranks right up there with melanoma excision among the least favorite things i´ve experienced. And on the way home we saw some Disney flick about the Rock meeting his daughter for the first time. And Get Smart. And some David Mamet bullshit with Gene Hackmand and Danny DeVito. I want to punch David Mamet in the mouth for that one.

But the nazca lines were worth the bullshit. We got hustled right off the bus, exhausted and disoriented, and into a shuttle van to the airport. The entire ride down the coast was under gloomy skies, but just outside nazca the sun burst through, illuminating one of the bleakest environments i´ve ever seen. rocky mountains, hardscrabble towns, fake cacti shaped like crosses with ¨inti¨ instead of 'inri' on the top.

at the airport we were put in a tiny Cessna piloted by a 13-year-old with a kiwi business exec. Cha and I were lashed to the back seats and our companion got put up front as co-pilot. She didn´t seem pleased. But just before take off we were ordered out of the plane and told it was too windy to fly: worst nightmare! To come all that way and not get to flyover...

but the chattering in Spanish was saying it was too windy for the kid to fly us. we were moved to another plane, with a big pilot called El Gordo. This time I was put up front as co-pilot, not that there were any controls on my side, and not that i could have done a thing had El Gordo kicked off, given that the stick was lodged deep between his man bosoms. he in fact steered with his gut several times, gesturing to with both hands often as we buzzed along. 'the monkey, you see, beneath the wing! es ok?' he´d fly by banking so Cha and i on the right side could see, then he would bank hard, turn, and dive in so the lady on the left side could see. after a few minutes the kiwi stopped taking photos and turned green. el gordo was playing with hi-g pulls and turns and swooping us vigoursly. despite the earphones i could hear cha screeching in fear and delight. i thought it was a riot too, and got some video clips with my camera, but doubt any of pictures of the glyphs turned out. there was no time to focus, no time to zoom, and no room to manoeuver for shots anyhow.

after the flight we ate a late late lunch and crashed hard at 9pm. i was awakened by loud salsa music which blared from 1am until about 3 from the houses around the hotel, and then roosters woke me at 5 for good. we ate breakkies and went to the Didacto Antonini museum, which has a functioning nazca aquaduct in its yard, and which is very nice. There was a dog, a cat, a peacock, and about six peahens to keep us company as we toured the ceramic collection.

time to go get the mrs. her massage is done. we have time maybe for a snack before we go back to the hotel to meet our ride to the airport. i love peru, but now it´s time to go home.

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