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Tanaca, Peru - 5th September 2009 - 4Time to check out of the hotel and a brief conversation with the front desk about unpaid drinks. I then had to relate the story about being woken the night before and the same question the guy asked me whom I paid. I think the morning desk would have argued, if I hadn’t been able to reel off the exact amount I paid the night before. They also tried the same deal with B, who thankfully told them the same as I had. Not that I would have argued all day over what would translate to a $10 bill, but it’s the principle, isn’t it.

The flight over the Nazca lines aboard a 6 seater Cessna had me a little nervous, with the stories I’d heard about the pilots turning hard and making rapid drops. It was pretty quick to get aboard the plane after the airport tax of 20 soles was paid (yet more mystery taxes, not included in the price) and about 5 minutes to reach the first of the lines.

The Nazca lines are smaller than I expected – it’s certainly a flight of fancy to think that these can only be seen from space, as they’re small enough to be hard to spot from the plane. Nevertheless, it’s still impressive that anyone could spot these puppies from the land and then dedicate a life to cleaning and understanding them.

The flight ended up being not so queasy and we hit the ground again, around 35 minutes after taking off. Walked the two blocks to the Cruz Del Sur compound, where I had to point and wave to the clerk who was saying we didn’t have a reservation after I showed him the purchase numbers. Some flapping later and he smirked and printed the tickets out; maybe hoping to have us pay twice? who knows.

Sitting down to wait for boarding, there was a crazy-friendly kid with downs syndrome, shaking hands with us all and patting people on the back. Had to laugh, when he sneezed hard into his hand, before shaking a girls hand in line.

The long coach trip was broken nicely with two pretty good movies and embarrassingly enough, drawing me into the third movie of The Little Mermaid. We did have a few slow areas to drive through, including one area next to the beach near Tanka (I think?), where the sand dunes had blown across the main highway, covering it with a few feet of sand. Short wait while this was bulldozed out the way and then it was back to overtaking on blind hairpin corners. It’s been nice to get out of the grime and smell of Nazca, for some dramatic coastline. The towns too, look in better shape, with well paved sidewalks and plenty of lighting. The houses still resembled square adobe structures with straw or tin roofs but looked much cleaner.

We were due to arrive in Arequipa at 11:30pm, which was 30 mins longer than the bus line had said in their email. We actually ended up arriving at 12:20am and ready for sleep. Getting to the hotel, for some reason the reservation had been deleted but we were offered another room. Despite the bed being too short (about 5’7″ for my 6″ frame)it was wonderfully soft and after taking advantage of the 4 soles beer in the room, I fell asleep within minutes of turning out the light. Tomorrow we get our proper room and hopefully I get to find an adapter for the laptop.