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davidx Nazca - A travel report by David
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Nazca,  Peru - flag Peru -  Ica
8599 readers

davidx's travel reports

Nazca, Camana and the desert.

  21 votes
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This report covers places between Lima and Arequipa not covered in my Ballestas Islands report, principally Nazca with its well known ‘Lines,’ the small town of Camana on the coast and the oasis at Huacachina and the pre-Inca cemetery at Cauchillas.

Ready for the Lines
Ready for the Lines
Much of the desert area is not particularly appealing. This is probably the driest desert in the world and it’s pretty accurate to say that it never rains here. Even so surprisingly often the different colours form an interesting spectacle – can there be quite so many shades of brown? The light is particularly exciting around sunset, especially if you are able to view it from high up. Don’t expect to walk up quickly through the sand though – it’s dire! Nazca is the only place here whose name would be widely recognised in the UK [partly through fairly recent TV programmes.] The Nazca lines are the most amazing designs in the sands of creatures [e.g. birds, dog, spider] and of ‘an astronaut’. Explanations which have been offered have included signposts for extra-terrestrial aliens and work instructed by shamans on things they have seen on their spiritual journeys. All this is too esoteric for me and I prefer to leave it as a mystery. You might like to look at http://ms.essort sper_rmsa.htm. My digital camera with my photos taken from the air of the lines was stolen but I can’t honestly pretend that I think they were any good. There are some on this site but, no offence intended, I suggest you look at http://www.crysta Specifically for shamanism try http://www.absolut edia/s/sh/shamanism.-htm Nazca has thrived from the stones. The airport has about 50 planes permanently up or about to be up for flights of just over half an hour and no doubt the potters and metal merchants have increased sales on the strength of the numerous visitors.

Favourite spots:
Desert sunset
Desert sunset
The oasis at Huacachina is the only oasis I have seen and that would be sufficient reason for me to rave about it. However, there are at least two additional reasons. Firstly our trip arrived there just before sunset and we were encouraged to walk or sand buggy up to great heights to see it. Secondly, though connected, here are some of the world’s highest sand dunes. I [rightly] doubted my capacity to walk uphill through sand and Pam [rightly] suspected that she would get nothing other than terror from a buggy. Hence we went in opposite directions. I’d never experienced a sand buggy before but I really found it terrific. I chickened out of sand-boarding that others of our party tried with varying degrees of success. I think we all got to a sufficient elevation for the sunset to be a phenomenal experience.

What's really great:
In Camana
In Camana
The small town of Camana was the last point of the Pacific coast that we visited before heading inland to Arequipa and high into the Andes. Whereas I enjoyed Arequipa, Cusco and even Lima, I’m not a big city person and too much reliance on tourism often puts me off. I really thought a lot of this small, untouristy and almost insignificant little town. Again we split here, Pam joining the hungover squad [honorary membership only!] for something light, whilst I shared a Chinese meal with some of the others. I think Pam and her group were somewhat surprised to be brought an open tin of evaporated milk on a plate, when they asked for milk with their tea. Perhaps this is a good point to say that by and large breakfast coffee in Peru was like thick mud. I did the precise opposite to what I do in Southern Europe and avoided it completely. By and large I drank herbal teas, of course without milk.

See what I mean?
See what I mean?
The pre-Incan cemetery at Chauchillas has to get a mention somewhere although I’m not sure I should want to recommend it too fervently. It’s no major diversion if you are heading for or coming from Arequipa. I guess you might always wonder what you had missed.
There are a number of square pits; you could say that when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all – they are very similar. All of them contain one or more mummy bundles and skulls and other bones. I mentioned in another report my unease at this in the museum at Lima. That feeling of unease was at its strongest here. It’s not religious; it’s just that proper disposal of the dead is strongly embedded in pretty well every ancient civilisation and this feels very like the opposite,
The fact that the graves have been robbed and stripped of valuables and that scraps of textiles, pottery and human hair, as well as bones, litter the surface doesn’t make it more attractive.
I suppose you learn a bit – but do you want to?

El Nido del Condor
El Nido del Condor
We stayed in Nazca at the Hotel Nido del Condor [condor’s nest]. Whereas no self-respecting condor would nest as low as this, it’s a great place to stay. Near to the swimming pool in the grounds we watched humming birds and a South American vermillion bird [native of Brazil and not Peru!]
The hotel has the advantage of being immediately opposite to the little airport from which you can take a flight over the well known Nazca Lines.

From over the Lines
From over the Lines
Drinking a Pisco Sauer near the pool while waiting for a flight is as good a way as any of passing the time.

Published on Friday October 21th, 2005

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Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 08:25 AM rating by jesusferro

you are indeed the best!

Sat, Oct 22 2005 - 08:29 AM rating by miguelmarchi

I expected more fotos with Nazca lines

Sat, Oct 22 2005 - 01:15 AM rating by downundergal

Thanks for an amusing report. Sounds like some quite mixed feelings there.

Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 11:30 PM rating by jorgesanchez

David, I was waiting for this report. Thank you!
Very well written and, (without grammatical mistakes!!!)
I loved the flight over the mysterious figures.


Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 04:33 PM rating by eirekay

Marvelous report! I agree that Peruvian coffee leaves a lot to be desired - in fact I sent a pound of Starbucks to one of the Professors in the Jungle after I came back!

Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 12:10 PM rating by mistybleu

Good report, I wish I could have visited there, c'est la vie.

Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 11:09 AM rating by toribio


Fri, Oct 21 2005 - 06:06 AM rating by rangutan

Superb and accurate report on a place I found amazing too. When I visited in 1987 there were only two planes, ours, a 1948 model almost crashed, engine cut-out! Thanks for bringing back good memories, I remember the "Condor", the lines still a mystery to me.
My detailed personal opinion and rating of this report...
travel related:***** desert adventure, many wish to visit this
originality:**** first hand information, different to the other reports
style (of writing): ***** smooth and easy to read
grammar: ***** perfect
length:**** almost optimal
use of GLOBO headings / format: **** very good, feel something small is missing?
usefull tips: **** many good tips and descriptions
pictures:**** very good
tourist hub or remote place:**** quite remote
extras: ***** humourous, brave (heat) and many apropriate adjectives
AVERAGE: 4,4 (let's say *****)

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