Monday, November 5, 2007

Nasca Lines

It was a long bus ride from Lima to Nasca -- 6 hours. We were on a double-decker bus, and we were in the top.

Since the bus left at 4:30am, we slept for the first couple of hours while Pirates of the Caribbean played (in English with Spanish subtitles, very strange). Then there was some dumb movie about Elvis impersonators with Kim Basinger, and a third movie with Sean Penn, the one where he plays some politician in Louisiana. So we slept, then we moved to the front of the bus where we had a complete panoramic view.

lots of desert. I mean, lots of desert.
people living in tents since the earthquake in Ica
desert landscape, sand dunes
FINALLY, we're getting close.
Our pilot Andy said he lived in Chicago, and his wife and children are still there but he had to come back to Peru, his work is here.

He seemed determined that Marc and I have fun, and that we saw every single figure. I was so excited I could hardly bear it. Our first trip down the runway, the propeller quit working and the plane stalled. Was I scared? Oh yeah. So the second time we went down the runway -- with a working propeller -- I was laughing and crying so hard, partly because I thought we just might die, and partly because I was going up in a tiny airplane to see the Nasca Lines. I often can't believe the life I live.

We were transferred from the bus station to the tiny airport and directly into the plane so quickly it was hard to grasp what was happening. I didn't get a chance to take a photograph of the little plane, but we have video. Suddenly Marcos was in the front seat next to Andy, I was in the back seat, we were strapped in with headphones on, and down the runway.

Grinning and happy and scared and thrilled and happy.
Andy had a mouthpiece so he could talk to us through the headphones. He really was determined that we'd see every figure, and he was kind of screaming. I think it was with the best intent, but the tiny plane was very noisy, and he was screaming in our ears. It was often hard to see the figures in the really vast plain full of lines and curves, but he'd circle around and scream and point until we usually saw. I've got a bunch of photos that aren't posted here yet, but they need to be cropped so the figure shows up. They're much farther apart in the plain than I thought they'd be.

Tree on the left, hands on the right.
See the car at the top, on the other side of the road for scale.
Astronaut. Bubble-headed boy.

After the short flight (45 minutes, but it felt much quicker) we had a couple of hours to kill at the hotel across the street. We lounged around the lobby for a bit, with lemonade, then we wandered out onto the grounds and found a bunch of hammocks. Snooze in the shade, parrots squawking all around, peaceful recovery from the very loud flight.

brilliant red birds
The bus ride home was even longer with three more movies, this time in Spanish with English subtitles: Something's Gotta Give, Erin Brockovich, and some Wesley Snipes movie I slept through. Back in room around 10pm, I think, tired but boy was I happy.

1 comment:

With Great Enthusiasm and Concern said...

that picture of you with the headphones in the airplane is adorable! And it looks like you've already gotten some sun. :) i'm so so happy that you've gotten to do this, finally. i love you!