Nazca and Paracas by: Anik

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We left Huacachina with sand in every orifice and happy to be alive.  It was mother’s day (dia de la madre) and, after cooking in the van for several days, we were looking forward to a non Peruvian, exquisite lunch.

We found Restaurant Venezia, an Italian, family run place with real tablecloths, menus, and nice bathrooms.  We sat down and Simon said “Happy mother’s day!  This is a really fancy place!”.  Really fancy it wasn’t, but delicious it was!  We gorged on pasta, steak, wine, bread, and sauces that might rival our friend, Mick’s much missed sauces.  To top it all off, there was a Tejas shop next door, everyone was slightly impatient but I didn’t care, I took my sweet time picking out my tejas!

Two hours later, we arrived in the town of Nazca.  I think we’re all getting a bit burned out on the frequent wheeling and dealing process of finding appropriate places to park and camp.  The first place we checked out, luckily had everything we needed…a flat camping spot across the street from the Nazca airport, in the middle of a weird courtyard that felt like a bit of an outdoor “The Shinning” experiment.  We were thrilled.

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As I was making grilled cheese and veggies, in a seemingly, synchronized, pre meditated fashion, the stove stopped working and we ran out of water.  The kids ate half warmed cheese sandwiches and we all huddled around on the hard plastic chairs by the pool, where the wifi was best. We streamed “Romancing the Stone” and laughed at the movie’s Colombian stereotypes, shared by most Americans.

The next morning, when the stove miraculously started working again, I knew it was gonna be a great day!

We were picked up by a grumpy guy and and driven 2 minutes away, to the small airport of Nazca.  After being weighed (to make sure of what exactly?).   We got on the 6 seater, Sesna U-206, ready to get a first hand view of the Nazca lines.

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The 35 minute, slightly nauseating flight had us all glued to the windows, puzzled by the mysterious pre-inca symbols which were as big as 300 meters.

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Marco loved the spider symbol because Indianna Jones flies over it in the third movie.

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Darin kept being reminded of the Galapagos Islands’ Nazca Boobies, with their terrestrial nesting and their geometric spraying of urea.  Ah, now we get it!  They’re not called Nazca Boobies because they’re originally from the Nazca region!  It’s that their poo spray pattern looks like Nazca lines!

I always knew this trip would bring us insight.

We headed back up north and spontaneously chose Reserva Nacional de Paracas as our home for the next few days.  We pulled into the park, and found ourselves in what would be in our top 3 favorite camping spots in four months.  The desert here was warmed by its’ colors and kissed by the sun.

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The water was beautiful and shared by only a few fisherman with small nets, fishing for what we think were clams (all in their underwear) and pelicans skimming the water and flying in formation.  We spend three days cooking, exploring the beaches, and taking in what we could of our last few moments of South American solitude.

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