We drove from Pisco to Nasca via Huacachina, a cluster of restaurants and hotels set around a tiny murky-green oasis in the desert. While the others got their kicks dune buggying and sand boarding we made the most of the sun and ate ice cream.

The rest of the journey provided us with more stunning mountain and desert views and on the outskirts of Nasca we stopped for the first glimpse of the famous Nasca Lines from a shaky bit of scaffolding set up as a ‘viewing point’. These enormous lines have been etched into the ground and depict animals, insects and birds, and one supposed astronaut – because of course they existed 1000 years ago. Little is understood about the who why and what of the lines that are only clearly visible from the air.

To be honest we could barely tell which lines were tyre tracks and which were ancient scratches.
Distinctly unimpressed it cemented our decision not to pay $100 for a flight over the area with the girls the following morning.

With the flights being Nasca’s main draw we soon realised the following day how little else there is to do in this small and noisy place. Agencies seemed to be taking advantage of trapped tourists and charging way over the odds for activities – we were quoted $100 for 2 hours mountain bike hire. On top of this our hostel was not great, a building site manned by “The Grinch” who refused to speak to any of our group. We had no hot water so popped to use Ivy’s shower and her cold water came out BLACK! Nasca was really getting on our nerves by this point so we went to the only decent hotel in town and paid to lounge by their rather nice pool. Here we met a friendly couple from Brighton who were nearing the end of a year-long trip having left their sons to look after the family business back home. Less following a route, more following a wish list, they had arrived in Peru from Madagascar! Having spent 8 weeks in New Zealand in a camper van they gave us loads of recommendations for when we’re there in July. Their enthusiasm was infectious and we left feeling revived, lucky and a lot less stroppy.

Aside from that the best part of the day was seeing a selection of mummified Incan heads in the only museum in town.

We were about ready to mummify our own by the time the 10pm overnight bus came round…

Next stop > Arequipa


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