It also explains why the airport that I thought was 1 ½ hours away is only a ½ hour – until a month ago, one had to drive to the airport in Ica ?? to catch a plane to view Nazca. Now, there is a shiny new airport right here.
It is a bit odd, however, to step out of that brand new terminal onto a vast field of dirt.
Once we get off the ground, that is. The fact that the guy guiding us out on to the runway carried a fire extinguisher with him does give me pause. . . it’s at these sorts of moments when I realize that leaving home does carry a few risks.
It is actually quite a long flight to the Nazca plain and the flight is smooth almost until we reach it. At that point I supplement my almost too-old patch with Dramamine (which I tend to react to very quickly) just in case.
We hit a pocket of turbulence and then we are there.
At the first of the notable sets of lines, the pilot banks STEEPLY to the right. From across the aisle I can look straight past Mike and Lee Ann and see the figures directly below their window.
I am amazed at how the figures jump out at me (I expected them to be hard to pick out) at the same time I want nothing more than to throw up.
Then the pilot comes around and swoops down on the left until the figure is directly below the tip of the wing.
We do this repeatedly, twice for every one of the major figures worked into the soil at Nazca. Often some instrument begins to beep while we are tipped nearly sideways to take in the view. I suspect that is a sign that we are doing something we shouldn’t and that my sense of balance would prefer we didn’t. (It isn’t until the next day that Mike tells me that is the stall alarm going off.) Meanwhile, I cough futilely into a plastic bag, looking up only to see the next formation carved into the plain.