After a tour of Lima, I took a 4 – hour bus ride to Paracas, a desert town on the shores of the Pacific. I was picked up at the bus station and taken to the airport for a plane ride over the Nazca Lines. If you suffer from motion sickness, especially, avoid eating a heavy breakfast because the plane maneuvers you will go through will make you quite nauseous.
Sadly, the photos of the Nazca Lines — huge etchings in the pampas/desert — were in the lost (or stolen) G12 Powershot camera. While looking at them from the air, the drawings of a hummingbird, monkey, condor and others made me wonder who made them and why. I imagined this solitary artist, alone in the desert, who wanted to make himself famous. He decided the best way to do it would be to devise a way to create these figures so large that posterity would grant him recognition and acclaim. Well, humanity is still puzzling over how it was done. The problem is that while his work remains he forgot to sign it and, the unkindest cut of all, it is credited to extraterrestrials by certain groups. The only photo I have of these lines is of the “candelabra” on a cliff by the edge of the sea in the Ballestas islands.
After the plane ride, my transport took me to Double Tree Hotel. It turned out that the manager is from the Philippines. We come from the same linguistic group: he came from Pampanga and I came from the next town north. We had an hour of conversation and pisco sour drinks . When I mentioned that I have seen cherimoya in Lima, he called the waiter and put in an order for a Cherimoya Napoleon. That was my dessert for dinner. The next day I took the tour of Islas Ballestas — an ecological sanctuary in the Pacific. Paracas and Ballestas gave me a chance to acclimatize to the demanding walks in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.