After an overnight bus ride I arrived in Nazca at about 5am, not in the mood to avoid the touts so I let someone show me to a hotel. For only 2.50pounds a night I thought it was quite good for my own room, private bathroom and TV. Unfortunately though after arriving at the hostel she spent ages trying to sell me various tours and flights for the next day, at prices well over twice as much as they should be. I eventually managed to get rid of her and go to bed only for her to come knocking on my door at 7.30am wanting to know if I had decided what I wanted to do. Because it was overcast the chance of getting a flight that day were very unlikely so I decided to do a tour of some of the archaeological sites in the area and go to the viewpoint where you can see a couple of the figures in the lines. Eventually she dropped the price by 50% and although I thought it was still over priced I gave in and agreed to it, just to get rid of her. After that, the day did improve the tour was actually better than expected, I had my own private guide for the day and he was very knowledgeable about the area, so I probably learnt a lot more about Nazca and the lines than I would have done doing a flight. In the morning we visited several sights including the aqueducts built more than 2000 years ago, that are still in use now and have survived numerous large earthquakes in the area because of the way they were designed. we also visited a Nazca cemetery which was a bit of a strange sight. The Nazca culture mummified all bodies and buried them in family graves. Despite being attacked by grave robbers, some of the mummies were still in very good condition and had been arranged on displays in the open graves.
In the afternoon we went to see the lines from a watch tower overlooking a couple of the figures, the view form here was better than I expected but obviously nothing like flying over them. And by this time some flights had started running as the morning fog had cleared, but they were all booked out by tour groups. The figures were impressive to see, along with the perfect straight lines that continued for kilometres across the desert. What was most impressive to me was that the lines and figures were apparently still perfect after hundreds of years with apparently no reconstruction. How have they survived weathering and earthquakes for that long? And although there are some theories, there are no really convincing ideas about why they built them.
Having seen everything there was to see around Nazca I decided not to stay and see if I could get a flight the next day and so I took an overnight bus to Lima.