While the main objective to our trip to Peru and Chile was to travel to Easter Island and check that one of the Missus's bucket list; I thought I'd go for a two-fer and also do the Nazca Lines as well. I did some research and found a well regarded company named Nazca Flights. It wasn't cheap, but we got our own private driver for the over three hour drive to Pisco. His name was Benjamin and he was just a joy to deal with. He arrived punctually at 630am to pick us up.
We arrived at the newly inaugurated, but not yet opened Pisco International Airport. The cargo terminals and one small private terminal was opened. Still, the place was buzzing with excited folks.
Have you heard of the Nazca Lines? I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't heard of it. I recall of first reading about the lines in Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods? Most folks I mentioned the lines to had never heard of them....except for the Japanese. No less than four Japanese Nationals and Ex-Pats mentioned the Nazca Lines, the most surprising was Taka-san at Taisho. When I mentioned we were going to Peru, he didn't mention Machu Picchu....nope it was the "Nazca Lines"!
When we arrived and checked in, we were handed this card with the various Geoglyphs we'd be flying over. Notice anything interesting?
Notice the languages? It's Spanish, English, and Japanese!
And when we got into the terminal area....guess what? It was nearly all middle aged Japanese; mostly women.....in Pisco!
The little terminal was rather charming....we saw the staff being briefed on various subjects and even being tested.
When it was our time to go; our boarding passes were checked and we were escorted onto the tarmac.
Our plane was a 12 seat Cessna, a bit larger than what we flew to Lana'i on a few years back.
The passengers? One British Gentleman, the Missus, Myself, and nine very excited middle aged Japanese women!
The Pilot was really good as I'll describe later on. Both pilots spoke Japanese!
The Missus and I found the whole situation to be quite amusing.
Getting to the lines was when things got even more interesting. There was one line in our packet that instructed us; "DO NOT EAT BREAKFAST THE DAY OF YOUR FLIGHT".
When arrived at the lines, the pilot would descend, then bank, first to his right, turn around and do the same to the left. The copilot would try to point things out; speaking in Japanese. You'd scan the ground below, wondering "what the heck am I supposed to see"?
Focusing in, you'd get a glance of something, a pattern......
And then you'd zero in....and oh my goodness.......
It's really something to see.....
Sometimes it was easier to look across the aisle when the pilot banked in the opposite direction and see things from that perspective.
This took me back to being that 10 year old bookworm, reading Chariots of the Gods under the blanket with a flashlight when I was supposed to be sleeping, dreaming that someday I'd see these myself.
The world never ceases to surprise and thrill us.
The woman sitting behind me was a hoot. The Missus told me that she had a very difficult time seeing the geoglyphs and basically gave up on taking photos. However, as we straightened after banking about 30 times, she stood up and gave the pilots a standing ovation!
Such enthusiasm is infectious and puts everyone in a good mood....though there were a few women who had to have seat....a bit green around the gills and all that.
This was a great experience. One that I'll never forget....and I don't think anyone else who was on that flight will either.
Our driver, Benjamin was such a great guy he displayed the perfect balance of professionalism and warmth that was just outstanding. He really made the difference on the rather long drive. We wanted to buy him lunch. We let him choose and we stopped right next to a gas station in Chincha.
The place was pretty busy and we ordered a bunch of standards, except one new twist on a favorite.
Of course the Missus wanted some Cebiche de Lenguado. The leche de tigre was decent if a bit mild; but the fish was marinated a bit too long and had started getting mushy.
I ordered some Tiradito; the "tricolor", strips of corvine with three preparations; "clasica" with leche de tigre, aji amarilla, and aji rocoto sauces.
The seafood on the Causa was quite good; cooked perfectly. The potatoes were bit on the dry side, though the flavors were nice.
The surprise dish was one that Benjamin ordered. He told us that this is the newest version of one of my favorite dishes; Lomo Saltado. This is the off the menu version that combines Lomo Saltado with the classic Peruvian beans and rice dish; Tacu Tacu. Meet the Tacu Tacu con Lomo Saltado.
This was very tasty....the beans and rice actually outshone the lomo saltado with the mild earthy-beany flavor combining with the slightly salty, soy based sauce. The acid of the tomatoes and the sweet-pungency of the onions just went to well with this. The Missus just loved that beans and rice!
Restaurante El Batan
Panamericana Sur Km. 197. 5
Chincha Alta, Peru
We got back to Miraflores making good time. We showered and managed to sneak in a short nap before heading out for the evening.
Thanks for reading!