I flew over the Nazca Lines


I flew over the Nazca Lines. Me. I did. I never thought I would. But I did.

I sat in a little Cesna and lurched and dipped across the sky and looked down on a monkey, a dog, an astronaut, a spider, a parot. I did. I was there, in the middle of the desert. I flew over the Andes. I looked down on the world and saw history carved in the rock. Drawings in the desert, preserved for centuries, just for me, so that I could fly over them on 18 September 2007, and marvel at them.

It was incredible. Exciting. Awesome. Amazing. I felt blessed and honoured to be there. I flew over the Nazca lines. In a little plane that seemed to require very great effort to stay up there. Gravity seemed to tug hard at it. Funny that: four adult people crouched in a little nose-turned-upward, blue-and-white plane. A silent, elderly woman in the front, broadshouldered with tightly curled grey hair, next to the chunky, brushcut pilot; me and Ranj in the back, our knees bunched up to our shoulders. Little laminated notices stuck all over the cockpit announcing, in four languages and not so very subtly, that tipping was most welcome.

Start the engine. Poof. Nothing. Try again. Blech. One more go. Cough … cough … splutter, chug, choke … whirr! Yes!

Career down the runway. Turn around. Career back, the tail swinging from side to side. A funny feeling in the stomach and then … we’re up. L-i-f-t … L-I-F-T! A bit more (please?). Okay, we’re really flying now. Whoops! Nope! A sudden drop. And then there’s the river, way down below. Mountains, desert, water trails marking every surface. The ten minutes of rain that falls each year leaves a trail that remains etched, undisturbed, on the surface. The textures, the colours, the slopes – breathtaking. Shades of purple, blue, ochre, dark brown, tan. Bits of green.

And then, there, just at the tip of the wing: a whale. Then the monkey, the dog, the spider, the astronaut. One by one they appear, and the pilot hangs the plane around so that the picture can be seen from the opposite side. Ranj’s arms flailing, grabbing for the strap hanging from the roof each time the little plane seems to drop from the sky. That little strap’s not going to help you anyway, Ranj! He grins and looks sheepish, dark eyes dancing. He knows he’s not sitting on a bus, but the little beige strap provides some sense of security.

We dip and swirl and dance in the sky a little more, drop into air pockets, take a look at the aquaducts, see the Trans-American Highway stretching to the end of the earth, our smiles squeezing water from our eyes, our hearts racing with the excitement of being here, in this ancient place where artists drew pictures in the sand; pictures that they themselves couldn’t appreciate, because you need to be flying to do so. Maybe they astro travelled?

And, before we know it, thirty minutes are over, and back we go to Ica. It’s over all too soon.

But it’s okay. The flight is over, but the magic and mystery have become part of me. Because today I travelled the Trans American Highway (how cool is that?) – at high speed and at the mercy of a Peruvian driver – and I saw the Nazca Lines.

Today was a really good day.





~ by ReluctantRunner on May 13, 2008.

8 Responses to “I flew over the Nazca Lines”

  1. Gosh, this is the dream of a lifetime for me :)… The Nazca lines… Good for you!!! Someday, I’ll b able to say, ME TOO …

  2. Well written! Just as I remember it but better in fact. That strap – hilarious – life safer! Its was awesome and we must do another trip somewhere.

  3. […] down on a monkey, a dog, an astronaut, a spider, a parot. I did. I was there, in the middle of thehttps://dhewitson.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/i-flew-over-the-nazca-lines/Tears well at memorial for Jocko the monkey Canada.com As workers at the Greater Vancouver Zoo on […]

  4. I love your writing… you’re perfume on the breeze… Nazca is blessed.

  5. I felt like I was flying over there too.

  6. Communique

    In light of last weekend’s tsunami warning, we would like to make the following statement:

    The Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, did not suffer any damage whatsoever, was unaffected by any flooding, and operated under normal conditions throughout the entire weekend.

    In terms of the hotel’s Ballestas Islands tours offered by its activity department, T’ikariy, these restarted yesterday after the Port Authority closed the entire port on Saturday and partially closed it on Sunday. Both the motorboats and the private yacht that take guests to the islands are operating normally and following their customary schedules.

    We would also like to remind our patrons that the T’ikariy operated 2008 Cessna Grand Caravan airplane has also recommenced its flights over the Nazca Lines today and that it only flies out of the Pisco Airport (not the Nazca Airfield). Furthermore, we wish to stress that the airplane’s instruments and mechanical components are strictly maintained according to the requirements of the General Directorate of the Civil Aeronautics of Peru (DGAC) and the plane is flown under the command of a duly certified pilot and co-pilot.

    We would like to thank all tour agencies and operators for their confidence in us and to assure them that T’ikariy will continue offering them completely safe services for their clients.

    Lima, Peru
    March 2, 2010

  7. My husband flew over the nazca lines yesterday, he didn’t have the words to express his euphoria. Thank you for making me part of his experience through your words. Retha South Africa

  8. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
    over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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