We got into Nazca at 7 am this morning after NOT sleeping much on the 10-hour bus ride. The minute we got off the bus, we found ourselves literally attacked by people wanting to sell us tours and take us to hotels. We were both very tired and cranky and had to yell at people to "Leave us alone!" before we were able to fight our way to a taxi. We headed to a hostel/tour operator recommended in Cheryl's guidebook and managed to book a flight over the Nazca lines that left at 8:30 am... talk about moving quickly! The flight lasted about 45 minutes in a tiny 4-seat plane, and by "4 seats," I mean me and Cheryl sitting behind the pilot and another tourist. Having studied the Nazca lines a little bit in university, it was a real treat seeing them for myself and I was surprised by how easy it was to make out the different figures. The flight itself was also a bit of an adventure.
After our flight, we had some time to wander around the small town of Nazca before an afternoon tour to the nearby Chauchilla Cemetery and visits to a pottery workshop and a gold extraction workshop. The Chauchilla cemetery is found on one of many desolate plains used by the Nazca people to bury their dead. Most of the tombs were dug up long ago by grave robbers and the human bones scattered. At Chauchilla, some of the more well-preserved mummies and bones have been gathered and the tombs reconstructed. It was interesting, but a little gruesome, especially with all the human bones that still lay scattered around.
After Chauchilla, we went to a ceramics workshop and then to witness the gold extraction process. Honestly, by this time I was pretty hot (Nazca has high temperatures of 40-plus degrees celsius) and I wasn't paying too much attention. The gold-extraction demonstration was kind of interesting to watch, although it involves the use of mercury, which always makes me a bit wary (thanks, Dad). By this time it was mid-afternoon, and instead of staying for a night in Nazca, we decided to hop on a two-hour bus to Ica. Once you've seen the Nazca lines, there's just not much else to do.