Arriving in Nasca was like stepping directly into summer as if off a plane landing in Miami from a cold and snowy land. The heat! The blue skies! The energy! Nasca, a small city slapped down in the middle of the desert, famous for its proximity to a series of ancient geoglyphs - called “Lines” - that span 37 miles long and 1-mile wide across a wasteland of sand. Nasca’s bones are pastel and dirt and all under construction.
Away from the compact Gringo strip is where the real flavour lies. Latin music spills from the shops and vendors scoop sticky fruit juice over hand-crushed ice. Palm trees and kitschy Christmas lights fill the main square. The women dress in hot pants and tiger print bra straps and the men whistle their approval often. The sun is so hot that during its strongest hours the locals retreat indoors and the city takes on a sleepy lackadaisical feel.
As soon as the sun sets at seven everything changes; the streets come alive with people heading home or out to eat. Vendors fill the sidewalks with ingredients to bring back for dinner: whole chickens, fresh buns, churros. Everyone seems to be out at once, including the children, to be social and enjoy the buzzing warm night air.
For us, Nasca was an oasis. We lounged under palms in our “Hostal Latino” shaded garden, drank fresh jugo de piña y naranja, and roamed the dusty streets with ice creams, deliriously happy to be fed and warm again. At night we’d have our second dinner at 11:30pm from one of the fried chicken and french fry carts lining a nearby street.
It’s funny: apart from the famous “Lines”, Nasca is not necessarily a desirable travel destination, yet the two of us look back so fondly on our time there. Sometimes an otherwise unspectacular place is made special, is so fully enjoyed, because it simply happens to be just what you need at just the right moment.
What is Dirty Roads?
We are two girls, dedicated to an elevated travel lifestyle. We trek the Earth with camera and pen in hand to document an experience. We believe in respecting the land and the indigenous cultures we encounter, tasting authentic and delicious handmade foods, challenging our world views, seeking incredible beauty, and above all going beyond our nerves. Travel is not travel without a dusty face.