The flight consisted of fast swings from one side to another, from tilting sharply to the right to tilting sharply to the left, from moving from one geoglyph to another in order to fit them all into the short flight window, so the opportunities for recording a captivating video were limited at best.
The video contains the take off from the Maria Reiche Neuman Airport with the arid landscape surrounding the city of Nazca, aerial views of a few of the geoglyphs, namely the Astronaut, Monkey, Hummingbird, Spider, Condor, and a whole bunch of energy runways with lesser known images, concluding with the views of the mountains surrounding the geoglyph fields filmed on the return journey back to the airport.
The weather in Nazca was great, but that could be expected in the place where it only ever rains in January, February or March. The rest of the year it’s bone dry, which explains why the entire area is either desert, or rigid rock covered dry land on which basically nothing grows.
We took off, and the captain’s assistant informed us that we’ll approach each major Nazca images, from the air and the captain will tilt the plane first right, and then left, so both people sitting on the right and the left get a good view of the geoglyphs. He also informed us that the entire flight would last about 36 minutes.
The captain did exactly as we were told and took a half circle over each geoglyph with a plane tilted to the right, before doing the same with the plane tilted to the left. This was great for making sure everyone on board gets a good view of the lines, but whereas the low altitude flight in the small plane was already pretty bumpy to begin with, this fast and rapid tilting from one side to the other made for a fast onset of airsickness.
I started feeling it too, but the poor girls who were with me felt it more and quickly went from losing all enthusiasm to take pictures, to grabbing the vomit bags and dumping the contents of their stomachs into them. I felt the whole time like I was never too far from that either, but managed to hold it back with deep breathing. I felt really sorry for the girls. One especially had a very hard time coping with it, which I can imagine totally ruined the whole experience for her. It took her a while to recover even after we got off the plane.
Overall, the flight was amazing and so were the views. The lines extend over a large area, much larger than I thought, and the vastly flat parts containing the images are surrounded by towering vegetation-free hills, making the entire area spectacular to behold. It’s arid, sun fried and wind swept in the most profound ways imaginable.
I was glad I caught the last flight of the day. The sun was lower in the sky, offering a deeper dimension to the experience and a less intense head fry. I had good experience flying with Aero Paracas and would recommend the company to anyone. Their equipment is well maintained, pilots well trained and the staff professional. The flight with them was safe and enjoyable, so I ended up giving the flight crew a tip of 10 Soles.
Here’s the gallery of the images I took from the air:
When I landed in Seoul, South Korea, it was the first time in my life I set foot on Asian soil. It was an exciting feeling. I have never been to Asia before so finally make it meant a great deal to me. The view of South Korea from the window of an airplane suggested that weather in this country was spectacular. It was virtually cloudless, other than some random tiny cloud here and there. I thought – if weather is this gorgeous in East Asia, surely it will be equally nice in South-East Asia, where I was heading to. But then again – I was well aware of the fact that September is the peak of the rainy season in Cambodia so I did not hold my breath. Seeing cloudless, sunny weather South Korea was enjoying left me a little bit encouraged.
Flight from Vancouver to Seoul took well over 10 hours. It was a long, long flight. Pacific Ocean is not a short distance to cover. Seeing the land below our plane delivered the feeling of landing soon which I’m sure every passenger aboard could not wait for. Good thing about South Korea is that once you have reached the east coast, the west coast where capital city Seoul is located is not far away. It also means that wherever in South Korea you are, you’re never too far from the beach. Having this narrow shape definitely has its advantages.
Incheon airport in Seoul is not very large. I was only transiting as my final destination was Siem Reap so I wasn’t hassled by Korean customs authorities and just followed the signs to connection flights. There wasn’t that much to do at Incheon, however connecting to their free WiFi internet was hassle free, unlike the crap experience in Vancouver. I was glad to have equipped myself with the universal power plug adapter which made its first use at Incheon. I only had a couple of hours to kill there and thanks to the internet, my time waiting for the Siem Reap flight flew by quickly. Before I knew it, the boarding was started. I have waited until everyone was in, have packed up my lap top and headed towards the gate to be the last person on board.
The plane wasn’t sold out solid, but I was the unlucky one to have been given the seat right next to two kids. Having just gone through near 11 hours on a plane, I really didn’t feel like being exposed to screaming kids for additional 5 hours. I felt tired and wanted to take a nap. I’ve asked the flight attendant if it was possible for me to sit elsewhere as I didn’t want to sit by the kids, but since this was the flight between Seoul and Siem Reap (aka none of the ports of call were English speaking), my words were not understood.
One person who did understand me was the father of those kids who was willing to aid me in re-seating myself. He however suggested that his daughters are well behaved and generally quiet. That was a bit encouraging, but I was really tired to risk it and it did prove a good idea. Well behaved or not, kids talk too loud and too much disturbing everyone around and while it’s sometimes bearable, it becomes excessively difficult if you’re exposed to it right after a long flight.
Luckily for me, I was able to increase the distance between me and the kids and even ended up taking a brief nap during the flight. Before I knew it, we were landing in my terminal destination for this trip – Siem Reap, Cambodia. And yes, it was pissing cats and dogs.
As I was boarding the Korean Air plane, I asked the flight attendant whether they anticipated many kids to be on board this flight. I was well fed and stocked on bottled water so there was no unpleasant experiences waiting for me to happen in this regard. It was a very long flight I had ahead of me so I wanted to make sure it will be as headache free as possible and with hunger and thirst being off the issues list, the only thing that could still turn this long haul flight into a nightmare would be screaming kids. Kids on a plane are an absolute horror of unspeakable magnitude and their presence, or absence pretty much determine whether the flight will be enjoyable or agonizing. According to the stewardess I had approached, there were very few, if any kids she was aware of that were about to board this craft.
That was great news. I also loved the plane. When I saw it from the terminal parked at our gate, I got excited. I have never flown one of those Boeing planes with upper deck (I think it was Boeing 747-400) before. I knew the top deck was where first class passengers stayed so it was off limits to me, however it was still exciting to board and fly one of those monsters. Really cool. So far nothing but complete awesomeness regarding Korean Air, but at that time I still did not know I was in for the best flying experience ever.
This large Boeing aircraft has seats on both sides of the plane, the same way regular planes do, but it also has a four row seating in the middle. That makes the plane look spacious and more luxurious. I got a seat numbered 41K. It was the seat by the window and when I got to it, the other two seats from the same section were vacant. Given that Korean Air was using this giant aircraft to fly us to Seoul, I assumed it was because there were many people who wanted to fly there so in order to accommodate them all, a large craft was provided. In other words – I thought this flight was gonna be packed full.
Soon after being seated, I had to start collecting my jaw from the floor. Korean girls are incredibly beautiful and those tight, short-skirt Korean Air outfits they wear complement their beauty really well. I asked the one of them whether the flight was sold out and she said it wasn’t which once again enriched the positive feelings I’ve been experiencing since boarding this plane. I was one of the last ones boarding and so far the only one at my row of three seats. Could it be that I’d have the whole damn thing all for myself? Chances were certainly there, but what I liked even better was the fact that right behind me, right behind the raw 41, there was this large open area with emergency exit. Only one guy was sitting in that three seater with loads and loads of leg room. I asked the flight attendant if it was possible for me to sit there, provided these other two seats don’t get taken prior to take off. She said I would only have to wait until we do take off and then I could move.
Sweet – except that I didn’t wait. I moved as soon as she left me. I asked that guy who occupied the one seat if he was OK with me taking one of those and he actually said that if there was gonna be nobody in the row in which I had my assigned seat, he would actually move out of this spot and take that whole row 41 for himself, claiming it was better suited for sleeping. He said he was boarding a flight to Hong Kong after arriving in Seoul and goes straight to work from there so getting some sleep would be beneficial for him.
I sent him to take my original seat without hesitation, suggesting that there are hardly any more people left to board the plane so he would likely have the whole thing for himself. It worked out perfect, cause yet before we took off, I had an entire raw by the emergency exit for myself with more leg room than I could bargain for. The guy who was originally meant to sit here got what he wanted – whole row of seats to sleep on for himself = everyone wins.
As we were getting ready to depart, the things just kept getting better and better. Facing me opposite that large leg room area is one seat where flight attendants sit for the take off. The hottest of all flight attendants sat there facing me, so we were just giving each other smirks. She was so cute. But the real awesomeness of Korean Air started after we were in the air. I can safely assume that flying Korean Air = the most awesome plane experience ever. The awesomeness of Korean Air simply never stopped.
The entertainment system is loaded with latest Hollywood movies and all of them free of charge. Quality headphones were provided to every passenger after take off free of charge. It was none of that cheap crap I got from Westjet after shelling out $3. Korean Air headphones are much better and are complimentary. The selection of movies as I have said was noteworthy. Normally you get one decent move and a couple of stupidly crappy ones. The good one was one of those you would have already seen and the stupid ones were so lame, you didn’t even feel like watching. Korean Air is different.
Their selection of movies included Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, Angels and Demons, The Hangover, Star Trek XI, Monsters vs Aliens, etc. Absolutely amazing selection of in flight entertainment and all of it free. You don’t pay to watch any of the movie aboard Korean Air. It is included complimentary to make your flight with them more enjoyable. And awe just continued.
Bottle of water was provided on every seat, but even so, before you could start feeling like you could use more water, the flight attendants would already start delivering drinks. They never stopped. They were always on their feet providing their customers with something. And then the food was served – that’s where Korean Air really got me.
I was asked whether I wanted Korean traditional meal or beef. Of course I went for the Korean dish. No question there. But what I did not expect was that in flight meals on Korean Air flights are served in actual porcelain dishes, not in some plastic stuff. Also, you get new, plastic wrapped silverware. Actual high end silverware instead of cheapo plastic crap other airliners give you to eat with.
The traditional Korean dish I chose consisted of steamed rice and a bowl of Bibimbap – some mixture of sea weed, vegetable, minced meat and sprouts. Awesome Asian soup was part of it too as well as pickles and fruit. Kingly meal, I tell ya. When a girl who served me the dish asked me what wine I wanted, I automatically assumed it would cost money. I mean – no airline in the world, no matter what china they serve their food in and what cutlery they provide their customers with to eat with will serve you wine for free. You always pay for alcoholic beverages so I respectfully declined.
A minute later, another flight attendant comes with bottle of red wine in one hand and a bottle of white in another and asks me if I’m ready for a refill of wine. I asked how much it was for wine and she said it was all free. I took a glass full of red and must mention one more thing – the glass they provided was an actual glass, not plastic. What an awesome experience flying Korean Air.
Everything on this flight was included, and it wasn’t an overpriced flight. I have actually bought it because it was the cheapest and I always do my homework when it comes to buying travel stuff.
I got my bonus in flight entertainment when one of the flight attendants accidentally dropped a can of coke not far from me. The can burst on impact and sprayed the legs of other flight attendants with its sticky self. These girls are absolutely gorgeous so watching them rub coke off their perfect legs with paper towels was a real treat. It was the highlight of my trip (hey, at least I’m honest with you).
An extra surprise took place when I went to use the washroom and found it equipped with disposable toothbrushes and toothpaste. These were plastic wrapped, single use units. Inside were one toothbrush and a very small tube of toothpaste. I brushed my teeth with it which was amazing given the length of flight (aka time during which you would otherwise not give your teeth any care).
I have flown many a time in my life but flying Korean Air beat any and all previous flight experiences. This was above and beyond awesome. I will always look for Korean Air flights when booking plane tickets in the future before I book with someone else. The treatment, the value for money and the presence of most gorgeous girls can not be beat by any other carrier. Korean Air rules. This was the best flying experience of my life to date. Someone’s gonna have to provide hell of an experience to beat that.
My first flight was by Air Canada from Edmonton to Vancouver. The rest of the flight was provided by Korean Air with stop in Seoul, South Korea. I wanted to check my luggage right away so I am rid off this burden and can hang out with Lisa and Britney (Lisa’s 17 year old friend). I got in Air Canada line (it doesn’t look like Korean Air has a booth in Edmonton, they probably don’t have this city in their destination schedule) and as I was checking in, I was told by the lady that my flight from Edmonton to Vancouver is delayed, but she can try to put me on an earlier flight. It made no sense to me whatsoever, but I wasn’t arguing. I was there already anyway, so I might as well try to get on an earlier flight. It would mean that I’d have to spend more time in Vancouver, but that sounded much better to me than spending more time in Edmonton.
It was 9.20am when I got a boarding pass for Air Canada flight that departs at 9.50am. I have no idea why that check in lady would tell me that my flight is delayed when it wasn’t scheduled to leave until 11.20am, but whatever.
I was very short on time so I just gave quick hugs to Lisa, gave Britney a wave, promised Lisa to stay in touch over email (I can do it, but she needs to send me her email first – she’s got mine, I’m still waiting for her to email me) and popped myself in line to undergo security check. Unfortunately for me, the line there was endless.
It took forever for me to get my turn and once I went through, the security decided that they need to closely examine my camera bag. I obliged (of course, the only other option is to turn around and leave) but have reminded the young man that my plane leaves in less than 10 minutes. Luckily for me, he understood.
Perhaps I was lucky in a fact that he was a photography enthusiast. He admired my full Canon gear and asked me about what I take pictures of, had brief look at everything and let me go fairly quickly even though I had my tiny bottle of oil of oregano with me. Fluids and gels of any kind are a big no no on aircrafts nowadays.
As he was going through my bag and doing chemical analysis of vapours to make sure I don’t have any hidden explosives there, my name was announced on the speaker system calling me to deliver my ass to the gate or miss the flight. I have reminded the man that I have got to go and luckily he let me.
He sort of cut his job short and took chances for not examining my bag thoroughly, but I’m no terrorist and they really were calling for me. To add insult to the injury, my name was being called repeatedly as I was running through the airport, prompting several people to shout at me – you must be Mark they’re calling. Embarrassing.
I have boarded the plane last minute, we took off without delay and got from Edmonton to Vancouver in about 1 hour and 14 minutes. The flight was relatively painless, except from excessively obnoxious and loud pair of girls sitting across the aisle one row back. They were literally yelling like they’re at the party. I felt tired because of no sleep last night and their shriek made it impossible to take a nap. Luckily it was a brief flight. And I got a complimentary plastic cup of tomato juice (my favourite in flight drink).
Soon enough I was in Vancouver and there was no turning back for me anymore, even if I wanted to. I would never want to. I longed for this moment for so long, going back was not an option. There are so many places to see, so many things to do, so many girls to f….. Sorry, couldn’t help :o)
I was on a look out for cheap flights to the Dominican Republic and was hoping to score a reasonably priced deal, similar to that I scored in January. Unfortunately, planning to travel in August is not the same as going in January. It reminded me of December – it’s near impossible to score a cheap plane ticket in December because many people travel during pre Christmas season and for New Year making it one of the worst month for travel deal hunters, but come January, prices drop instantly and significantly. Take Dominican Republic for instance – I wanted to go on a trip during Christmas/New Year season of 2008 but was discouraged by outrageously priced flights so I wasted 8 consecutive days off sitting at home watching TV. But then when January came and I saw the same ticket that sold out planes for $850 + taxes in December now priced at $48 + taxes, I did not hesitate and went right for it. After all, there’s little difference in weather between the end of December and beginning of January and getting the ticket for less than 1/10th of the price it cost two weeks ago was a no brainer.
It was similar with August, though. I started looking for cheap flights to the Dominican Republic in July for the departure at the end of August. But having previously gone to the country for $48 + taxes, I was finding it hard to pay $600 + taxes for the same ticket. I have quickly realized that many people travel in Summer so prices are jacked up so carriers can milk as much as possible out of Summer eager people. This was making my plans to depart at the end of August difficult. I could not bring myself to pay twelve times more than I had paid seven months ago. It just messes with your brain when you realize that.
Having had vast experience scoring the best priced flight tickets from my previous travels, I knew that booking engines of most travel agents use the same backend. Being a computer developer myself, I could see that 80% of all travel agents in Canada use SoftVoyage as their booking engine so no matter which website of which provider you go to, you will get the same results which are priced in the same, or very similar way. That’s a great thing to know as it will save you heaps of time you would otherwise waste browsing through countless websites, yet getting the same results. The websites that use SoftVoyage travel booking engine include:
One travel agency that doesn’t use SoftVoyage is Geo.ca which is worth checking out because results will be different, though from what I have noticed, it’s mostly more expensive. Other than the travel agencies, I also kept a close eye on flight carriers themselves. The following were a must:
United.ca – great, but not for flights to the Caribbean
SunWing.com – amazing for Caribbean destinations, often very cheap, but only works well if you live in Toronto or Montreal. Edmonton didn’t have very good departures and prices
No matter where I went, the prices were nowhere close to anything I would consider decent. August simply proved to be a tough time of year to travel on the cheap. Then there was also an issue of timing – I wanted to depart at the end of the month to use up the money I have already spent on rent and to not have to spend more by overstaying for any part of September. That was also complicating things a bit because flights to the Dominican republic departing in the middle of August or middle of September were cheaper than flights departing at the end of August, beginning of September. My initial research did not encourage me at all. Maybe had I not gone to the Dominican Republic for $48 + taxes before, I would probably find $600 + taxes normal, but after flying cheap, I found it really hard accepting the price that was so much more expensive but would give me exactly the same thing. It was discouraging, but I kept working on it.