To Ica, or more accurately, the tiny desert oasis of Huacachina and well and truly back on the gringo trail; backpacker central. Went for a walk up the dunes above the oasis, burnt my feet on the roasting hot sands and then joined a sand buggy/dune surfing tour. Now, as a rule, I try to avoid such tours (being a miserable, anti-social git), but as my first choice of renting a quad bike was prohibitively expensive, it was the tour or nothing. So, I strapped into the dune buggy with 9 others (Italians??) and off we went bouncing over the dunes, up and down impossibly steep slopes. The sand boarding was brief, limited to just 3 different slopes (lying, standing and sitting), but it was good fun and well worth it; although there were hoards of sand buggies and tourists doing the same thing. You could barely see the sunset over the crowds.
The next day was the short hop through the desert to Nazca. I stopped at the observation tower on the way, paid my 2 Soles and joined the queue of Israelis waiting to go up for a limited view of a couple of the geoglyphs ("hands" and "tree") while very enigmatic and interesting, these two glyphs were much smaller than I imagined. The aliens must have had some powerful telescopes to see them from space. The glyphs are strictly out of bounds and the only real way to see them is by taking a short 30 minute flight over the plain. I opted out of this, not being a good flyer, especially in those small planes. There's always Google Earth.
The next day was to be the long haul up and over the high Pampa towards Cusco. Back in the Andes!