Fri 8th Jun
Yesterday was pretty uneventful…pretty much just a bus from Paracas to Nazca…driving down the Pan American Highway through the Nazca desert.
Dinner was nice however and I sampled more local food – causa de pollo – layered mash potato with avocado and chicken which was surprisingly lovely and tasty
This was followed by ají de gallina which is shredded chicken in a yellow creamy sauce which was nice but nothing wow.
The main reason for coming here obviously though is to see the Nazca Lines and that’s what I’m doing this morning. Breakfast eaten, I wait with the other guests heading out for our pick up to the airport.
It’s only a 15 minute ride out and once there we pay our 30 soles airport tax and take a seat to wait for our plane. They increase the anticipation by playing national geographic footage etc in the waiting room.
We pay our 65$ (in total this has cost about £55), through X-ray and to departure lounge. Our captain comes and greets and leads us out to our little plane….
We take our seats in some kind of weight distribution order, belt up and headphones on then we taxi away.
As we motor down the runway I’m wondering how this little thing is going to chugging along is going to get up off the ground…but she does and soon this 6 little seater is airborne looking down on the vast desert below.
These geoglyphs are etched in the sand approx 15cm deep and some up to 370m long. Because there is so little rain, wind and therefore erosion, their form has been able to remain intact for the last 2000 years. It is thought they were created by the Nazca people 1 – 700 AD.
The geoglyphs are made up of 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal or plant designs.
They were only brought to the attention of the public with the advent of commercial flights over Peru. Paul Kosok, an American historian is first credited with studying them. He was joined by German mathematician and archaeologist Maria Reische and both came to the conclusion that they were made for astronomy and agricultural calendar type purposes, pointing to the horizon and for souring oh best harvest timesz Reiche believed they represented certain constellations.
Credit to this woman though, she spent the 40 years of her life devoted to these lines and their protection. After 30 years in the desert she went blind and suffered from skin cancer. She spent the last 10 years of her life at the Nazca Hotel where there is now a planetarium in her honour and u can visit her room….if u so desire.
Others have since challenged their views and believe because they’re in the desert, they were used as some part of ritual to get access to water. Others link the symbols to fertility and the crazy obviously think they were created by aliens! I could go on… these are however all theories as to this day, no one actually knows! New lines and shapes are being discovered with the development of new technology but this is just adding to the complexity of explanations.
The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. There was an incident in 2014 where a Greenpeace demonstration in the area damaged the Hummingbird geoglyph. Ironic really….
So these are the figures seen from my 39 minute plane journey….mostly seen from the right first, the plane tipping right uon to its side do we cd get a good view before doing it again on the other side so the people on the left cd take a look.
Tree & Hands:
Not only are the lines impressive but also the arrid desert landscape that goes on for mikes. Separated only by the PanAm highest running through it
We received a flight certificate
I had debated doing this tour and just going to a mirador but when I realised it was so cheap I jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did.
One guy on our flight said his stomach nearly left him a few times and was still feeling a bit nauseous after the flight. Some people in my hotel were sick after their flight the day before and I’ve read a few stories of people being effected by this. The plane does rear from one side to the other and tip up on its side to give good views. I guess it just depends if you’ve got the stomach for these things. I was fine but there are big sick bags in the back of every seat just incase!
Back at the hotel and I have to check out. I’ve a lot of time to kill until tonight so I wander into town for some lunch. I find a great place with a good menu del día – La Kasa Rústica and sample 2 more local dishes. Lomo saltado is becoming a firm fave
its a lovely restaurant with lovely food and staff and great at only 25 soles.
It definitely doesn’t rain in this desert and it’s over 30 degrees. Time to grab the swimmers out of my bag and hit the sun lounger until the sun goes down and I have to leave….which is bloody hours away!
I’ve been lucky so far with night buses that my accommodation has let me keep my room….sadly, not here and nobody has even checked in! If ur not busy n all that, come on….
I’m killing my last hours sat in I think their living space (which is in the reception area) – I need plug points to charge everything and I’m knackered! Hope to god I sleep on this bloody bus tonight….I’ve paid £30 for the luxury vip bus!
If I hadn’t had such a big lunch I’d go for dinner but I’m not hungry and I get a meal in the bus. Oh well….Only another 2 hours to go until I can head to the station.