I have organized to go flying over the Nazca lines today. I am starting to regret this, thinking of small planes and motion sickness. However the only way to see them is in the air.
These lines were built over hundreds of years and anthropologists are still trying to work out the reasoning behind them. There are lines that are pictures of hummingbirds, whales, families, and an astronaut (or as one line of thought goes – an alien). There are other lines that are geometrical shapes and then lines straight and diagonal that line them up. This is really impressive having been done from the ground over hundreds of miles.
The lines were plotted by the line creators, who put stakes in the ground and then joined them with string. Then other workers came and cleared the stones and a layer of dirt. The stones were placed at the outside of the lines which helped protect them from the wind. The language of these people has gone but the lines remain.
Also as they were dependent on water, they suffered drought and practiced human sacrifice. This is not yet fully understood whether it was people from other tribes or from within their own. Also they discovered they could get water deep below the surface of the desert and created huge wells with steps in a circle going down. They also built quite sophisticated irrigation systems for their crops.
With flying in mind, I had a plain breakfast of rolls and tea. (Editor’s note: Love the seamless change of topic here 🙂
A group of us were picked up at the hotel at 8:30am to go to the airport, once again in a beat up old car.
When we arrived at the airport we had to pay departure tax of $20 sole, and watch a video about the history of the lines. Then set off for the 55 minute flight!
I had my camera with me but only managed to take about three photos, as every time I looked down and tried to focus the camera the motion sickness started to creep in.
It did not help that the plane was a six seater and the pilot was showing passengers on both sides of the plane each of the lines, so lot of banking and rolling.
The lines were amazing and I am really pleased I saw them. It was also great to see the vastness of the desert, and see the road we had rode in on. I managed to keep the motion sickness at bay whilst on the plane, but had the bag on my knee just in case!
The very small plane
I got back onto the ground and was waiting to be picked up, when I was still feeling very queasy and then lost my breakfast into a garden. Probably just as well, as would not have been good if it had been in the driver’s car.
I had taken my broken glasses with me as figured it would be easier to ask where to go for new ones. I showed the driver, he nodded and smiled and took me to a shop in town, which turned out to be an optician. Luckily I managed to convey that I just needed them for reading, and got two pairs for $20 sole each. The spare pair is now in a case. I will still need to get more so am keeping a look out for a street vendor.
After this I was hungry having lost breakfast. I had a sandwich, then off to the supermarket for supplies and back to the hotel. I ended up having to get Ponds moisturizer as it was the only one that I was sure was actually moisturizer.
I spent the afternoon sending photos, which was really frustrating as the Internet was really slow, and going through my gear. I am having lots of problems trying to shut my day bag, so was trying to take stuff out plus put more warm clothes in. Net result was I got the warm clothes in and some stuff out, and it is still just as hard to shut.
I decided to have dinner at the hotel rather than go into town again. Out of curiosity I chose pork steak, which ended up being like schnitzel but not crumbed, rice, an egg, and my favourite: plantain – oh well, I had a good meal last night.
Then an early night as we have a big day tomorrow – 90 kilometres, all uphill climbing from 400 meters to 3,200 meters!
A whole pile of lines and trapezoids (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)
The Astronaut (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)
This is a general shot of the valley. Lots of agriculture and a dry river. A lot of the lines have been affected by water flows, whenever it happens (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)