FlyingBones travel blog

The barren Peruvian west coast, near Ica

Mummified body

View into one of the tombs

The curls are their hair...

Barren Nazca landscape

View of the tomb excavations

Local potter maintaining Nazca traditions

Fiona worried about the Nazca flight

Perpendicular Nazca line

Astronaut or alien???

The Spider

The Hummingbird

Pan American highway slicing through lines

Spot the parrot


Nazca

We left Lima by long distance bus...this is better than a National coach in comfort terms, but all seating comfort is quickly blasted into oblivion by audio discomfort. Since they insist on playing Peruvian pan pipe music at 150 zillion decibels...continuously. This is done so that ALL will one day come to love the sound of John Lennon by pan pipe.

The most distressing thing is that there is a big screen at the front showing that there are 4 tracks on the CD & that the CD is on AUTO REPEAT...arrrrrgh!!!!

Eventually, someone saw sense & the music was replaced by a dire B rated movie.

The journey to Nazca is 9hrs at break neck speed. Looking out of the windows it is simply amazing to see just how dry the Peruvian pacific coast is, yet people still manage to eek out an existence here. People live in adobe brick huts & as the bus speeds on past these poor souls we sit gazing at them in our first class luxary. I have to admit I feel a little ashamed...despite now having bleeding ears.

Arriving at Nazca at night you can be forgiven for thinking the bus driver has taken a wrong turn & decided to abandon you all in the desert. Nazca as a location really is very barren. However, we crawl off the bus, head to the hotel & after a good meal of Lomo Saltado we are tucked up in bed.

NEXT DAY...

Daylight reveals however a certain charm to Nazca. The place is a hive of activity with busy stalls & ruddy faced locals selling a variety of foods...

In the morning we set off to visit the Chauchilla graves just outside Nazca. These tombs became available to tourists in 1997 & contain remains of Nazca peoples buried here sometime between 200BC & 800AD. Sadly anything of any value has been taken by grave robbers, however there is still plenty to see including delicately mummified corpses still in their original clothes.

In the afternoon, it was time to see the Nazca lines...

The strange lines are a fairly recent discovery, when in 1939 Paul Kosok noticed them as he was over flying the desert.

Later Maria Reiche went on to extensively study the lines suggesting they were an astrological calendar developed for agricultural irrigation. There are a few modernists however who maintain that the lines were extra terrestrial landing sites created by aliens...mmmmm

The flights over the lines take place in 4-seater light aircraft so Marcel felt at home. The prospect of tight turns & rapid climbs was bothering Fiona but in the end it was OK & simply breathtaking, both loved it.

The plane banked from left to right curving around so that all on board could take photos. Only when we all gave the pilot the thumbs up did he move on to the next shape.

I guess if someone was feeling ill & could not lift their thumbs they would still be circling around the Spider even now...

Back in Nazca town that night we had a good Chinese meal & then boarded the overnight bus to Arequipa our next stop... A long night ahead...



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