We arrived in Nazca at 0630 in the morning. We made our way groggily to the hotel we had booked and discovered that we were to be picked up at 0745 for our flight over the famous Nazca lines. We were tired out after our night on the bus, so we despaired at the prospect of climbing into a small plane and roaring about...but off we went in any case.
We arrived at the international airport...which is a small building servicing small planes. They call it international because people come there from all over the world to take the flights over the desert to see the lines, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The lines were constructed by the aboriginal people (Nazca culture) who cleared the rocks and pebbles from the desert floor and then heaped the stones at either side of the cleared area to form lanes which together make patterns and figures which are visible from the air. These lines were apparently discovered by pilots when they were flying overhead on newly used airways. From the ground, they are unremarkable, but from the air they are amazing...
We were shown to the plane which was to take us up...a small 6 seater plane. We took off and then made our tour around the area on which the figures were placed. The pilot dipped the wings and circled around each figure...first in one direction, then in the other, permitting all passengers a clear view of the lines and figures. This caused some of the passengers discomfort as they felt the motion in the pits of their stomachs. I was not one of these, being so excited to see these lines that my stomach didn´t dare act up!!!
The picture below shows the figure known as the astronaut...constructed on the side of a large hill.
This figure is known as the hummingbird.
The picture below shows the tree figure.
The figures and lines are immense, some extending many kilometres. It really boggles the mind to imagine how this was accomplished, and with such precision!!!
The flight was short...only 30 minutes. Once it was over we went back to our hotel and crashed for the remainder of the morning.
In the afternoon we made our way to the Museo Antonini, with artifacts from the time of the peoples who accomplished the construction of the lines. This was also fascinating, as we discovered an aqueduct in the courtyard which had been built by the Nazca people (who constructed all of this between 400-600 BC). These aqueducts are sprinkled throughout the area and remain in use today.
There was also a reconstructed tomb which contained a real mummy from the period and many artifacts found in a nearby cemetery/necropolis.
Also of great interest were the ¨trophy¨ heads which were found, likely of conquered victims. The picture below shows one with its original hair and the ¨handle¨ attached which was used to carry it one supposes.
In any case, the museum was well worth the visit, and was a good replacement for a protracted tour to the outlying areas to view some of the same types of things in situ.
We spent a few hours in the town of Nazca itself, this being a small town, we explored a bit and then retired to the hotel and took advantage of the pool that was available.
The following day was uneventful. We climbed on the bus for a 7 hour trip back to Lima...thankfully during the day this time. Our intention is to spend the next two days relaxing and recuperating from our trip. My foot desperately needs a rest in its cast, and we can both due with some heavy and strenuous relaxation!!!