Friday, June 15, 2012


The bus deposited us in Nazca around midnight, tired and weary from travel. The idea of getting up at 6 to catch our 7 o'clock flight over the Nazca lines exhausted us further. At the hotel, however, we were able to contact the tour guid and change our fly-over to 10 o'clock. WIN!
Our guid picked us up more spirited than the we would have been at 7. Excitement radiated from each of us as we anticipated the witnessing one of the true ancient mysteries of the world. The Nazca lines date back about 2500 years and there are virtually no explanations as to why they were made and why what was made was made. My explanation that it is an ancient airport fell on deaf ears although it's the obvious answer. I wanted to witness this mystery first hand.
We got to the airport and the genial nature of the morning shifted when we were confronted with our most insulting and aggravating gringo tax to date. They said because Dylan and I weighed over 100 kilos we had to pay for an extra passenger. This was bullshit because we knew well in advance there were to be only 5 passengers on this plane even though it seated 6. Our guide late explained they always try to exploit any opportunity to get more money from tourist. But this one pissed me off. I gave the woman at the counter a good earful (in English)!
Okay, drama over. Let's fly. After a long wait we board the small Cessna. We took off. Excitement had returned and we began witnessing these mysterious forms from the sky. In order to view the ground the plane had to rotate 30 degrees each view point. That was a little too much for Dyan and the French girl. Both made good use of the baggies in front of them. Apparently this is pretty common.
Seeing the figures first hand it is so strange that 2500 years ago, these people who could barely feed themselves, who had virtually no water, decided to level a mountaintop, draw megalithic forms and lines with right angles, strips that create a vision similar to an airport and pictures of animals that can only be viewed from the sky. From the ground they are completely imperceptible.
We get to the ground. Dylan is still woozy.
It's still early. Our bus doesn't leave Nazca till about 10 o'clock. So we commission a guy to take us to the pyramid an hour away. This guy was great. He owned the travel agency and had lived in San Francisco. He was very worldly and knowledgable. We stopped first at the band of holes. Again my suggestion that it was created by ancient machinery was dismissed. I'm alone in this theory, but the alternative theories are full of as many holes as the band. Carlos, our guide wanted to stop at a tree that was over 1000 years old and water it. This further endeared us to him. At the tree, there was a human femur just laying there. Not comforting.
We get to the pyramid and climb to the top of a nearby hill to get a good view. Carlos shows us that there are 34 unexcavated surrounding this newly discovered one. They lack the archeologists to excavate them though. So the structures (even the one that was being excavated) remain largely undiscovered.
On the way back, Carlos takes us to a cactus farm and shows us this magical white powder that covered some parts of the cacti. Somehow when you press this white powder with your fingers it turns red. This is used in Peruvian and other cosmetics and dyes for textiles. Now, on to Arequipa.
Viva mas amigos

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