Saturday, March 31, 2012
We go to the complimentary breakfast offered by the hotel and it is a spread of fruit. Was hoping for some eggs and meat, but then I realize where I am and happily scarf down a plateful of the delicious fruit. Across the street from the hotel, we see we are back in the 3rd world country after a few blissful hours of luxury.
Our taxi this morning takes us to the Ica Airport (pronounced Eeek-a) for a flight over the Nazca Lines. You can also fly out of Nazca Airport, but when we checked before we started this trip, we found government warnings about higher crime in Nazca. So we chose to fly out of Ica instead. We get there and check in for our flight. There are two other passengers waiting also, and luckily, they give us the two seats right behind the pilots. They are personable and speak decent English and the flight begins.
We first fly over lush green farms that are obviously irrigated. We learned from our hotel concierge that it never rains here. The hotel lobby was open to the sky and I asked what they do when it rains. The concierge chuckled and informed me that the last time it rained was in 1955 and they got a whopping one tenth of an inch! We do fly over what appears to be a resort that is an oasis in the desert for real. Can you spot it? The rest of the desert has only been eroded by the wind!
We finally reach the area they call the “Nazca Lines”! This is a spectacular day! A lot of the lines are seemingly random geometrical lines that criss-cross the desert without specific patterns. Now I feel it important to point out that all of the Nazca Lines were made in these deserts over 3000 years ago! Long before the concept of flight was even a glimmer in the most educated scholar of the day’s mind! Now as you will see in the photos, some of these lines and patterns go for miles, much farther than the eye can see on the ground! Also know that the lowest we flew was one mile up as per the aviation rules regarding this area!
There was a doctor who visited the Nazca Lines named Maria Reiche, and she ended up spending the rest of her life living there and studying them! Here is a quote from Wikipedia, “Later Reiche found lines converging at the summer solstice and developed the theory that the lines formed a large-scale celestial calendar. Around 1946, Reiche began to map the figures represented by the Nazca Lines and determined there were 18 different kinds of animals and birds.”
In the following photos, you will see random lines, and figures including the “Spaceman”, “Spider Monkey” and the “Hummingbird”. Click on the photos and look at them up close!
(There also does appear to be a few rivers that flow from the jungle areas to the east of this place and flow specifically across a few places.)
Here again is the Hummingbird. There appears to be a brand new road (or newly paved road) across the desert. You will then see a “Spider” and some creature with two hands and nine fingers, LOL. There is definitely evidence of water erosion in places, but I think I explained that in the last paragraphs. You will also see a roadside rest stop with an observation tower for roadside tourists that looks over a couple designs.
Alas, our flight time is up and we head back to the airport! Keeping in mind the age of these lines (3000 years) and what you just saw, I challenge anyone to explain these lines! You can only see the patterns and designs from above. And to see the magnitude of them, you have to be very far above them! So how did the Nazca people make them, and more importantly, Why??? Who did they think would see them???
See you in the afternoon!