Peru part V - Nazca and Lima


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South America » Peru » Ica » Nazca » Nazca Lines
August 6th 2008
Published: September 22nd 2008
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It says "Don't Urinate". If we could attach a smell to the blog you would also know that it was not obeyed

Nazca and Lima



In the last days of our vacation we stopped at one place on our way back to Lima, namely the town Nazca. Nazca is best known for the Nazca Lines, a vast collection of geoglyphs that can be seen in the nearby Nazca Desert.

The Nazca Lines are dominated by two different categories of figures.

The first category is large pictures of animals, birds and insects. There is a monkey, a hummingbird, a human and a whale for instance. The largest of these figures are well over 100 meters across.

The second category is large geometrical shapes and long straight lines. Some of these straight lines are 10 kilometres long or more and the geometrical figures are sometimes also several kilometres from one end to the other.

The purpose of the Nazca Lines is not fully known. One theory say that they are part of a gigantic astronomical calendar. Another theory claims that it is a map showing where underground water channels can be found. A third theory says that the pictures have religious significance. That the pictures and the lines are a way for the humans to communicate with the gods. The last
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Gene Simmons, get lost
theory makes pretty good sense since the Nazca Lines are by far best observed from an airplane, and the Nazca people didn't have any airplanes.

The Nazca Lines were made between 1400 and 2900 years ago. So even the youngest Nazca Lines predate the Inca culture with at least 400 years.

The best way to see the Nazca Lines is, as we said earlier, from an airplane. We bought tickets to a plane and the pilot took us for a 30 minute long tour of the most famous section of the Nazca Desert. We then saw several animal figures and some of the geometrical figures and straight lines. During the flight the pilot did several sharp turns of the plane. That did not work well with Emma since she is prone to motion sickness. Already a few minutes into the tour she was starting to feel queasy and the second half of the flight she was feeling really bad. So Emma now refers to the geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert as the Nasty Lines.

After we had taken the flight over the Nazca Lines we decided to stay one more day in Nazca because there are a
Nazca Lines MapNazca Lines MapNazca Lines Map

Map showing the route we flew over the Nazca Lines
few more things around there we wanted to see.

Almost an hour drive south of Nazca is a site called Chauchilla Cemetery. It is a collection of roughly 1000 year old graves. Most of the graves have been plundered and destroyed by grave robbers who roamed around the place from early 20th century until mid 1980-ies. But the grave robbers didn't destroy everything and archaeologists have in their excavations unearthed pottery and mummies among other things. The dry climate has helped to preserve the mummies. Still today many of the mummies have their hair left. An interesting thing is that the hair often is very long and several of the mummies had dreadlocks. The archaeologists are therefore pretty sure that the people buried in the site mainly were high priests. That is probably a true explanation but a very dull and boring one. We think an explanation that is wrong but fun is better than a true and boring one. So we prefer to think the people buried in Chauchilla Cemetery were all Bob Marley fans.

After Chauchilla Cemetery we went to a place called Cahuachi. Cahuachi was a Nazca cult place. It is being excavated and at the
Nazca lines Nazca lines Nazca lines

Geometrical shapes and long straight lines
moment there isn't much to see there. The place consists of between 30 and 50 pyramids and excavation has been done on one side of the largest of the pyramids and they have just started excavating one of the other pyramids.

When we travelled from Cahuachi back to Nazca we could in the distance see a mountain called Cerro Blanco. Cerro Blanco's claim to fame is that it is the highest sand dune in the World.

The last place we visited this day was the Cantallo Aqueducts in the outskirts of Nazca Town. The climate in Nazca is extremely dry. It pretty much never rains there. That is by the way the main reason why the Nazca Lines can still be seen today, more than 2000 years after they were created. Ever so little rain would have erased the lines a long time ago. So the area around Nazca is all desert. The Nazca culture solved the water shortage by digging canals and in them bring water from distant mountains down in the plains around Nazca. These canals have total length of several hundred kilometres and it truly must have been a project of mammoth proportions to build
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Geometrical shapes and long straight lines
them.

Most of the aqueducts are under ground and consequently can't bee seen. If you want to visit them you therefore have to go to the places where there are openings into the aqueducts. It was at these openings they took water from the underground canals to irrigate their fields. Incredible as it may sound but several of these aqueducts still work, more than 1000 years after they were build, and they are even today being maintained and being used for their original purpose, to irrigate fields around Nazca town.

After Nazca we went back to Lima and made ourselves ready for the flight home. We had half a day to spend in Lima and in these hours we saw two sites.

In the southern end of the district Miraflores in Lima we visited a park called Parque del Amor, or the Park of Love. All along the lower end of this park are long serpentine benches covered with mosaics. These benches bear a striking resemblance to benches that can be found in Park Güell in Barcelona. We find it hard to believe that this is a coincidence. The artist who made the benches in Parque del Amor
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Picture of a man
must have known of the benches in Park Güell. Instead we prefer to believe the benches in Lima should be seen as homage to the creator of Park Güell, the great genius Antoni Gaudí.

The last place we visited in Peru was a church near Parque Central in Miraflores District in Lima. We visited this church in the beginning of our vacation and there is a statue inside the church we really wanted to take a photo of. We never got the chance to take this photo last time we were in Lima because the church is often very crowded with worshippers and it felt wrong to disturb them for our photo. But this time we managed to enter the church in between two services and when there were very few people in the church. This statue is of Virgin Mary and we don't think it is a very nice statue. It looks like it is made of plastic and there is a crown with neon lights around the head of the statue and from the hands and down to the base of the statue there are 8 yellow fluorescent tubes. The church and most of the statue are very
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Picture of a spider
dark. The neon lights and the fluorescent tubes are in turn very bright and the combination of the dark statue and the bright lights makes it impossible to take good photos without the aid of a ladder and a professional flash. So all our photos of this statue are unfortunately crap. But we have still added the best of the photos on the blog because we can't withhold this from you.

The best word we can come up with to describe the statue is kitsch. But we found the statue, or rather the fluorescent tubes that goes from the hands, to be absolutely hilarious. These tubes look just like lightsabers! Somewhat misplaces on a statue of Virgin Mary. We called the statue Obi-Wan Mary.

Finally we'd like to mention that during this trip we became a bit tired of the greasy food. Chicken is popular here and it is good food. We like chicken and since you can find it everywhere and is always cheap we had plenty of chicken. With chicken you always get French fries. With many other dishes you also get French fries. Believe it or not but if you order a sandwich you can
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Geometrical shapes and long straight lines
get French fries. After eating too much French fries over the last four weeks we are very tired of French fries. So for the next six months French fries are banned in our household. We also have a ban on chicken but that will be lifted after only three weeks.


Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 26


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Nazca Lines Nazca Lines
Nazca Lines

Geometrical shapes and long straight lines
Nazca Lines Nazca Lines
Nazca Lines

Geometrical shapes and long straight lines
Forest of cactiForest of cacti
Forest of cacti

A forest of cacti near Nazca Town
Chauchilla Cemetery Chauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery

A mummy at Chauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla CemeteryChauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery

A mummy at Chauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla CemeteryChauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery

Note that the mummies in this grave have long hair and dreadlocks. They must have been Bob Marley fans
Chauchilla CemeteryChauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery

Grave at Chauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery Chauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery

A mummy at Chauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla CemeteryChauchilla Cemetery
Chauchilla Cemetery

A mummy at Chauchilla Cemetery
Cerro BlancoCerro Blanco
Cerro Blanco

The highest sand dune in the World
Cantallo Aqueducts Cantallo Aqueducts
Cantallo Aqueducts

Irrigation canal openings
Cantallo Aqueducts Cantallo Aqueducts
Cantallo Aqueducts

Irrigation canal opening
Cantallo Aqueducts Cantallo Aqueducts
Cantallo Aqueducts

Irrigation canal opening
Obi-Wan Maria Obi-Wan Maria
Obi-Wan Maria

The photo sucks but we put it on the blog anyway. What is it Virgin Maria is holding? It looks like lightsabres. It really does. So we called the statue Obi-Wan Maria
Parque del AmorParque del Amor
Parque del Amor

The benches in Parque del Amor are almost identical with benches in Park Güell. It is probably homage to Antoni Gaudí.
Parque del AmorParque del Amor
Parque del Amor

The benches in Parque del Amor are almost identical with benches in Park Güell. It is probably homage to Antoni Gaudí.
Parque del Amor Parque del Amor
Parque del Amor

The benches in Parque del Amor are almost identical with benches in Park Güell. It is probably homage to Antoni Gaudí.
Parque del Amor Parque del Amor
Parque del Amor

The benches in Parque del Amor are almost identical with benches in Park Güell. It is probably homage to Antoni Gaudí.


27th September 2010
Cow tongue

wow
That is incredible. I knew they were long but that is amazing!!!!
12th May 2011
Nazca Lines Map

=)
cool
14th July 2013

Nazca Lines- The Humming Bird
I BELIEVE THIS WAS USED TO FIND THE ATOCHA AND SANTA MARGARITA SHIP WRECKS OFF OF CUBA AND THE MARQUESES.

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