Operation Badger travel blog

A nervous Georgie in Pre-flight

Straight as an arrow

The Spider

The Hummingbird (apparently)

A pair of hands

Our little plane

The Nazca Lines are one of those things that I’ve wanted to see firsthand ever since reading the insane ramblings of Eric Von Daniken many many years ago. They are, as most of you know, mysterious and enigmatic lines carved into the desert. We know they are thousands of years old and they were carved by the Nazca people but how or why is the bigger mystery. There are about a dozen such carvings, up to about 300 metres in length. The weird thing is that from the ground they are barely recognisable and it is only when you get to the air and considerably high, do you then look down and realise that you are looking at strange pictures that have been carved to perfect symmetry and dimensions. The pictures are mostly of animals, like birds, monkey and whale with the odd anomaly like something that looks vaguely like a spaceman, i.e. a person with a funny helmet on, the sort of thing that prompted van Daniken’s obsession with alien intervention in pre history, manifesting itself largely in impressive ancient archaeology around the globe. Please form an orderly queue and pass the anal probe...

To view these carvings we took to the air in a small and very turbulent plane. Georgie was rather perturbed that several planes have crashed on Nazca line tours in recent years with death and mayhem becoming as familiar to the Peruvian desert as mystery and conundrum. She agreed, however, that the ancient architects deserved their work and efforts to be appreciated by god like figures and that, with the help of the aforementioned plane, the two of us fitted that bill nicely.

The carvings are undeniably cool, and no photograph can do them justice, not least because there is no scale. I was a little disappointed that many of them are very hard to see, mainly due to the natural erosion of the desert and also the countless tire tracks from jeeps that have crisscrossed the adjoining area. However, they still make you wonder. The leading explanation as to why they were carved out was that they mapped the star constellations. This is vaguely believable though since no human alive at the time of their creation could have seen them, it could only have been as some sort of god worship thing, but then how did they get them so big and perfect without ever being able to check them? A riddle wrapped up in a mystery in a puzzle baguette to be sure.

Anyway, a good one to tick off on Button’s archaeological sites around the world. Next up is probably going to be Easter Island but not yet and I don’t want to jump the gun...

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