Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

our tiny plane for the flight over the lines

the "astronaut" (or as I like to call him, the Gingerbread Man)

can you see the whale? (it is just bellow center, facing you)

we are flying, baby!

OK, this is harder- humming bird is just right of center

mummy in the desert

sadly because of grave robbers, also mummy bones scattered everywhere in the...

amazing 2 thousand years old irrigation system

Michelle overlooking more Nazca lines on the other side of the city

Nazca is a desert town famous for the "Nazca Lines", mysterious, giant drawings of animals and other figures etched into the packed earth of the desert. It's estimated they were made around 2000 years ago and there are several theories about why they were made. Since they are only visible from the air, there are of course the theories about aliens either making them or people making them to guide aliens where to land their space ships. ummm, yeah. More plausible theories are that they were connected with the shamans rituals where they would take drugs made from cactus flowers that made them think they were flying and of course they would need something to look at during their flights. Another theory is that they were made during times of drought to get the gods attention to send rain. Apparently they got bigger and bigger as the drought worsened and also they think they might have done processions along the paths created by the lines.

The only way to see them is to get on a teeny tiny airplane which the pilot flies as low as allowed and banks left and right so everyone can get a good view. The plane we were on had 4 seats including the pilot. I was a little nervous about air sickness, but it turned out to be fine and of course Charlie loved every minute of it. It was really easy to see the different animal figures carved into the ground. My favorite was the monkey with a big curly tail and the "astronaut", a bubble head person figure that looks like a giant gingerbread man waving to the plane.

Nazca doesn't have much else to offer, but because of bus schedules we were stuck there for a whole day and so took a tour of an ancient burial site that was ransacked by grave robbers so there are bones littering the desert. They put together several well preserved mummies, which had creepy long hair and some still have skin. We also saw ancient (2000 year old) aqueducts that the farmers still use for irrigation and a small Inca fortress.

The other excitement we had in Nazca was that Charlie got a couple of insect bites on his fingers which caused his hand to slowly start to swell. By the end of the day it was like a big balloon and the swelling was traveling up his arm. Looks like another trip to the doctor for us...

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