Nasca, Peru

Latitude 14.82828°S Longitude 74.94272°W

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

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We arrived in Nasca, luckily, one day after strikes and civil riots had devastated the town. We found Nasca to be a tiny, hot, dusty town, with the only attraction being the famous huge glyphs and lines engraved into the plains by the ancient tribes who inhabited this region.

To this day, the exact meaning of the drawings, which can only be fully made out from a great distance in the air, remains a mystery. My favourite theory is that they were used to attract extraterrestial astronauts. Another (more mundane) theory explain the drawings as being linked to ancient shamanic ceremonies where use of "medicinal" plants enabled "flying" or "out of body" experiences; the drawings on the planes were created to be appreciated in the mind's eye's of the flyers.

The tour of the plains was a perfunctory 30 minute affair conducted in a light plane. The pilot did not provide any commentary, and we found ourselves back on the ground a little faster than we would have liked, resulting in a bit of an anti-climax. The very interesting BBC documentary that was screened for us after the flight was far more interesting and satisfying.

We were both glad that we saw the Nasca Lines, but, it probably was not worth going as much out of our way as we did to see them.

Photos: (click on images to see full size)

The Colibri (Hummingbird)The Astronaut (over 2000 years old)

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