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Dave & Reece -Travel’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006

Location: Nazca, Peru

MapOnly 6 days to go before we bring the curtain down on our South American leg, where has the time gone ? but not before another trip into the epoch of time with the enigmatic Nazca people.

We overnighted in an11 hour bus ride from Arequipa to Nazca with a hostess serving a hot dinner and having almost fully reclining seats what a difference a few soles can make.
We arrived at 4.30am and headed to our hotel for some more kip before heading to the skies to inspect the handy work of the locals.

Having already read in the bible (Lonely Planet guide) that eating prior is not recommended we climbed into the plane hungry and bemused after the mist cleared around 10.00 am.

The pilot waved gleefully his sky map of the route he was taking and pointed to the various Nazca lines and grinned, another group of gringos to see the inscriptions with their eyes closed he must have thought.

The motor splutted into life and we were off in search of the past, the first turn was fun then he lurched to the right to point at the spider, but my stomach was still with the astronaut.
We whizzed left, right up a bit then down, oh yes another familiar shape swirled past the cockpit window.

Trying to take a photo was like trying to snap a shot of a fly with a bad sense of direction, but the one I got (postcard) made it all worthwhile.
Actually even with the plastic bag covering my face I did manage to have a short period of awe when looking at the ground the whole area is covered with inscriptions and not only just the ones we are all used to seeing.

These are reported have been done 400 years BC the scale is quite impressive there are just miles of lines and shapes. How this could be done, on the ground then, certainly makes for some thought.

The problem was my only thought was self-preservation as I dropped the camera trying to stabilise myself in this washing machine, the ordeal was finally over as we headed back to the black straight line that really did impress me.

We landed and gleefully kissed mother earth, jumped into the taxi and headed to the next part of the tour - The Aquaducts, these are a total of 36 seperate underground channels dug by these guys that run under ground for miles and are accessed through circular portals on the ground,

They are 2000 years old and still operating now thats not a bad job, the portals are still used and supply each enough water for 100 acres.
After that we visited the Inca site that was a trading post for the various areas, but upon leaving we noticed a sign saying Momas aqui (mummies here), we wondered into a ramshackel yard and ushered into a garden shed to inspect her findings. The exibits really should be in a museum, instead of gathering dust in some ones shed.
We counted a total of 52 skull´s alone, not including the mummies, bones or babies. It was quite a chilling experiance. One of the mummies (a baby) looked as if it was gasping for air and probably was a ritual sacrafice. The ladies in waiting had hair of upto 2 metres in length, and still in perfect condition with plats and one with dread locks, still in perfect shape.
We paid our 1 sole entry fee for an experience we will never forget...