Nazca Lines and Mummies
Trip Start Oct 10, 2006
61Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Welcome Inn Hostel
Nazca is a town in the middle of the desert, so as you would imagine, it`s hot and dusty - typical desert. The towns main tourist attraction is the Nazca Lines which are made up of hundreds of different lines, some making animal or insect figures and other`s making patterns which still have not been decrypted to date
The Nazca Lines are an enigma. They have inspired fantastic explanations regarding their function .. from a celestial calendar created by the ancient Nazca civilization, a plea to ancient Gods for rain and the most imaginative being a landing strip for returning aliens. The Nazca lines canīt be recognized clearly from the ground so there are about 13 agencies in this small town offering flights over the lines for various prices. We have heard many stories of people getting ripped off... our hostel organised our trip the morning we arrived, $45 each seemed a little steep but it included all taxes and a return taxi... best to stick with the safe option we thought. So off we went to the airport and watched a National Geographic documentary on the lines while we waited. 30 minutes later we crammed into a tiny 5 seater plane and up we went....
We were warned not to eat anything beforehand and so glad we didnīt. The pilot swung the plane from left to right at 90 degree angles.. a little scary at times but good fun. It was hard to make out some of the animals due to the hundreds of lines everywhere. The pilot let out a shout for the animal images below "LEFT LEFT, MONKEY!!!" and we all turned as quick as possible to try to make out the lines in the sand
The rest of the time we spent in the hostel, the town just had a very dodgy feeling about it so we just opted to sit by the pool all day to cool down. Today, before getting our bus to Cusco later on, we checked out the local Pre Inca Cemetery...Chauchilla, where you can see mummies over 2000 years old. Chauchilla Necropolis is thought to have been used by the rich Nazca culture for ceremonial burials. The site is now restored after grave robbers dug up and scattered the remains in search of gold or ceramics. Mummy bodies are preserved due to the dry salty sand and high temperatures of the desert. We were amazed to see open graves exposed and yet the mummies looking so good (as good as you can look when you`ve been dead for 2000 years) with their long dreadlocks and some with perfect textile clothing in tact. They used to grow their hair to 3 meters long forming huge dreadlocks, not sure why they did this - possibly Bob Marley fans! Just before we left a sand storm blew up, its apparently a normal occurrence every evening, with sand in our hair, ears, all over our clothes we decided it was time to leave. Tonight we head on a 15 hour night luxury bus to Cusco!...