Nazca

Nazca Travel Blog

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Super-hands!

We decided to go for the budget viewing of the Nazca lines; Lonely Planet described how you could get a ‘sketchy’ view of the Nazca Lines from the ‘mirador’ (tower) 20 km North of Nazca.

Lonely Planet wasn’t wrong. We jumped off the bus at the 25 foot rusty tower and were treated to fairly rubbish views of two sets of lines. One looked a bit like some hands and the other slightly like a tree. Fairly shit really. I guess if Nazca lines float your boat then it’s probably worth shelling out $90 for the stomach-churning aeroplane ride instead.

We then had the problem of making the final 20km down the motorway to Nazca, but by a stroke of luck got offered a lift by a married couple from Lima who were also at the tower.

El Mirador
They didn’t seem to want anything in return, but it was all a bit weird and we felt safer/cleaner when we finally got out of the car.

We’d booked the bus to Arequipa for that night - cama class, so your chair reclines so far it’s almost a bed - so decided to kill the afternoon by going to Chauchilla cemetery.

It worked out cheaper to get a tour than to go by taxi, so we set off with a guide who, whilst knowledgeable, had a strange habit of ending every sentence with ‘..hmmmmm?!’

The Nazca burial sites had been grave-robbed scores of years ago, with historians only relatively recently restoring some of the graves - pits containing huddled, dreadlocked skeletons facing the east and surrounded by some of their worldly goods.

Skulling

Despite all the spiel about the importance of preserving their culture etc etc then aside from the ten or so restored graves, the rest of the desert is littered with random bones and skulls: It would appear that the archeologists could not be arsed to even pick these up at any point over the last twenty years. Cultural.

When we got back to the car to leave there was a small Peruvian man holding a turtle sat in the passenger seat. The guide explained that he worked at the site and was getting a lift back to Nazca.

On the drive back the guide asked if there was anything we didn’t understand. Ivo went for the elephant in the room and asked why the man was holding a turtle. There followed a long story, with the final sentence being my favourite quote;

‘But, actually, a lot of the time he does not bring a turtle in to work with him…hmmm?!’

We finished off with a tour of the indigenous pottery and gold mining procedures.

Burial Site

The pottery display was a bit tedious, the only interesting point being that they used nose grease to polish the glaze. It was a thinly veiled attempt to sell overly expensive pottery and the guy seemed pretty pissed off when we wouldn’t drop $25 on an ashtray that looked like it had been made by a special child.

The gold-man was more fun, ending most sentences with ‘…wow, my friends’ as he went through the gold mining and purification process on a minor scale. He wanted to sell some shit at the end of it, but also gave the option of tipping if we’d enjoyed the display. Tip given, everyone happy. Off to the bus.

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Super-hands!
Super-hands!
El Mirador
El Mirador
Skulling
Skulling
Burial Site
Burial Site
Nazca
photo by: ulysses