Monday, November 4, 2013

Peru ~ Nazca Desert

After experiencing something as amazing as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru continued to enchant us. After one luxurious night at the Westin, Lima, (serious luxury after 4 nights camping, sharing a squat toilet & no showers) we were then off on a 7 hour bus ride to the Nazca Desert. Here we got to experience another adventure on our bucketlist: flying over the Nazca Lines. 

Believe me, climbing into this tiny plane (in weight order I might add, so I was at the back whilst hubby was up front) had me breaking out in a sweat - and not just because I was in the desert!

If you haven't heard of the Nazca Lines, they are ancient geoglyphs marked into the desert only clearly visible from above, the largest ones spanning over 200m across. Shrouded in much mystery as to how and why these geoglyphs were created, scholars believe the Nazca culture created them between 400 & 650 AD.

Can you see the Whale? (Ballena)

Triangular shapes that continue over mountains...

The Astronaut (Astronauta) - sometimes called The Watcher

The Monkey (Mono). You may have to click on the photos to see them larger. 

The Dog (Perro)

The Hummingbird (Colibrí)

The Spider (Araña)

The Condor

The Tree (árbol) - you can see the size perspective next to the Pan-American Highway. There is also a small viewing platform for people to see the tree geoglyph closer to ground.

After surviving the small flight and a little motion sickness we were off to the ancient aquaducts 
(puquios) which are still very much in use today. 

Here cactus farms are purposely infected with parasites (the white chalkiness you see) as these little critters (cochineal) when crushed produce a red stain (carminic acid) which is used worldwide as food colouring and red dye. Big business!

Our next stop was by far the most eerie. As the sun was setting quickly behind the mountains, we were the only ones walking around the Chauchilla Cemetery. Here we saw ancient mummies that sadly no one knows much about. Once this place was discovered in the 20s it had already been plundered by grave robbers. As you walk around there are fragments of bone everywhere and I couldn't help but feel devastated about the fact that so much history has been wiped away...

All photos by Glenn Chiofalo for Looking Glass

We left just as the sun was about to disappear, leaving only the ghosts to rome the cemetery.

For more photos from our Peruvian adventures and Nazca follow me on instagram.

Next up, fun family times in Chile.

Clare x

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Thanks for sharing on Soulful Mama ~ Clare x