Ted’s Travels – The Nazca Lines
I just returned from Peru where I participated in a travel mart in Lima, and then caught the 2 night 3 day train ride from Cuzco to Puno to Arequipa. We slept on board for 2 nights and flew over the Nazca lines.
The last time I was in this area was way back in 1975, when I drove along the Pan-American highway on our overland camping tours, so you can imagine there are many changes! Nowadays is a dual highway from Lima, a city that has grown to 10 million population! This time it took us over an hour just to get out of the city.
The most noticeable changes were the many new plantations, markets and farms; however, the desert is still a desert: plain and boring. The same desert stretches from Ecuador and into Chile becoming the breathtaking (and not boring at all) Atacama Desert.
About 4 hours out of Lima we arrived into the town of Ica where I had the pleasure of staying and inspecting the winery Vinas Queirolo. What a beautiful place and oasis in the drab desert! And I loved the quite relaxing atmosphere. Vinas Queirolo produces red and white wines as well as pisco.
After the delightful inspection we continued onwards to the only way to see the Nazca lines from the sky. I caught a 10 seater plane from Pisco; it took about 30 minutes to fly there and we had around 20 minutes flying over the plains as the pilot pointed out the many drawings and markings on the ground. There are 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs that were made by the Nazca people who flourished from around AD 1 to 700.
The combination of archaeology, ethnohistory and anthropology points to rituals about water and fertility of crops. But whatever the hypothesis are, research will continue to evolve until the day we will find the true meaning of these mysterious markings on the vast desert floor. Are your clients interested in seeing these mysterious lines? Call us today to help you arrange their itineraries!
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au