Hello all you wonderful people,
It has been a lot of ups and back to ground level for the last few weeks. As you saw in our blog of Machupicchu we were high on the high. When you experience something that amazing, often the next steps you take don’t seem that special.
So, we took a step downward… that being Puno and Lake Titicaca… and then planned to again hit the skies at Nasca. We were warned by friends that the “mosquito planes” that fly over the lines have been known to crash which sometimes results in loss of life… tourists’ lives that is. We also met a very young, vibrant couple who were from England and their government told them not to fly over Nasca and they didn’t. Some would think them wise.
We on the other hand, decided to book our trip as soon as we arrived in Nasca… for the next morning. I was only a little apprehensive… emailing both my daughters that I loved them and to take care of themselves… we were flying in the morning over the Lines.
We awoke to a perfect day for flying… the sun was out, the sky was clear and there was no wind to speak of. Our tour people came an hour early for those very reasons. We traveled to the airport in a taxi with two young men from Germany and were whisked through the airport, went through security and out to the tarmac we went… no looking back now. We walked with the co-pilot to the number 8 spot where our plane stood waiting for us.
Don and I got to climb in first… we were at the back of the plane… but room enough to even stretch out a bit. The two guys climbed in through the pilot’s door and settled in. The pilot and co-pilot buckled themselves in the front two seats and within minutes we were off.
It was amazing! It didn’t feel like we were in a tin can and there was no rattling, just smooth sailing. We climbed to a good altitude and started exploring the vast desert plain. There are over 800 lines and 300 geometric figures (geoglyphs) and over 70 spectacular animal and plant drawings. The lines, best seen from the air, are thought to have been etched by three different cultures: the Paracas people 900–200 BC, the Nascas 200 BC–AD 600 and the Huari settlers from Ayacucho at about AD 630. We didn’t see them all, but what we saw was mind boggling.
The plane had a set course (this keeps accidents down) and our first siting was the whale at 63m in length, our next figure was the astronaut, which unfortunately we didn’t see (it was on the side of the mountain and somewhat in shadow… our German friends did see it, so not all was lost). The plane ride was about 35 minutes and we saw more than a dozen figures and tons of lines. I, of course, loved the hummingbird at 96m long and there was a spectacular monkey figure with quite the spiralling tail around 110m. You can see lots of pictures following my musings.
There are a number of theories of why the lines are here. Some think it was a ceremonial centre with the lines used in rituals to ask for water for the region. Others think the lines were some sort of vast pre Inca calendar. Others even think the Nasca’s floated about in hot air balloons, as you can only see the lines from the air. Who really knows… I just appreciate that they are still there and we were able to have the experience of flying over many of them.
And… we landed safely. We felt great. The flying gods were with us that day… we had a great time, saw lots of lines and figures in great detail and it was the only perfect flying day of the four days we were in Nasca. Thanks flying gods.
May you, too, find your perfect flying adventure.