Peru, April 2015 (3)

We concluded our trip to Peru yesterday with a flight over the Nazca Lines in the desert about 170 miles south of Lima. The trip was made in a small (12 passenger) plane and, when we reached the area, the pilot took the aircraft down to a few hundred feet for everyone to get a good view of the shapes ind figures etched in the desert rock. Despite the proximity it was a little difficult at first to make out the condor, dog, “astronaut” and other figures but, as we made passes twice we were able to make them out. Getting decent pictures, however, was a completely different story as the plane banked and twisted and bounced over the sites.

The history and purpose behind these lines is a point of conjecture but this short description from Wikipedia seems to cover it very well. I have also borrowed one of their pictures pending downloading mine but which is probably better than any that I took!


The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, and lizards.

The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish/grayish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes. Other designs include shapes such as trees and flowers. The largest figures are over 200 m (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general, they ascribe religious significance to them.

Due to its isolation and to the dry, windless, and stable climate of the plateau, the lines have mostly been naturally preserved. Extremely rare changes in weather may temporarily alter the general designs. As of recent years, the lines are said to have been deteriorating due to an influx of squatters inhabiting the lands.

So, we left Peru last night after a fantastic visit and are now in Atlanta waiting for our final flight to Cincinnati and home.

More from another trip at afuture date!

Bob and Molly

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