Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Nazca Lines

Daryll writes:

One of the highlights of Peru which we missed the first time round was the Nazca Lines.  We opted out of doing the flight, but decided to stop at the platform along the PanAm Hwy.  I am sure that taking a flight over the Nazca lines is the way to see them, however going up in a small aircraft and with it flying at weird angles and making sharp turns wasn't appealing to us so we paid our 2 soles and climbed the platform to view the few formations that were close by instead.

The lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert and were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.  The plateau that the lines are on stretches over 80 kilometers.  Researchers believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD and consist of individual figures that range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks or orcas, llamas, and lizards.  Of course, many of these we did not get to see, but got the gist of it.

The lines are shallow designs and were made in the ground by removing the ubiquitous reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish ground beneath. The largest figures are over 200 meters across. Due to the dry, windless and stable climate of the plateau and its isolation, for the most part the lines have been preserved.

Once we were done viewing the lines, we headed for our camp spot for the evening.  Down a dirt road in a little cove with it’s own Inka Ruins.  The camping was part of a resort, so we got a few stares as we pulled up on our dirty bikes and eyed a good camping spot.  We were the only campers for the evening and set up tent on a little ridge overlooking the ocean.  The sunset was breathtaking as we took in the view and relaxed for the evening and going to sleep with the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach.

Puerto Inka

As we continued along the coast, the wind picked up and would blast us with sand.  There were times when the bikes were pointed at a 15° angle so that we could ride in a straight line.  On the long straight stretches, we would try to pass a semi-truck and as soon as we got out from the left lane (passing) back into the right lane, we were blasted again and took some concentration and focus to stay upright.  I'm sure this is all preparation of what's to come on the notorious Ruta 40 in Argentina.  On some twisties along the coast, a truck had lost it and went into a dune to the right.  Lucky for him, the as the truck hit the sand, it sunk and stopped completely or else he would have gone over the cliff.

We headed on to Arequipa where we were going to stop for 2 days to catch up on internet stuff and plan our next course of action.

Arequipa Square

 New photos of Peru added to the photo album.
Digg this


  1. Greg writes... now that's a camping spot! beautiful! while your relaxing on the beach we here in Vancouver are expecting our first really big winter storm! 20cm of snow and 30-60k winds. should be an exciting eveing here in Vancouver. Take care and ride safe. Greg and Jill

  2. We are being beaten by the wind during the day, so it's nice to have a calm spot in the evenings. Video just added to the last blog post.

  3. Greg writes.... hope you guys are doing well. Waiting patiently for your next update. I'll assume that internet may be a challenge now so hopefully you have a chance to update soon. Ride safe. Greg and Jill

  4. Slackers! It's been weeks since you were checking our Nazca lines.

  5. Hey guys! So sorry for the delay in our updates. We've missed you :) We've been camping in Argentina for the last week and the only service the campsites don't have is wifi. We're in a hostel now so will update soon!

  6. You two had me worried. You need to flash your headlights or peep the horn a little more often to let us know your allright.

    Ride Safe!