Vacation Part III – Nazca Lines

“Please don’t puke, please don’t puke.”  That was my mantra as our Cessna 207 took off for our flight over the Nazca* Lines, the highlight of our fantastic vacation.

The Nazca Lines are ancient sand drawings, created by removing rocks in the desert to form the designs, that are generally believed to be created by the Nazca people between 400 and 600 AD.  There are hundreds of figures: geometric shapes, animals, flowers and one humanoid. The reason for their creation remains a mystery.  One theory holds they were part of religious rituals, another that they represent the constellations, still another that they were used as looms. One fringe theory, and Matt’s favorite, is that they were created by extraterrestrials.  My theory, with no science, research or anything else behind it besides my incredibly bad sense of direction, is that these people lived in a desert and there are no landmarks such as “turn left at the gas station.”  So the lines were a way to mark a house or family’s land.  Matt points out that a lot of these drawings are enormous, but I think the easy explanation is that outdoing the neighbors is ancient.  For the record, and Matt will back me, I did posit that Otzi, the Iceman, was really a criminal back when the scientific belief was that he was from the wealthy class, and current science now supports my criminal theory.  So I am awaiting my call from National Geographic on my stunning revelation as to the origins of the Nazca Lines.

Regardless of their origin, the lines are incredible.  I was delighted that 1) I didn’t puke (thank you Dramamine and magnetic wrist bands), 2) you really can see all the lines from the plane and 3) Matt took fantastic pictures.  While the flight pattern takes you over only a dozen drawings, I suspect someone researched how much swooping an average passenger’s stomach could handle and determined 12  was the limit.  Scaredy cats can go up a tower and see the hand and tree figures, but I found descending the rickety tower to be more frightening than the plane ride.


Whale (63 Meters)

Trapezoid (Believed to Be the Landing Strip for ET and Friends)

Trapezoid (Believed to Be the Landing Strip for ET and Friends)

ET Phone Home (Typically Called the Astronaut)

ET Phone Home (Typically Called the Astronaut but I Prefer ET)

Monkey and Landing Strip

Monkey (110 Meters) Above Landing Strip


Hummingbird (96 Meters)


Spider (Under and Parallel to the Deep, Diagonal Line)


Condor Soaring Downward (136 Meters)




Parrot (200 Meters)

Tree and Hands
Tree and Hands

Dog, but It Looks More Like a Cat to Me
Dog, but It Looks More Like a Cat to Me

* Nazca is also written Nasca, but that is too much like Nascar for me.  Sorry Tommy!

Next Up:  I see dead people.

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