Friday, September 23, 2011

More Peruvian desert, but the mysterious, Nasca lines kind

Entering the town made famous by the Nasca lines, we first found evidence of the Nasca Lions. Hi Granddad!
Between Lima and Nasca was another six hours of desert, so I'll spare you the pictures of the roadside memorials. I think I first heard of the "Nasca Lines" when I was a kid watching Unsolved Mysteries, an old TV show about missing persons, yetis and aliens.

"Perhaps YOU can help solve a mystery."
The Nasca Lines are a group of lines and geoglyphs believed to have been created by the Nasca culture between 400-650AD. They were created by removing the top layer of sun-reddened rocks on the surface of the desert and revealing the lighter rocks beneath. The area receives so little rainfall that the lines have remained intact and visible for around 1500 years. There are many theories regarding their purpose, but all of the best ones involve ALIENS! Straight lines? Obviously landing strips for ancient alien ships. Humanoid forms with large eyes? ALIENS! Triangles? Obviously, ALIENS. It is strange that ancient people would create huge images visible only from the air...and look at this guy:

"The Astronaut"
As I mentioned, the only way to see the lines is from the air, where I took this photo. A five year old guide book will tell you that you can take to the skies for $30 per person. Ask around at the airport, and you'll find out that a few years back a few shoddy planes went down and things got regulated. Today you can't get on board for less than $100 US. This was the first Jill had heard of the lines, and out of respect for our budget and her clogged sinuses she opted to sit the flight out.

Aviating in Aviators, the only way to fly
The flight was not for the faint of heart, and these guys pushed their Cessna 210 to the limit. Here was our route:
There were two pilots and four passengers, so over the course of our half hour tour we passed each image twice, once pitched to the left, and once pitched to the right, so everyone could get pictures. I took as many as I could, here are a few of the better ones:

(Alien?) Hummingbird
(Alien?) "Hands" on the left, (Alien?) "Tree" on the right, and (Alien?) viewing tower, semi truck, and Panamerica Highway 1 in the center.
More (Alien?) lines all over the place!
A huge triangle. For aliens.
 All joking aside, the lines were huge, mysterious and very intriguing, and viewing them at 140mph in a tiny, wildly veering plane only added to the unnerving aspect of it all. Though a few are famous, there are over 1,800 total, and they literally cover the desert north of Nasca. I have no real idea what the creators were up to, it seems no one does, but seeing them in person fulfilled a dream I've had since I was a child. Thanks to Jill for letting me blow money buzzing around, and thanks to my pilots for getting me up and back down in one piece.

After the 30 minute ride I was as dizzy as I can remember being, and more than ready to get back on solid ground. We landed without incident, and Jill had a cold Coke and a big bag of chips waiting for me. It was another 30 minutes before I felt good enough to get on the bike, and once I did we hit the road once again; starting a two day, 15,000+ foot altitude ride to Cusco and Machu Picchu, one of the seven modern wonders of the world. It just keeps getting better.
We finally spotted some aliens in the flesh outside of Nasca. Mystery solved, you're welcome, Robert Stack.


  1. "seeing them in person fulfilled a dream I've had since I was a child."

    A dream implanted by aliens?

  2. Cigarette Smoking ManSeptember 27, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    Yes, just keep believing it is all just a crazy conspiracy.