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By Plane and By Pony

The Nazca Lines

sunny 75 °F

The city of Nazca is on the Southern coast of Peru. The city is named for an ancient culture that flourished in the region between 100 BC and 800 AD. These people are responsible for creating the Nazca Lines, a series of ancient petroglyphs, which were the reason we came to visit.

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We lucked out when we rented a horse ranch hacienda to ourselves for our stay. It sleeps 18, but we were the only 3 there!

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We woke up to these stunning views before heading to catch a plane.

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At the Nazca airport, we boarded this little 8 seater plane to get a better view of the lines.

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The Nazca Lines were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. They stretch over 50 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa.

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The designs are shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the whiter sand underneath. They are amazingly naturally preserved due to the high windless climate on the Nazca plateau (in spite of Peruvians constructing a highway through them).

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Most scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture before 500 A.D. Hundreds of the designs are simple lines or geometric shapes, like these trapezoids:

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Other shapes are more complex. Here are some highlights:

Whale:

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Hummingbird:

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Monkey:

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Parrot:

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Hands:

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Tree:

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Astronaut (although we are still debating what we think the Nazca people might have called this little guy):

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Some figures are relatively small and more difficult to spot, like Dog:

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or the fainter Condor:

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The largest image is Flamingo at 660 ft across:

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Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but most agree they were of religious significance.

After our ride, we opted to enjoy the scenery and sun, and spent the afternoon by the pool.

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Sarah made friends with the ranch caballero, Silvio, and he let her ride Malta around the side yard:

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Cock-a-doodle-doo!

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Posted by wintermaasz 17:08 Archived in Peru

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