Nazca Lines and Chauchilla Mummies!
We spent a couple days in Nazca which is a surprisingly nice little town. The main draw of course is the Nazca lines, but there are also some ruins about, and something decidedly weird but cool which we added to the must see, is the Chauchilla mummies!
We started the day nice and early heading to the airport at 8am. Once there it was almost straight on the flight of our little 12 seater aircraft. a few minutes later and we were up! No time at all (although we did have to go through "security" checks like at a regular airport, sort of).
The first thing we both thought was, Wow, they are smaller than I expected . But this was soon replaced with realizing how cool it was to be looking down at giant pictures drawn across the landscape 1500 – 2000 years old, and it was fun zipping about the sky in a little plane. I had slight food poisoning so got a bit nausea in flight (and for the next couple days), but not enough to take the coolness from the experience. So the Nazca lines, definitely worth the journey and the hype and the $80 price tag. Another one of those things you read about and somehow find yourself there decades down the line.
Next it was off to see the mummies we read about on Google when trying to find other stuff to do. The Chauchilla Cemetery is about 30km out of Nazca and holds dozens of graves of 2000 year old mummies. Because of the dry landscape and the embalming process, they have stayed incredibly well preserved. Unfortunately grave robbers dug most of them up and took anything of value, destroying a lot of history in the process. But there are 12 unearthed tombs to see, and dozens of indentations of other graves which have filled up with sand over time. Unlike in many other places, the mummies are there to see, no glass or meters of space between you and them, and almost no tourists either which is a surprise. Most still have hair (some meters long in dreadlocks) and you can see the skin still on their arms, legs, hands and feet. There are also bones strewn around the area. A really interesting place to visit and quite surreal looking at these mummies while surrounded by desert and dust devils popping out all over the place.
So Nazca was a great experience (despite the food poisoning, which luckily is not too bad). Another awesome site here in Peru, and now tonight we jump on a 15 hour bus to Cusco and hope the much talked about banditos don't choose our bus to rob (it happens on the route we are taking sometimes, but not for years I don't think).
Awesome mummies, awesome alien communication (or something) lines in the sand. Onwards!