Thursday, October 7, 2010

Machu Picchu, the Nasca Lines and a Desert Oasis

Machu Picchu.  There does not exist a more beautiful sight to see after 4 days of hiking.  Interestingly, even after almost 100 years of formal scientific and scholarly study the function of this Incan site is still uncertain.  Our tour guide told us it was a university of sorts, built to test and practice different agricultural techniques.  Another tour guide passing by said it was a nunnery since 70% of the bones found were female.
Nasca Lines.  About 13 hours west by bus the mysteries continued.  The Nasca Lines are a series of a shallow designs carved into the ground over an 80km (50 miles) desert plateau.  Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than seventy are designs of animal, bird, fish or human figures.  The largest figures are over 200 meters (660 ft) across.  (Wikipedia)  Why the Lines were created is unknown, especially considering that the civilization that created them did not have the capability to see or appreciate them from above ground level.  I explored the area by foot instead of by plane like most people so there are only a few pictures.
Huacachina.  Oases do exist!  Check out the pictures of this picturesque getaway spot and the dune buggies (in video) that make it unforgettable.
Yesterday I arrived by plane (only way to get to city) to Iguitos, Peru, located on the mighty Amazon River.  Over the past 24 hours I have been gathering supplies, hiring a local guide and renting a small boat for a 5-day expedition into the Amazon Jungle which will begin tomorrow.  Cross your fingers for lots of wildlife pictures!

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