We reached Nazca in the late evening and got attacked by many agents to sell us accommodation, trips and flight tickets. We decided to trust one of them and landed in a small quite hostel with a nice garden and some backpackers. It looks like too early to go to sleep at 9 pm .. Let’s hit the street and have a look what happens in the down town.
From this moment on it looks like the best possible decision we could have taken: to visit Nazca with it’s fabulous culture and history. This culture was probably the most developed in pre-colonial Peru, but now not very well known because being in the shadow of the Incas, that became also famous through Machu Pichu and colonization of area between Ecuador and Chile. In the down town we meet a lot of people, looks like a cool fiesta is being started. It is the fiesta to celebrate the Virgen de Gaudalupe. It is a ten days lasting party full of dancing, singing, joy, drinking and partying. The whole city leaves a very special impression on us, it seems a totally different place from the rest of Peru. The people here look like passing the way of life much more easier. That can be seen also on the infrastructure of the city. Already some 300 years B.C. they started to construct lines and symbols in the desert, that can only be admired from the birds perspective.
Mummies in the desert.
The other day we decided to have a look on the ancient cemetery in Chauchilla. The old Nazca people mummified their dead WRAPPING THE BODIES INTO using cotton and fine fabrics and the dry climate conserved them perfectly until today. They have been buried together with food and drinks that should help them on the way to the other life. Francisco was our guide, who also told us something about the sacrifices to the Ghosts of mountains and to Pachamama (Mother Earth).
In the evening we can not miss the fiesta at the Plaza de Armas, the down town of Nazca. Watching local bands and dancing groups. Peruvians really know how to party, caramba! We meet Francisco again and he presents us a good friend of him, Felix, the local Sacerdote, something like a shaman, but only dealing with positive energy. Felix was really an expert regarding the culture of Nazca people and the history. He was also an expert in sacrifice and rituals. So we arranged to make a ritual offering to the Spirits of the mountains on the following day after having a look on the Nazca lines.
On Monday morning we are sitting in a small plane ready to take off to the Nazca lines, as they only can be seen from the air. It was a terrible flight. Fun for the stomach. But the lines and symbols that can be seen in the desert are really worth it.
Offerings to the Spirits of the mountains. The inhabitants from Chile up to Ecuador believe in the higher power of the mountains as a part of the nature. The only water they receive comes from the mountains. Mountains can kill people in the mines and climbs. Every mountain has it’s spirit – Apu. Before entering the mountain you have to ask the Apu to receive you in freedom and not to take your health or even life. To show respect to the Apu’s you offer them gifts such as Coca leaves and chicha (chicha is a local alcohol made of dark corn by letting it ferment with human saliva). Before offering the gifts you should get rid of the bad spirits in your body by chewing coca leaves and smoking tobacco. By offering the coca leaves and the chicha we asked the Apus for permission to climb, to give us the force and to protect us on the journey.
Full of energy and in peace with the Apus we will be hitting the way to Solimana tomorrow. It’s a mountain rarely visited and never skied before. We take Coca leaves and chicha with us to beg the Apu of Solimana for a friendly welcome…
Stay tuned and expect news regarding our next trip in app. 6 days.
Con mucho carino,