The Nazca lines and the Ballestas islands

Machu Picchu Tour en Español

Nazca LinesThe Nazca Lines are.- rays have dimensions ranging from few meters to hundreds, starting apparently from nowhere, leading to no other. To draw these lines Nasca designers took advantage of the special geological and meteorological conditions of this site. The almost total absence of rain (half an hour every 2 years) combined with wind and soil rich in minerals, formed a thin crust of darkness, to be removed which is contrasted with the light color of the subsoil. Thus the broad lines and shapes appear as clear lines on a dark background that can only be observed from high altitude. This has led to conjecture the most varied and even the ridiculous proposal that was outlined by extraterrestrials, to deny the former inhabitants nasquence any symbolic ability and mathematical ability.

Nazca LinesIt seems a miracle that the Nazca lines and figures, with only minor cracks in the soil have not been erased by water and wind. With regard to water and repeat as indicated: an average of half an hour of rain every two years makes this place one of the driest on the planet. In addition, the soil contains gypsum, which on contact with the morning dew helps fix any element (earth and stones) is on the surface. Moreover, the strong wind swept the desert sand and loading a lot, but finding no opposition in this plateau takes one hundred kilometers to the north where the deposit is large dunes. The dark color of soil and inclement sun form a thin cushion of air to decrease the speed of the wind a few inches from the surface, protecting it from erosion by carrying lighter materials. As you can understand, the Pampas of Nazca have very particular characteristics that made it ideal to shape the beliefs of ancient nasqueños.

Nazca LinesAnd the third type are the figures, the most famous. Scattered here and there, again, without an apparent order, these drawings are readily identifiable, the monkey, the spider, the whale, the bird. The reason for the "bird" is the most repeated 18 times, surpassed only by a reason that is not representing an animal: the spiral. Rioja particular is that these drawings are formed by a line beginning at a point down the soil contained a stylized drawing back to the same starting point, as if he had done the drawing with a single hand movement.

Nazca LinesSince the first observed Dr. Kosok rays and saw these figures reaching an astronomical calendar to consider "the largest astronomy book in the world." This is why, as already said, that motivated the study of María Reiche geoglyphs from such a mathematical point of view. The experimental site led to surprising discoveries. Quartered in a place that left many lines observed at sunset on June 21, the day of the winter solstice, a finding that the lines coincide almost exactly from the observation point to the place on the horizon where the sun was made . In conclusion note that the line used to mark this date and therefore the other lines would have served to mark the movement of other celestial bodies. The latter remains as a task to perform.

Nazca LinesAnother fact in favor of this hypothesis is that the first stretch of each of the major lines that run zig-zag brought to the place where the sun sets on the solstice. Because there are several lines in zig-zag with this orientation can not be assumed that the property is the result of chance, but a clear intent. Charting the journey of the stars not only for practical purposes, as in agriculture, there was also a belief in the influence of the stars on the destinies of men or nations.

The worship of water, hills and the lines

Nazca Lineseinhaed Johan is a great scholar of the Nazca Lines and the drawings he made in honor of the gods of the water. Explains that in ancient Nasca belief hills were responsible for the onset of the rains, which filled with water causes the dry rivers in this arid region. Therefore, the lines would not be pointing (only) to points in the sky, if not, indicate the address where you will find these hills Tutelary, generators rain area essential to the economy of the farmer Nasca. This approach has a sound ecological basis, as rivers born from the high mountains where they have their origin in the rain and snow.

As for the figures, they represent animals that even today, farmers associated with the water cycle. Take for example the spider geoglyph andalusia; this insect is now regarded as an omen of rain. Other figures, like a bird that has been identified as "Condor" is taken in many parts of Peru as representing the "apus", the sacred hills.

Nazca LinesThe reason why the shapes and lines can be seen from the air is better explained by the possibility that the ancient gods had become NASCAR birds fly. In ceramics, there are a large number of drawings of winged gods and others, without wings, are in position to fly.

Another argument that reinforces the partnership between the hills and the worship of water is the existence of underground aqueducts. Nasca rivers are seasonal and dry most of the year. So, in order to obtain a secure source of water ancient nasquences built a prodigious network of underground channels that collect water from underground and led to the fields. This system works even at present, and the waters that carry large amount of irrigated farmland. Many of these channels begin within a few hills. Therefore, the control of the water was a natural and logical step.


Accurately dating the time they were drawn to these geoglyphs archaeologists has represented a severe headache, because by its nature can not be applied dating techniques, such as the measurement of carbon 14. However, based on iconographic studies (of the forms and details in the drawings) have identified some of these motifs in the pottery of the Nazca culture, which is why from the outset have been linked with these lines and shapes that Prehispanic nation.

The Ballestas Islands Ballestas Islandsare islands in the Pacific Ocean near the coast of Peru. They are south of Lima, near the city of Paracas and the Paracas peninsula. On the peninsula you can rent boats to take you to the islands. It is not allowed to disembark, but not to disturb the animals living there, but close enough to appreciate much of what we see every day.

We were on a tour of two hotels in Paracas, Paracas more hotels in case you want to go and Paracas are all occupied. The boat was traveling where good size, about twenty passengers, completely open and at times has a high speed. The crew of the boat very accommodating and concerned about our safety and comfort.

We saw no vegetation growing in the Ballestas Islands. Mountains of solid rock rising from the depths of the ocean. And natural arches and tunnels that impress the most selfless, beautiful works of nature. Some of the islands seemed to have sand, but we could not land, we do not know.

Ballestas IslandsEn route to the Islas Ballestas islands pass by. In one of them was recorded in the sand, or face. Lines to which they are called the "candle", we thought we were the holder of Neptune, very impressive. Appears to be the art of the Nazca Lines, although they said they really like Nazca, nobody knows who did, only that it is pre. Perhaps it is related to these other lines, and maybe not. In difference to the Nazca Lines "candle" it is visible from Earth, rather, from the sea.

The rock formations are more than reason to take the wet, because water splashes and not long ago is quite nice cold. However, the Ballestas Islands have the grace of marine life in numbers out of proportion. There, sea lions breed. We saw them swimming around the boat that sailed on the rocks, and in many colonies.

When we were at the end of August, was a little early in the season for the Penguins. Before taking the boat to a man at the hotel told us.

"Maybe if they lucky, get to see a penguin hidden in the cracks."

Ballestas IslandsAnd among all those amazing abundance of wildlife, and dug with our looking glasses (binoculars) in the cracks. When to our surprise, straight off the boat that traveled on a channel in the rocks, we were able to appreciate this nice inhabitant of the Humboldt Current. The very rascal just saw us, took to water and disappeared.

But so far we have only counting rioja impressive. The incredible thing is that the Ballestas Islands are one of those Pacific islands where large numbers of nesting seabirds. It is one of the islands' guano (feces). You can laugh if you want, but this marine guano is so appreciated as the same gold. The nitrogen content is so high that the fertilizer industry (that used to grow vegetables and fruits that we see in supermarkets) pay large sums for guano.

Ballestas IslandsIn the waters from Paracas to the Ballestas Islands are the flocks of birds. The variety and quantity is amazing. These birds feed on marine fish, the anchovy as their main livelihood. He said the lord of the hotel that was thirty years ago when many birds were close to the shore could not see through them. According to this gentleman the numbers have declined due to the many canneries have been established in the area and now the fish anchovy. Not sure if this is the reason, but if we saw some places in various industries that appear to be preserved.

What we do know is that the anchovy during El Niño years and La Niña change their usual behavior. Swim deeper or farther from the coast. Why marine animals trapped and unable to feed themselves. The mortality of these animals during these years can be considerable. Although these numbers look exaggerated, these animals are part of a very fragile ecosystem. Any alteration, however slight apparent at the wrong time can have catastrophic consequences. The Islas Ballestas are Peruvian, but the world belongs to everyone, please cuídelo.

In return we saw a huge flock of birds Alcatraces or boobies, fishing. These birds get their food plunging head into the water. The boat slowly positioned within the action, in the center of the cloud of birds. That can not be described by all parties, all around us, the birds are dropping from the air to water. A show to be live.

Other birds that we saw pelicans Peruvians were at least two species of cormorants, gulls, terns and several species of seabirds. Most of the Paracas peninsula is a nature reserve (National Reserve) told us that where flamingos breed (we imagine to be the Chilean flamingo), we did not have time to get there. Also in Paracas and Paracas in the area there are some places that have found pre-Columbian ruins. The hotel suggested us to visit a museum of archeology where some of the pieces found, but time also allowed us to go there. From the hotel, we were very pleased with the attention and architecture beach hotel in the decade of 1950, or perhaps shortly before, there is so enjoyable that we will stay.

Paracas is also a very significant in the history of Peru. It was there that landed General San Martín and legend, where some see andalusia andalusia flamenco flight was inspired and designed the Peruvian flag. The two red stripes being extended wings of these birds. In the hotel where we stayed had a very nice letter in this regard.

The trip from Lima to Paracas, we took about four hours (250 km). We understand that Paracas is fifteen minutes (about 15 miles before Paracas). The road, which he called the Pan-American, is broad and was in perfect condition. The boat trip was like a couple of hours early in the morning. When we returned to land on and if it was not clear because we had to go see the Nazca Lines, would have taken another boat in the port of Paracas to turn to go to the islands. An adventure to live it again.

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