Some Cool Stuff

I spent a couple days in Nazca, Peru trying to get spares for my bike. It´s a touristy place, but not nearly as oppressive as Cusco. The first thing I did was take a plane ride to see the Nazca Lines.

The following is from Wikipedia:

The Nazca Lines are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 53 miles or more than 80 kilometers between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana in Peru. They were created by the Nazca culture between 200 BC and AD 700. There are hundreds of individual figures, ranging in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fishes, sharks, llamas and lizards.

The Nazca lines cannot be recognized as coherent figures except from the air. Since it is presumed the Nazca people could never have seen their work from this vantage point, there has been much speculation on the builders’ abilities and motivations.

Here are a couple pix. The road is the Pan-American Highway. This glyph is either a pair of hands or a deformed frog, take your pick.

This one is a monkey:

After the Lines, I found out that near Nazca is Cerro Blanco. At 2078 meters (6800 feet), it is the highest sand dune in the world, which made it perfect for sandboarding. I knew practically nothing about sandboarding, which is simply snowboarding on sand, but it sounded crazy enough that I had to do it. I was a bit nervous as I had almost broken my collarbone snowboarding in Colorado a couple years ago. But the allure was irresistible.

So I got a guide and we hiked about 5 miles up to the top of Cerro Blanco. It was very peaceful on the way up.

My guide Ricky carrying the boards:

Here I am on way down. It was thrilling, and I did not break my neck. I did fall on my head once but, to quote Claude Rains, “that is my least vulnerable spot.” I was filthy when I got back, with sand in every nook and cranny. But it was great fun. I recommend it over snowboarding: it´s warmer.

As for my poor bike, in the end I was unable to find any spare parts, so I was forced to take a bus to Lima, which, as a major metropolis, I was sure would have a plethora of bike shops filled with spare parts and eager sales people waiting to help me. Boy was I wrong.

4 thoughts on “Some Cool Stuff

  1. DAD November 6, 2007 / 2:23 am

    Sandboarding is safer you will have agree—no trees to run into dont you see. love Dad Im waiting for your info it is 9:30 P.M. Mon.

  2. Alissa T Nembhard November 15, 2007 / 5:21 pm

    Hi Kev, it must have been real hot out there? But its the bike I am concern of, why you had to damage it? lol
    Just kidding sweety.

  3. Dr. Tim November 24, 2007 / 4:25 pm

    The Nazca geoglyphs are truly amazing! But, for a lot more photos and information about Nazca, Palpa, and other areas – check this out!

  4. jojo January 19, 2008 / 4:18 pm

    I’m sitting at my computer a flight of stairs away from my encycopedia. I think I should have it handy as I’m taking this journey. A geoglyph is carvings in what? Rock? right? If so, unreal that they did that and why, and to have the know that one day it would be seen from the air. Or did they know that.
    As you know, snowboarding abounds in the U.P. Working for an Ortho doc ,we see many injuries a season. I can’t believe there aren’t more. No thanks. It looks so difficult and dangerous.
    I can’t believe you climbed 5 miles up a dune. We went up a dune once at the sleeping bear dunes in traverse city and I thought I would die, we only climbed like 500feet! Remember the dunes between Eagle river and Eagle Harbor in Great Sand Bay?? Even that was a challege. They have really flattened out over the years. I remember that being one of the highlights of our U.P. trips, the sand dunes. We would pile out of the car and just start tearing up the hill. A kid’s paradise. Did you guys do that?
    Until next time,

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