Well even when things go wrong, they go right. Our van was playing up so we decided to stop at Tula. Who knew they had such amazing ruins there! Super happy with our impromptu stop.
We finally made it to Naza (following a brief stay in Cusco to get our vehicle repaired yet again). I must admit I didn't really know what to expect from Nazca - I had heard about the Nazca lines but that is as far as my general knowledge went.
But there was so much to see in Nazca that we hardly scratched the surface in our three night stay.
Our visit to Nazca included the infamous Nazca lines, the Palpa geoglyphs, the Cahuachi pyramid and the Chauchilla cemetery complete with mummified remains.
And we had the pleasure of staying at the amazing Wasipunko Ecolodge - a must stay if you are coming to Nazca, especially with children. The kids were especially keen to set up the tent and explore the beauty of Wasipunko - with doves and peacocks as a natural feature in the backyard it has a real magical feel. We could've easily spent longer here if we had the time but alas we had to move on to our next destination.
the nazca lines
"The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in Southern Peru. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994." - Wikipedia
The best way to view the lines (dating back to 400-650 AD) is from the air but we decided just to drive out to the viewing towers to have a look for ourselves. While we could only see a couple of lines (the frog and the tree) from the tower, it was worth the drive out to see them.
the cahuachi pyramid
A pyramid, in Nazca? Yes, indeed! I did not even realise there was one there until we arrived so of course we had to go see it. Sitting in the middle of nowhere nestled in amongst the desert is the Cahuachi pyramid, which is believed to be a major ceremonial centre for the Nazca people. You have to see it to believe it! We spent some time with the caretaker afterwards - such a lovely man. He offered us some cold water to help us cool down and in exchange I gave him a peanut butter and jam sandwich. He has been watching over the pyramid site for the last 20 years.
Discovered in the 1920s, the Chauchilla Cemetery contains prehispanic mummified human remains and various other archeological artifacts. With a young boy curious about death and cemeteries, we had to visit.
the palpa geoglyphs
The Palpa Geoglyphs are not as well known as the Nazca lines, but I personally found them much more fascinating. We decided it was definitely worth climbing the viewing tower and having a closer look.
We have been taking it easy to try to reserve some energy for our Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu trip in a couple of days and have just been hanging out and about in Cusco.
We went back and visited Parque Urpicha and this time we weren't the only foreigners there. We stumbled upon some fellow Australians and Emilia even made some friends with some of the local school girls and vanished for a bit as she headed to the slides with a gang of girls in school uniform. While she felt a bit awkward with the language barrier - she still had a great time and the girls were very nice to take her into their fold. After our other museum trips, were were keen to find one which featured more Incan history, so we decided to visit Museo Inka which we thought surpassed the other museums and galleries we had visited to date.
It was more interesting to see the remnants discovered in some of the places we had visited over the past couple of weeks and to read up on the history of the Incans and the Spanish conquests which took place.
Of special note were the mummies inside - we loved these but Emilia was so horrified and was in tears after the event as she thought they were just horrible. Matthew commented they were scary but he was just taking bits of information from his sister as he really had no idea what to make of them at all!
The tears however were not long-lived as we entered the Plaza De Armas for a rest and by the time we got home the event was long forgotten.
A book in the making