Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lines In The Sand

This weekend we visited the regions of Ica and Nazca in Southern Peru. You might have heard of Nazca as it is famous for the mysterious lines drawn on the desert floor. The Nazca culture existed between 200 BC and 700 AD during which time they "drew" hundreds of figures throughout their region. Some of the figures are fairly complex and only really visible from the air thus prompting scientists to wonder why and how the lines were constructed with such accuracy. Because of the weather conditions in this region, the lines do not suffer from erosion and continue to be highly visible today. To view the lines we, with our friends who were in town and Caleb, took a 6-seater airplane up and over the lines. The plane dips to nearly a 45 degree angle as it crosses the larger and more prominent figures causing most passengers to vomit, something some of our party experienced as well, so we have few pictures of this particular adventure. Despite this, the general consensus was that the trip was completely worth it and that the lines really are amazing - considering that they are only at most 30 cm deep and have existed for at least 1500 years. And, like many of the places we have been in Peru, the Nazca lines are also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Caleb pointing to an airplane taking off, a word he learned while waiting for our flight

On the plane just before take-off

Not our photo, but we did see this figure called "the hands"

the monkey

the spider

Back on the ground

In addition, we visited the city of Ica, which was very near the epicenter of the 8.0 earthquake Peru had in July of this year. On our trip down we passed through small towns still in the throes of cleaning up the remnants of houses, shops, schools and churches. There were Coleman tents all over the region where residents live while their houses are reconstructed. Unfortunately, this region of Peru is so poor it is/was hard to tell what was earthquake damage and what was just the result of no resources and poverty.

In Ica we stayed at the Las Dunas Resort which backs into the most enormous sand dunes we have ever seen. The resort was very nice and we took full advantage of the pool, grounds and dining facilities.

Playing in the Pool at the hotel

Playing in the fountains outside our hotel room

Las Dunas by day...
and at sunset

We also went for a dune buggy ride through the dunes. Because I am "very" pregnant, our ride was apparently not as death-defying as it could have been, which worries me a little since it was pretty exciting and precarious. Caleb wasn't quite sure if he was having a good time or not, but there was no actual crying so we decided he was more happy than not. Kenny and one of our friends also went sandboarding on the dunes - our other friend, who is also pregnant, and I were not able to participate, but I'm not sure I would have anyway. Much like snowboarding, sandboarding looked like a lot of fun with a lot of potential for real pain if something went awry.

An oasis amidst the dunes

Raring to go on our dune buggy adventure

Sand boards at the ready

Kenny sand boarding

Another successful and fun family outing

9 comments:

Celia Fae said...

I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but you have the best life ever. I can't believe how many adventures you get to have. Did you marry your husband knowing this would be your life?

Please don't have any more kids because I'm worried the fun will end and I won't get to see any more pictures. You can keep the gestating one, though.

two forks said...

what amazing adventures!!! i can't believe you got to go up in the planes and see all of that history!!!

Paige said...

Very very good, interesting post. One comment- my life sucks after reading this post. My week's highlight? 16 daisy girl scouts at my house for a "meeting" read: screamfest.

Kenny, Linsey and Caleb said...

Celia: This is the life I always wanted, but it is just luck I found someone who made it happen. I'll keep you posted on the kid front, but I am not about to let 2 or 12 get in the way of enjoying future adventures.

Robin: I KNOW!

Paige: The grass is always greener. I always read your posts with envy.

Ilene said...

Are you like me, looking for opportunities to take pictures to put on my blog? Of course Duck Football is no ancient sand lines...

My only hopes for big travel now are hoping that my sons go to some cool places on their missions that I can go visit (although I hear "picking up" your kids from their missions is discouraged). With my luck they will serve missions in Norman Oklahoma or Death Valley, CA. Very respectable places to serve a mission, just not very exotic locales to visit.

Nortorious said...

How pregnant is very pregnant? Could you put a count down thing on your site so I can keep track?

Kristy said...

I'm glad that you guys made it down there. It is a fun trip. The sand dunes were one of our favorite things. Going down the hill on the sand board was a blast, but I was still finding sand in my jean pockets after several washings.

gab said...

Really...every time I check out your blog I am more and more inclined to make my husband's dream vacation a reality! Peru looks so much better on your posts than in his mission photos...

Also, what branch of the foreign service are you guys working for? Our dear friends are stationed in Vietnam working for the embassy. It's a very interesting way to see the world.

Litos said...

Looks incredibly fun!! Are you up for it again sometime in spring of 2008?? Post-delivery, of course. Can't believe Matt and Cass went without us!! :) Cute kid-- shoplifting and all! Hope you guys are well. Talk to you soon-

 

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