I first learned about the Nazca lines from a little Peruvian lady selling silver jewellery in Camden, back in 2006. She described these ancient mysteries in very broken English, but luckily I figured out enough to Google it when I got home. I bought my Nazca lines thumb-ring from her that day, and vowed I would one day see them for myself.
In 2009, I got the chance! We boarded a rickety 6-seater plane with a wonderfully crazy pilot. Once he was satisfied that we were unlikely to throw up, he really let loose (and even gave us the zero-gravity experience a few times).
The lines around the Nazca desert were created about 1500 years ago. Nobody is quite sure why, but whatever the reason, it’s astounding how they managed to create perfect shapes and straight lines (some several hundred metres long) without technology to see from the air.
Ironically, I lost my Nazca thumb-ring shortly before this flight (somewhere along the trek to Machu Picchu), but I bought another ring out there with the Nazca line designs around the band. I wear it all the time.