South American trip (9) – Nazca and Caral

Nazca was really another highlight of the South American trip. It was impressive and nothing short of the expectations I had built up over time, from reading books about the mysteries of the world as a child to documentaries on Netflix.

It’s wow. But for some the flight can be bad, being a small plane. But I really liked it. Pilots tilt the plane far enough, and often enough, that every part of the plane can look at every important drawing. There are a lot of gigantic drawings. The lines are said to have been created by the Nazca culture between 100 BC-700 AD. The specialists used satellite images, but also on-site research, walking these lines. In total, these lines are 4.4 km long.

These drawings are not only visible from the plane, but also from the surrounding hills.

Some of the drawings feature images of animals such as birds, llamas, monkeys, human forms, fish or jaguars. Some images are simple geometric shapes and lines, while others feature more complex symbols such as trees and flowers. The shapes were first drawn by removing the reddish stone above to expose the earth below. While the exact purpose of the shapes is unknown, most scholars agree that they carry some religious significance.

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South American trip (8) – Peru – Cusco and Machu Picchu

There is much to tell about Machu Picchu. Although the ruins are indeed breathtaking, fascinating, the experience itself is strongly touristic. To take the bus to the site, you have to stand in a huge queue, which nevertheless moves quickly. Once at the site, you have to struggle to find a window without other tourists behind you, the area being extremely crowded even in the early hours of the morning.

They are two different aspects, yes the ruins are extraordinary and there is nothing inferior to the pictures, but the tourist experience is one of a dozen.

As I wrote before, some people have a projection very different from the historical truth about South American civilizations, including the Inca. Some yes, they are shrouded in strong mystery, being very old, as we later found out in Caral. But Inca is neither old nor lost nor so mysterious. Not to be confused with the Maya, the Olmecs or the Caral culture. The history of the Inca is quite well known, the Inca being the name of those who conquered this area, subjugating the tribes in the area to be conquered by the Spanish conquistadors who took advantage of the differences and dissensions between the populations of the new empire.

All I can say about Machu Picchu is that it is impressive. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

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South American trip (7) – Bolivia

La Paz, Tiwanaku and Titicaca Lake

As a country, Bolivia was the most authentic and interesting part of the South American trip. It is a poor country, cheap but without tourist traps. The most interesting experiences were the witch market in La Paz and the fascinating Tiwanaku. Lake Titicaca is included in this article, although it is on the border with Peru.

I know I’ve probably used the words fascinating, extraordinary, magnificent, galactic a lot. But this trip was full of highlights.

Located 72 km (44 miles) west of La Paz, near the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca, lie the ruins of one of the oldest and largest urban cities ever built.

The ancient buildings and ruins (pre-Columbian, pre-Inca) show you the obsession of the people of that time for geometric perfection. Tiwanaku. 

But first, we got to cross to Bolivia and stop on the way, we got to visit Titicaca and the amazing universe of the Uros natives. We visited the witch market of La Paz. Solar de Uyuni is described in another separate post.

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South American trip (3) – Easter Island

I couldn’t wait to get to Easter Island, one of the highlights of the trip.

The island is located in the Pacific Ocean, quite far from the coast of Chile, approx. 3,500 km.

Although it belongs to Chile, it has an autonomous status and its inhabitants are Polynesians, being the eastern extremity of Polynesia.

I wonder how those people would have arrived on such a vast territory spread across the entire Pacific Ocean.

Btw, the photo on the Home page is not mine, is a photo taken by Attila Munzlinger.

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Macin old mountains and Vama Veche – Danube and Black Sea shore

La final de august am fost in localitatea Greci pentru a revizita munții Măcin. Relaxare, păduri, dealuri și munți, Dunăre, baie în lacul din Turcoaia, recuperare de fierătanii din fântână cu magnetul, detecție de metale în pădurile din zonă, departe de siturile arheologice. Apoi iar relaxare, Vama Veche. Apoi curs de yachting 5 zile intensive apoi iar relaxare în Mamaia.

Acesta este tipul de articol pentru care pozele vorbesc mai mult decât textul.



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Northern Ireland – treasure hunting, cheerful people and fresh nature

I was in Northern Ireland in response to the invitation of George Toma, a Romanian settled in Portaferry. It seemed to me an unmissable opportunity to visit a geographical and cultural space that I have always felt attracted to. So I readily accepted when George issued an invitation to a mate detection party to visit him, detectors and all, in the small town on the strait at the entrance to Strangford Lough.

Incidentally, Strangford Lough comes from the Old Norse language, meaning strong gulf. The strait has the second strongest ebb tide in the world, it is said, being located in a region heavily anchored in the past of Viking invasions and colonization.

Put that alongside the gorgeous scenery, low prices, cheerful people and permissive UK metal detecting legislation and then the decision to go there is irresistible.

We found no treasure in Portaferry. The few coins picked up with the detector were close to the shore in the bay after low tide. I found common coins from 100-150 years ago, including a silver one, but very very dull and uninteresting. The treasure, however, was the trip itself.

I have the impression that trips where you go with a purpose other than visiting touristic sights are much more interesting. What do you think?

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Bronze metal waste from WW1 – metal detection near Râșnov

On the weekend of September 16 – 18, near Râșnov, the national meeting of detectorists took place, that of the Pro Detection association. On Saturday we went to look for relics from the first world war. Although it is the first article in this category, much remains to be said – nature and the search for history.

Being, as I said, the first post in this category, I think I’ll outline the main ideas of metal detecting. I’ll talk about my reasons but I assume many other detection enthusiasts have the same ideas.

Metal detecting is a way to enjoy nature, forests, mountains while having a clear purpose. It’s similar to fishing – the phase where you catch the fish, kiss it in the mouth and throw it back into the water. I, for example, am not interested in keeping what I find in the ground, but rather I am interested in the process itself. When climbing mountains – go up, go down, go up again, go down for what? Well, for landscapes and maybe for pictures, maybe to learn something or maybe to get drunk on something. But there seems to be a lack of purpose, an objective. With this detection you have an excuse to hunt something you like while enjoying being in nature. And you hunt metals better than animals.

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The Death Triangle – movie set


The Death Triangle is a Romanian film from 1999, directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu, in which the battles waged by the Romanian army against the German occupiers in the First World War in the towns of Mărăști, Mărășești and Oituz are reconstructed. Ecaterina Teodoroiu (Ilinca Goia) is the only woman who participates in the battle. The film also features important characters such as General Alexandru Averescu (Sergiu Nicolaescu), King Ferdinand (Eusebiu Ștefănescu) and Queen Maria (Maia Morgenstern).

Filming took place in the summer of 1997. While filming at the Mihai Bravu shooting range, Nicolaescu received an address from Mircea Daneliuc, the general director of the Rofilm company, announcing that the filming would be interrupted. The next day, the management of the Buftea studio stopped the film crew from moving to the shooting range. Having a fixed deadline for completion, Nicolaescu went to Radu Gabrea, the president of the National Cinematography Center (C.N.C.) and presented him with the situation, but Gabrea asked him to give a written statement that he would complete the filming by the fixed deadline, otherwise he would is responsible with personal wealth for the amounts allocated by the CNC. Pressed for time, the director intervened in the Parliament and obtained the allocation from the state budget of a sum of money for the continuation of the filming. In addition, the National Bank of Romania and Bancorex provided sponsorships. Nicolaescu brought a film crew from the Republic of Moldova, with generator group, electricians, camera mechanics, seamstress and travlingists, with whom he continued and completed the filming.