Published: July 18th 2011July 18th 2011
We joined our tour group on the morning of the 16th July after flying in from Brazil the night before. Only 9 people on the tour (so far) led by Alvaro, our tour leader. There are a mixture of English, Scottish, Swiss and Canadian, but unfortunately we are the oldest!
The first day of the tour was mainly spent travelling down to Paracas, a port town south of Lima. We passed Pisco on the way, which was devastated by an Earthquake in 2007 - the place still hasn't recovered. Paracas has a population of 500, so pretty quiet, but has a beautiful promenade. Here we tried cerviche and our first Pisco sour (very nice!).
A brilliant day. We started early and went to the Ballestas Islands by boat. On the way we passed a sketch in a hillside called the 'Candelabra'. The origin of the sketch is unknown but believe to be of astronomic importance to the pre-Incan culture of Nazcans. Next stop was at the Islands where there were more birds situated in once place than we've ever witnessed - it's a miracle that we didn't end up covered in poo. The bird poo is an important commodity in Peru and is used a fertilizer. It stunk! It was amazing to see so many birds, including penguins, pelican, cormorants and boobies, as well as sea lions basking in the sun.
Back on dry land we headed south to do a spot of Peruvian wine tasting in Ica (no I've not heard of Peruvian wine before either!). Great fun, mainly tasting the Pisco spirit.
Then down to Huacachina, population 200, to ride some dune buggies and go dune boarding - excellent adventure and survived unscathed!
Next stop the Nazca lines :o)