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Published: February 2nd 2012
We met our group last night and some of us went out for dinner in Central Lima and had Ceviche which is one of the popular dishes - raw fish marinated in lemon juice to cure it with coriander, raw red onions and chili . It was really good....
The group is as expected, mainly youngsters -college or pre university ages. Still getting to know their names. They seem a nice bunch. Only one lad from the UK, a slighly older girl from Scotland and the others Australian, Dutch, American and Danish and an Egyptian gentleman of 60 so we are not the oldest.
Tour leaders are two men, Dave an ex electrician born in the UK but has lived in Australia since very young and Ivan from Besançon in France. They are both as brown as berries and have travelled this route up and down for the past 18 months so we shouldn´t get lost.
Early start of 6.00 this morning to reach the Ballestos islands about 4 hours driving from Lima for a speed boat trip to see the sealion, pelican, penguin and other bird colonies. The number of everything was really quite spectacular. They were
Birds and sealions
all vieing with each other for space over the island´s different coves. The boat went in very close to shore (too close for Jo´s liking who had visions of being dashed to pieces on the rocks!!) Fish for lunch in Paracas, a nice little fishing village with some pretty tourist shops and restaurants. One really can´t be too careful. Bags were on the chair next to us (nothing of any value in them) and three smart looking people came to sit at the nearby table and basically, tried knocking the chair so that the bags fell on the floor to be opened or stolen... They got shooed away!
Back on the bus and drove another couple of hours to Huacachina (in the Ica area - you may have heard about the earthquake there a couple of days ago where only 20 poor died - no British involved so doubt it made the BBC news headlines) Some of the group have gone sandboarding and dune buggying. We decided it wasn´t for us as the sand dunes are gigantic and thought it best to opt out with 6 others so we booked ourselves into the local hotel with a swimming pool for roughly 12.50 GBP with breakfast each while the others have a barbcue with as much to drink of beer and pisco sour (the local brew which is very strong) as they can manage and then they sleep outside under the stars with no tent just a sleeping bag and mat. Suspect there may be a few sore heads tomorrow!!
Huacachina is an oasis amongst the sand dunes with a fairly large boating/swimming lagoon and a few small touristy shops and restaurants. It´s really quite pretty.
Driving on to Nazca and further tomorrow but will be out of contact for a couple of days as we shall be camping until we reach Arequipa.
P.S. Amber is the name of the lorry/bus. It is well kitted out - not uncomfortable but we still have a few thousand miles to go so may change our minds.
Tot: 2.513s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 13; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0572s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb