Paracas - floating in a fairytale

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South America » Peru » Ica » Paracas
September 6th 2006
Published: October 23rd 2006
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I left Nazca in the afternoon once again opting for comfort on a first class bus. The trip was interesting as it was still daylight outside. We drove through Ica and the streets where full of school kids. I arrived in Pisco fairly late in the evening.

At the bus stop I was approached by a friendly lady who offered to arrange the hotel for me, since the bus stop was ten blocks from the town centre I felt lazy and accepted the offer plus I was warned that Pisco was a dodgy place (I didn’t find it that way btw). We got a taxi to the hotel and soon afterwards she also arranged the tour of the national park for me. Afterwards I visited an internet café, and upon paying the lady running the café told me that the coin I gave her was a fake and she wanted me to replace it. I was happy to do so since I wanted to keep the fake as a souvenir, it was the first time I had come across a fake on the entire trip (and this was my last stop before returning to Lima). Unfortunately I think I spent the fake by accident later on.

Early the next morning I got picked up in a minibus and taken to the dock. Here we boarded a speedboat all wearing red life jackets and where off towards the island of Ballestas. And what a fantastic surprise these proved to be, I was expecting some small island with maybe a sea lion in the far distance (if I was lucky). Instead there where thousands of Birds overhead (I’m not exaggerating - I haven’t seen that many birds at the same time before), the islands themselves where white in colour above the sea surface (from all the bird poo - which in the past was collected for fertilizer) and red / brown lower towards the sea. Huge arches stretched under the islands making them look like they where on stilts. We also passed countless sea lions some snoozing on the rocks, others fighting and yet others seemed to be showing off. Apart from the sea lions we also got to see penguins, pelicans and crabs climbing on the rocks. It was an amazing sight and the 2 hours seemed to pass very quickly and we where soon heading back for the port.

The second half of the trip consisted of a bust trip on the Peninsula. Our first stop was an observation tower with a view to some pink flamingos (these where quite far so didn’t get a good view). There was also a museum here with some cone head skulls, the ancestors here distorted the growth of their skulls to form a cone shape. Our next stop was the sand formation known as the Cathedral sticking up from the sea. While we where standing on the cliff edge the wind was picking up and the guide thought that a sand storm might develop. Our final stop was a sea side restaurant where we seemed to spend a lot more time than required. There was a port next to the restaurants so I amused myself by watching the fisherman. From there it was back to Pisco and then I caught a bus back to Lima.

Additional photos below
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A tribute to Steve Irwin from PeruA tribute to Steve Irwin from Peru
A tribute to Steve Irwin from Peru

This security guard and his friend got a newspaper to let me know that Steve had died (I had already found out through an email from my cousin). I didn't realise he was even known in Peru until his death. Its a tribute to Steve to achieve so much success in such a short life.
The CandelabraThe Candelabra
The Candelabra

No one is sure how old it is or who made it. Some think it was done by the same civilization as the Nazca lines, other theories include that its a image of a cactus, a navigation aid, and even a sign made by the Freemasons (because of the triangle).
Bird infinity (almost)Bird infinity (almost)
Bird infinity (almost)

The black and white spots on the top of the island are all birds.

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