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Published: June 25th 2017
Geo: -13.8667, -76.2667
Brady and Jose picked us up early to head for the Paracas peninsula which was about an hour north of Ica. When we got there we were able to take a boat out to see the Ballestas Islands. The boat did not stop at any of the islands, since they do not allow humans to land there usually. The islands are inhabited by lots of wildlife. We saw pelicans, sea lions, Humboldt penguins, boobies (the gray-footed ones), starfish, sand dollars, sea urchins, and lots more, especially lots of sea birds. Brady went along on the boat ride and did a great job of pointing out all the different creatures. He even found a spider crab on one of the cliffs, which seemed to be an unusual sighting.
We also saw the Candelabra from the boat. It is similar to the Nasca Lines, but not nearly as perfect. It was drawn by different people and in a different way than the Nasca Lines.
After the two-hour boat ride, we started up the coast highway heading back to Lima, but on the way we stopped for lunch at one of the few roadside stops. This was a small
family owned restaurant where we had our first taste of the nonalcoholic version of "chicha." (chicha morado) It looked exactly like purple grape juice, but tasted a bit like spiced cider. It gets the deep purple color from its primary ingredient, purple corn. We also had a chance to taste "Inca Kola." This is actually not a "cola" at all, but a carbonated, yellow-green colored drink that tastes and smells exactly like bubble gum. We also found an ATM down the road; the one at the hotel the night before did not accept our cards.
Back in Lima for the night we had dinner at the Melia Hotel. Philip ordered the alpaca steak. It was very nice--tender and flavorful. I can see why many people here enjoy it occasionally.
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