Sealions, a Pisco winery, and an Oasis
29.03.2011 - 30.04.2011 23 °C
The journey from Lima to Paracas was crazy. Earthquake devastation still present everywhere along the way, everything reduced to rubble. Wide beaches and cliffs. Chicken farms on the beaches! Desert. Sorry only one pic, as on moving bus: so blurry. We arrived to our hotel, Refugio del Pirates (!!) about 4 or 5pm, me sharing with Bec this time. We had a pretty average meal on the beachfront, with an overenthusiastic waiter who kept saying "yes mate" and treated Ian like a god. After dinner we took some beers back to the hotel and Tara lorded her world-renouned Ludo skills over us all by thrashing us in a lengthy game. Again. Ruthless she was.
We were up at 630 ready for our boat excursion to the Bellestas Islands, which were nicknamed the mini Galapagos. It was ok but didnt really do anything for me. Lots of rocks and sealions and birds etc. The penguins were cute though. The ocean was very calm. On the journey (30mins) out to the islands we stopped to look at a 'Nazca line' that was on an island in the shape of a Cactus. Was pretty cool. Sailers used to use it way-back-when apparently. There was a 'maternity' beach on the islands full of about 10000 sealions with their babies, and the noise was incredible. A collective moany-roar from all of them. Very haunting. Oh and there was one place we sailed past where you threw up from this massive collective stench of a million trillion bird shits. I was kind of sick of shit at this point. if it wasnt my own terrible bouts i had to put up with then it was a million birds'!
We grabbed our luggage and I grabbed a take-away sandwhich in excellent spanish, and we boarded the private bus ready to head for Nazca as the final destination (about 8pm) but with two stops/excursions on the way there. The first was El Catador winery, somewhere around Ica, where they make Pisco (from white grapes. its extremely strong) and some sweet wines (VERY sweet!). We had a tour to show us the traditional way they used to make it, and then we got to taste lots of different varieties of pisco. The best by far were the pisco mixto (pisco + lime + sugar) and the pisco crema (baileys type thing). Our second stop somewhere around Huacachina was this oasis in the middle of sand dunes desert, where we hung out at a nice hotel pool while some of the group did sandboarding on these massiveeeee dunes. I didnt do it as i can at home and it was pretty pricey. Most of us girls chiled out in and around the pool instead. At one point we could see a guy climbing the ridge of the dune, the dune so big that he was a tiny speck like an ant, and then he boarded down. We had lunch here too. About 5pm we piled back on the bus and headed for Nazca, another 3 hours away through what turned out to be one of my many favourite landscapes of the trip.