January 16, 2013
What a difference a hundred miles can make. We woke up this morning to a very barren and arid region and left behind the bustling noisy city of Lima. Now I am confused as to the actual name, our itinerary says General San Martin, we received a map that said Pisco, our daily log said a shuttle to El Chaco and the locals call it Parakas, you decide. What I can tell you is that we are in The Parakas Natural Reserve which contains the Ballestas which are the Peruvian Galapagos complete with sea lions, penguins and not blue footed boobies as in the Galapagos but brown footed boobies. there sure are a lot of jellyfish is these waters, as you can see in one of the photos , and these things are BIG and brown, not sure I would to swim in these parts. They do not get much rain in this area most of their precipitation comes in the form of fog.
The ship provided a shuttle that took us into town, which is really just a small fishing village in the middle of nowhere, now has started to capitalize on the cruise ships with a lot of stalls selling their local wares. I am a little skeptical of a lot of these products being local as once when I was in France I bought a ceramic chicken which I thought was made in the region, when I gat home I found a Made in China sticker on the bottom. Sure fooled me. I do not know if you can tell from the pelican pictures above just how large these birds are here, maybe in the one where the guy is feeding him you can see when stretched out his beak reaches up taller than him. The wing span on this guys! There are a lot of Hostels in this town to accommodate all the trekkers, can’t understand why so many young people want to climb up a bunch of sand hills, to each their own I guess. Can’t really say this area is beautiful, just different, like the contrast between the blue sea and the brown land.
Back to the ship, played some paddleball with a couple of fellow passengers, Jim & JIm. Lots of fun but they beat us.
Happy hour on our balcony for our sailaway, our destination Easter Island. We have four sea days as we are about 2200 miles away.