A Travellerspoint blog

Lima Lima

overcast 24 °C

We got the local bus to Lima from Pisco (just north of Paracas). It took about 4 hours, we left so early that we got to the hostel before lunch. We stayed in a part of Lima called Miraflores. It's a really posh, safe, clean area which had nice parks and prom along the sea front. The weather in Lima always seems to be misty so we didn't see much of the sun but it was warm enough. That evening we went to the airport to pick up Joe and Ned who came out to visit us.

During our stay in Lima we went to see a ruin called Huaca Pucllana. This is where the lima civilisation lived in 200 A.D. They worshipped the sea because they thought it was more powerful than the sun as the sea 'eats' the sun every night (sun set)! Joe and I ate in Larco Mar which is a shopping centre built into the cliff face so you can't see it from above! We had a pisco sour which is Peru's national cocktail and tastes sooo nice. The sea there is a good surf spot and lots of people go after they finish work. Ned was really brave and went in the sea but it looked far too cold for me! We got a night bus from Lima on to a town called Huaraz.

Lima sunset

Lima sunset

Posted by Ninirock 12:53 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Peru's Poor Man's Galapagos, Islas Ballestas

Paracas National Reserve

26 °C

We left the oasis of Huacachina for the sea. We got a minibus to Paracas and got a boat tour to see the Islas Ballestas. We saw so many birds on and around the islands. There were hundreds of birds, we saw: pelicans, Inca terns, Peruvian boobies, sea gulls, comorants, Humboldt penguins, turkey vultures. Wr also saw loads of sea lions and starfish and crabs. The guano (comorant poo) that covers the islands is a great organic fertiliser and is collected every 8 years and exported to Europe. It was really stinky!

Penguins

Penguins

After getting the boat around the islands we then went on a guided tour to Paracas National Reserve, which is part of the Atacama desert. It was very dry and there was not a lot of wildlife around. We stopped off at a beach that had red volcanic sand next to bright yellow sand and deep blue sea. It was beautiful! We then had lunch and I tried ceviche for the first time which is raw seafood cooked in lemon juice and chili. It's very tasty. We then drove back to Paracas town - i think the bus driver thought he was driving a buggy because he was going all over the shop!

Paracas is a seaside resort with lots of high-end hotels. It had to be completely rebuilt after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed it in 2007. We stayed there one night (not in a posh hotel unfortunately) before heading on to Lima.

Posted by Ninirock 12:43 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

The Oasis of Huacachina

sunny 29 °C

Huacachina is a tiny place with just a few hotels/hostels and a couple of restaurants. It's an oasis with a small lake surrounded by a few buildings, some palm trees and rolling sand dunes. Nearby there are lots of vineyards where they grow Peru's national liquor - Pisco. Its a very strong spirit made from grapes. Emma and I did a winery tour to two 'bodegas'. The first one was an artesian winery where they crush the grapes with their feel, ferment the juice in terrecota vats and then separate the different bodies of the wine left over from the distilling process. We then tried a few different piscos which all just tasted very strong to me! The wine tours were definitely not the posh manicured wineries we saw in Mendoza, Argentina. Especially because above the entrance to the second winery there was a sign saying it was shut because it doesn't have a license and some of the samples we were given had flies in! The room where the fermentation happened was full of dusty collectables and the taxi driver was the person taking us round. It was very very odd but fun - I don't think I learnt much about pisco making there though!

In the afternoon we went on a sand buggy and sandboarding. The buggy was like being in a rollercoaster as we went up and down steep dunes really fast. It was so much fun! We got out a few times to go sandboarding. I could've done it on a snowboard but it was a lot more fun to lie down and go down the dunes head first! It was scary but very addictive after the first time. After we got covered in sand we watched the sun set behind the desert.

Buggying

Buggying

Posted by Ninirock 12:37 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Mysterious Nazca Lines

sunny 28 °C

We got a night bus from Arequipa to Nazca and had already arranged a flight over the Nazca lines. So we just turned up, had breakfast and then got into what looked like an armoured vehicle which took us to the tiny airport. We flew over the 13 lines in half an hour in a tiny tin can plane. The flight was very bumpy and made me feel a little bit nauseous! The lines were made by the Nazca civilisation about 2000 years ago. Its thought the lines were made for astronomical or religious purposes. The figures are really big - about 30m to 300m! Some were easier to see than the others. They figures are animals that you see in different parts of Peru e.g. monkey, condor and whale aren't found in the same place. My favourite was the alien/astronaut because he looks like he's waving at you ha! We caught a bus straight to our next destination as there wasn't anything else we wanted to see in Nazca other than the lines.

Alien

Alien

Posted by Ninirock 12:32 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Colca Canyon Condors

Arequipa, Peru

sunny

We left Cusco on a really posh bus and arrived in Arequipa, Peru's second largest city. From here we did a trip to the Colca Canyon. This is a deep canyon that was apparently discovered by polish people. We drove for a couple of hours to get to the condor cross where we saw over 10 huge condors soaring higher and higher as the morning sun warmed up the canyon below. They were so huge and graceful. They live for 60 years and mate with the same partner for life.

Afterwards we drove further and got out at various viewpoints. We then had a soak in some hot springs that were very hot! They were next to a river at the bottom of a valley. It was very picturesque and relaxing. We then went to a viewpoint where we could see volcanoes. This was the highest we've been on the whole trip - 4,900m and there wasn't a lot of air!

Condor at Condor Cross

Condor at Condor Cross

Posted by Ninirock 12:29 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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