Today I was awakened at the ungodly hour of 3:30 am to take a bus to Parracas to see the Islas Ballestas , called the ‘poor man’s’ Galapagos. I was met at the bus top by Ricardo , my guide, and he drove me to the dock to catch the boat. En route we saw the famous three-pronged Candelabra, a giant figure etched in the sandy hills. The boat guide explained that sometimes people get to the island and actually climb the sandy hills and leave footprints in the ancient etching. Fortunately, the fact that it never rains and its great wind gusts clean the etching all the time, its actually embedded in the rock! We spent time observing sea lions, Humboldt penguins, so cute, they are tiny penguins!! The guano ( bird poo) smell for me was not that bad. I heard some poeple say its was really bad, but its not at all. We saw boobies ( birds!!) cormorants, and pelicans by the thousands. We were explained that the dolphins are being hunted and killed still so there was a slim chance we would see any. I was disapointed.
But, on the ride back to the island, and I was falling asleep literally in my lifejacket, they guide says look! A school of penguins!! I wake up, grab the camera, and lo and behold a school of dolphins right next to our boat. A school of about 6-8 of them! Beautiful! Surfacing right next to us! The guide said we were lucky to hace seen them at all. It must be all the good energy that I am bringing with me.!! Back on solid ground I was met by Ricardo who informed me that 2 dutch tourists wanted to tour the ruins of Tambo Colorado also located in Pisco.,These ruins are much better preserved, video and pics coming. Much had remained of the colors of the rocks, red and yellow. Our tour guide was telling me in spanish the information, and I was the translator to the Dutch guys. After that I wanted do a dune buggy ride in the sand in Huacachina, 5 km west of Ica. We first stopped in a Vineyard to try some wine, see how they crush the grapes, and of course lots of tastings! Fab! We practially flew over to the dunebuggies but the sun was almost setting and we had to hurry. We got there, hopped in the buggy ( litreally, really) and I was given goggles and i stuck the camera between my legs and off we went! I told the guy to go fast and boy did he ever!! I ts the best amusement ride ever!! We were going so fast on the sand!! We also go to try the sandboarding. I was not that good. I put on the sandboard which is like a snowboard, huge mountains of sand to go down. I fell like 6 times on the way down, the 2 dutch guys and the driver all laughed as I inched my way down the sand mountain.
It took me forever!! And I had sand everywhere!! So, screaming as you are getting sand in your face is not good, but for me its was exhilarating!! I ended up staying in Casa de Arena, a hostel, with a pool bar and playing all sorts of good music! Myself and the dutch guys had dinner there, traditional dinner of home fries,and meat with a sauce, it was good with a beer. We sat around the fire with all the other hostelers, some from Canada, some french. It was nice! Sleeping was OK. Its cold in the room and no electricity in the morning. I took a bus at 8 am to Lima got here at 1pm. back the the Miraflores Hostel. I feel at home here. Tomorrow I take a place to Cusco to start my Lares trek!! Now, I must sleep desperately and eat, and just hang around Lima tonight. Its 2:30pm now. I’ve done soo soo much in two days thanks to great local guides that strayed off the beaten path. Oh I also stopped in a cotton field to pick some cotton!! I brought some back with me!!