Salt Marsh Day
Trip Start Jan 20, 2012
28Trip End Feb 26, 2012
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We are at sea Monday morning, cruising from Pisco to Puerto Matarani, our last port in Peru. Before we arrived, we did walking and running on the deck overlooking the coastal mountains of Peru. This beats going to work for Mark, and for a retired person better than the gym I guess. The surprising thing for us is the landscape, we were thinking it would be lush, but everything is very dry - desert like - due to the cold Humbolt currents coming up the west coast from Antartica and the Andes mountains acting as a barrier to the tropical moisture from the Atlantic. We saw what looked like snow on the ground, then thought it was way to warm so must be salt. We found it is volcanic ash. We are in the Ring of Fire so lots of volcanos, tsunamis and earthquakes to worry about. (not!)
We arrived at the port and were guarded by two tugboats to keep us off the rocks
We went on an excursion to the Lagoons of Mejia, a wildlife reserve. We saw lots of birds (ospreys, flamingos, egrets, oystercatchers) we also saw a peruvian meadowlark (apparently quite a rare siting, our guide was thrilled) but there are also unusual fish (quite prehistoric looking, white with one eye...). There are many residential birds but almost as many migratory - lots of birds who summer in Canada winter here. I think I saw one of our Tequila shack birds hanging out in the marsh. The black sand on the beach was so fine that it went through our hiking shoes, through our socks and turned our toes black.
The people in Peru are very friendly and even the street vendor are extremely polite and not aggressive. The town of Mollendo was busy with local tourists who are on vacation, their summertime is January - March.
Back on the ship, we went for our steak dinner and then off to celebrate Chinese New Year's. Did some dancing to wear of the food. Already too scared to get on the scale...