The birds!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

After marmite sandwiches for breakfast (are starting to run low now fortunately Daves dad has an order in for more when he comes out soon!) we got picked up for our tour to the Islas Ballestas and nearby Paracas. Went with the cheapest agency as they all do the same thing and got it for 25 Soles which was pretty good.

Got the bus down the coast and arrived in Paracas a small fishing village and nicer than Pisco before getting the speed boat out to the islands. Was a beautful sunny day and on the way we luckily spotted a few dolphins swimming in the bay which was great. Towards the islands we could see streams of literally thousands of birds flying towards the mainland or back curving up and down in lines like falling dominoes.

The boat then approached the candelabras which are mysterious lines etched in the side of the cliffs towards the sea. Again noone knows why these are here either but are very impressive and were glad we saw these even if we didnt see the Nasca lines.

Then onwards to the islas and approached the first ones to see hundreds of birds from boobies to rare penguins. Then sealions including pups, cormorants, pelicans gobbling fish. Was great. I thought it would be like the Farne Islands in the UK (Northumbria) which are great if you get a chance to go but this was even better. Was also great as there were rock arches and small rock islets covered in sealions. Was def worth 4 quid!!

Have def realised if you have low expectations they will nearly always be exceeded. Think this will be our new motto.

On our way back saw thousands more birds and the dolphins again before then heading back to Pisco. Had a nice lunch in town before getting the Peru Bus for 13 Soles to Lima.

We had VERY low expectations of Lima and heard horrendous stories and many people just avoid it altogether. We planned on one night there if we could cope.

Bus was fine although I slept most the way for some reason! Dave watched English films so was happy.

Approached the sprawl and slums of Lima before arriving at one of the several bus terminals and then negotiating a taxi to take us to a hostal. Headed to the Olimpus in Miraflores which was quite pricey ($20) but they all seem pricey here plus it was safe and included free internet. Was a nice room AGAIN! Plus cable tv.

Then took in more laundry before heading up the main Miraflores street past all the touristy shops and restaurants which felt very western and not Peruvian before hitting the main park and the usual McDonalds, KFC etc. Went to the Indian Market which was full of the usual tourist tat and then headed back and got a lovely Chinese meal near our hotel for about 6 Soles inc wonton soup. Has been ages since our last Chinese and we really appreciated it.

Back to our hotel for cable tv and I fell asleep again by 9pm. Am getting worried!
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