Pisco - Islas Ballestas

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arriving in Pisco was a whole different experience than Lima. Small and poor town. The earthquake of 2007 destroyed almost everything here, and you still see many traces of this, although a lot is rebuilt.

I couldn't find a CouchSurf-host here, so I decided to play it safe and go with a  hostel recommended in my guidebook. Hostal San Isidro. They didn't have dorm rooms, so I had to get a private, and seriously, this wasn't the hostel I had in mind, this was a hotel! I felt so rich haha. Honestly it felt me feel guilty a bit. My room was just next to the swimmingpool, there was a laundrymachine I could use for free (and that's invaluable to me right now), and wifi. Sweet! Little did I know the contrast to where I would sleep the following 2 nights.

The first voices of other travelers I heard came soon and oddly enough sounded very familiar. It was Flemish... and that accent... could it be? I ran out, and asked this young couple at the pool where they are from... Oostende! Ha! They were traveling for 8 months already through Africa and South America, and now for the last month their parents were visiting.Anyways, I hung out a bit in the town, met a girl from California that had been down here since after the earthquake, to help out, and now worked in tourism trying to scratch the soles together to earn her meal every day.Booked my tour for the following morning, and enjoyed my night rest. Although I almost stepped on a giant cucaracha (cockroach) when I wanted to go to my bathroom. But I know I just have to get used to this, again, spoiled western girl :)
The next morning I woke up at 6am, to depart to Paracas and go on a boat tour to the Islas Ballestas. Islands full with birds. Reminded me of the falkland Islands in San Francisco a lot. It was really nice, I love seeing wildlife, so I'll just let the pictures show it to you guys. More to be found on my facebook page!

After this I was planning to leave to Ica, and I had to get out to the edge of town, the Panamericana (big road), to get to it. I knew I had to look for the "collectivo" which Ithought was a bus. But aperantly was a cab you share. Interesting! They have them everywhere here. One of the people in the collectivo was an old lady, also heading to Ica, so I decided to follow her. At the busstop (being just 2 little shacks selling snacks), a car stopped, saying they're going to Ica and have 2 more spots, 4 soles for the ride! The old and sweet lady hopped in and I followed. This was faster than the bus and a common thing to do here, sharing car and costs. It's like hitchhiking, but the driver asks you, and you do chip in for gas/tolls. Nice!
 They tried talking to me for the whole ride, and I can't wait for my Spanish to get better! I do understand more and more, and can say man loose wors, but no sentences. Which makes me sound like a baby, ha! But this will change, soon, I hope! 
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