Much of the adventure we will do in some very prepared buses called Cruz del Sur, which are equipped for the traveler, with a multitude of facilities (large seats on the 1st floor - the second is more traditional bus and the difference in cost is not so much), internet wifi, snack service, wc, air conditioning and / or heating , video or music, etc ...).
We arrive at the station, take the boarding pass and after 10 or 15 minutes of waiting, "padentro". One of the "hostesses" films us with a camera. ! What a bad royo, right? !
The trip, still at night, becomes very bearable (Mineral water, 2.50 PEN). We take another big head until the sun begins to rise. The true Peruvian coast is already beginning to be seen through the window. An arid and desert landscape, very very poor. And, the district in which we are entering is a set of deserts of different nature, from the most arid of Nazca to the finest sand dunes in the Huacachinero. Lima itself that we saw yesterday DAY 2 of the trip Survive in the desert.
Our first stop is at the Paracas station, whose meaning is "sand rain", around 7:30. The 2007 earthquake / tsunami of 7.9 ate the previous station and much of the coast in this area, so they have set up a very "rustic and simple" station just outside. From there we go to the port since we did not want to miss the opportunity to visit Ballestas Islands, a unique natural reserve (... in which it does not disembark ...).
Here we are going to catch a sliding boat but first we are privileged to be able to observe an improvised fishing show that Peruvian Pelicans, one of the oldest birds that exist, they are giving us. This curious animal feeds on fish, since nature has endowed it with a particular beak as if it were a hunting net.
The sliding boat which takes us is still a motorboat equipped with places that make excursions from 8:30 to this natural place. Tip: If you do not want to get wet, take the area in front, where the explanations are better heard, in addition to the left side if you want to see the Candelabra in the best position on the way.
We started to pick up speed. Just 10 minutes later we arrive at a figure very similar to those we imagine that we will see in the Nazca lines, formed with grooves on the arid terrain. It is a kind of cactus, officially called The candelabrum, which seems to remain intact over time due to its privileged position against the wind. As it does not rain here (either, as in Lima) it has not been damaged by water. The truth is that it is impressively large but its origins continue to keep enormous mysteries (it is said since they could be extra-terrestrial, until signs for pirates of treasures, such as Inca symbols indicating the position of Cuzco, that we will see the DAY 13 TRAVEL)
We return to take speed for another 15 minutes and begin to see what will be a new experience: Ballestas Islands
The show is now amazing for any nature lover. Thousands and thousands of birds live on rock formation islands with incredible cliffs, figures furrowed by erosion, arches that nature has formed over the centuries and a multitude of wildlife species. We meet again with families of Sea lions (which we already saw in Punta del Este, Cabo Polonio or Antarctica during the TRIP TO ANTARTIDA 2009), just as lazy as ever.
Guananeras birds as the guanay, booby and the tendril inhabit these cliffs in thousands, almost without leaving gaps between the rocks. You can also see cormorants, seagulls and more species that we do not identify, flying over our heads in flocks. The smell is also strong, and Peru also takes advantage of guano to export it to other countries besides seaweed, as fertilizer.
We continue to observe huge caverns and beautiful rock formations. But ... these are not birds. What is it that looks between those rocks? !!!! PENGUINS !!! Amazing!! In addition, we can see Peruvian Penguins, also called Humboldt penguins, which seems to be in danger of extinction. They are not very large, not larger than 70 cm, and have a black back and a white chest, with some resemblance to the "clown" Penguins we saw in the TRIP TO ANTARTIDA 2009. Some slide between the rocks. They remain a sympathetic animal. And how did it get here? It seems that this Peninsula concentrates the cold waters from the Antarctic of the Humboldt currents, and despite the external heat, the penguins have adapted very well.
We finish the visit seeing more factories of Guano (they sell for $ 8-10 / kg) and we return to the jetty. Paula, can you hold my sunglasses while I bend down to put the camera? CHOFFFFFFFFF !!! The water blow that should have fallen on Isaac, crouched right now, puts Paula up to the water, hahaha. MORALEJA: Do not hold things to your boyfriend, while the boat takes speed, that life is sought! Hahaha
We are back at the pier around 10'00 and do not waste much time to catch the South Cross to Ica that passes at 10'30. 1 h and 15 min and we arrived. Before going to our accommodation, in another privileged place, we want to know a little Ica, famous for its Pisco, setting foot towards a Cellar where, although quite deteriorated, the processes of press, fermentation and alcohol extraction can be observed.
There we can also make a kind of tasting of the different uses of pisco. We tried pisco sour, a kind of strong pisco cocktail with egg white and other spirits. We also tried pisco bareback, a very strong brandy. To distinguish it, they give us a Rosé Wine that is still a sweet wine. Finally, we tested the Pisco Liqueur, a mixture of Pisco and figs, which gives a taste (and even aesthetically) very similar to Baylis
We will not talk much about Ica. After the 2007 earthquakes, the impression we have left is very very sad. Demolished houses throughout the city, even the Cathedral Closed due to cracks. You can see a multitude of "moto-taxis" imported from India that replaced buses due to the breakdown of these companies after the earthquake. Wow
!!! Buffff !! !! How hot !! But heat heat. One of the visits that most moved us on the day arrives ... ICA REGIONAL MUSEUM (4 PEN entitled to photos). We are not much of museums, but here we have been able to observe (after knowing yesterday legacies of the Lima culture) many vestiges of the Paracas culture, with perfectly preserved objects, from ceramics, to weapons, through ponchos of all kinds. This culture was fundamentally divided into two stages, Paracas Cavernas from 700 BC to 200 BC, where you can already see the worship of the Sun God, with objects that draw two big eyes and a smile, to move to the Paracas Cavernas, between 200 BC in the first years AD where they developed a particular system of mummification in fetal position to prepare for the next life ...
!!! MOMIAS !!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhggg !! There is a room just for them. And often excellent condition. You can also see how they "adulterated" their skulls with "weights" and "pressure" to distinguish themselves from other races or even to distinguish social classes. !! How appalling !! There are mummies of children, adults and even the "Bob Marley iqueño", haha. Really creepy.
We have been raised from a very early age and Ica, city of the eternal sun (as their posters proclaim) does not give much more, so we set course for the Hotel Huacachinero (ARTICLE IN CHAVETAS WITH ALL THE DETAILS HERE)in full Huacachina Lagoon, where we will stay today, that although its room is very very simple, it has a pool and facilities with vegetation and dunes in the background, which invite you to eat quietly (57.50 SOLES) before taking a dip, with the heat that ago, we fancy a lot.
The Huacachina Lagoon It had better times although it is still a true natural oasis in the middle of the white sands of a very particular desert. It arose due to the outcrop of underground lagoons and has all kinds of vegetation, with eucalyptus, palm trees and even serves as a rest for migratory birds that pass through the region. Today there are even people bathing or taking a boat ride. Around it is full of stands to buy (remember 7 PEN) or restaurants to eat.
But being next to a desert so particular, as we said before, it is something that you do not have every day, so we have hired (120 PEN both) the only way to access the deepest part of it, in Buggies, which although it is still a tourist attraction, it is an adrenaline rush.
At full speed we enter the desert, falling through vertical dunes or climbing other mountains of fine white sand, well attached to the front. The landscape is beautiful, with Ica and the Laguna in the distance.
The experience does not end here, since these "desert dwellers" have invented (or "reinvented") the Sanding, which consists of going down with a table by vertical dunes below taking a devilish speed. Divertism!
INCISO: Gone is the "Snowing" done on DAY 17 of the TRIP TO ANTARTIDA 2009 where we didn't need a board, hahaha, although here much more speed is reached and it is more fun.
He sunset, As we imagined, it is beautiful. The buggie picks up speed westward again to reach the best location to see it
The sun, little by little, gives way to an orange sky in the background and the temperature begins to fall. We are facing a beautiful postcard of which we feel participate.
We return to the lagoon, where we buy water (1.50 PEN), some memories (4 PEN), we will have dinner (33.50 PEN) and rest from a long day of emotions and adventures. A day that was very exciting but has brought us much more than we expected. Definitely, one of those days that makes a traveler know the reason that leads him to leave his home and feel special experiences.
Right now, we are writing you from the bus that takes us from Ica to Nazca, the Cruz del Sur, in its 2 hours of travel, since DAY 3 we did not have a minute of stopping. Family and friends, we are great. We eat well and enjoy as dwarves. Ah !!! CONGRATULATIONS TO MOMS !!! (although late).
From the beautiful Huacachina Lagoon ...
Paula and Isaac, from the Oásis de Huacachina (Peru)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 219 PEN (approx 60.16 EUROS) and GIFTS: 11 PEN -appro 3.02 EUROS