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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Pisco, Paracas, and Lima

PERU | Friday, 10 April 2009 | Views [2678] | Comments [2]

Everyone on the bus to Paracas!

Everyone on the bus to Paracas!

A lot has happened since we were in Huacachina. Pretty much everyone that I wrote about in the last blog left PSF(Pisco Sin Fronteras), and were replaced by a whole new crew. Iva and Irany from Croatia, Cameron from Arkansas, Aden from Korea, Abi from Seattle, Terisa from Sweden!, Damia from Austria, and Matt from Australia were just some of the new crew. During the first week after huacachina, we finished up work at the ladys house, and started on two new projects, building a public playground, and clearing rubble from another womans house. Laina and I also spent a significant time online corresponding with a dive shop in St. Croix, USVI, and found ourselves two jobs as retail workers while training to become dive instructors! If all goes well, we will be dive instructors by September. This is really good news!

     After a hard week of work(very dirty and tiring) we headed as a large group to Paracas National Park, on the Paracas Peninsula, just south of Pisco. Aaron, Chester and I headed into the city center to rent out a bus that will take our large group (about 22 people) to the national park. Very quickly we found one, struck a deal, and headed back to the house in victory, and also in the bus. After gathering everyone, and 3 bags of firewood, we headed to the national park. Paracas NP, is a deserty windswept sandy peninsula, that just happens to be on some of the most productive waters in the south pacific. There are hundreds of birds, Caspian Terns, Peruvian Boobies, Inca Terns, pelicans, Gulls, vultures, and many more. From the beach that we camped at you can spend all day just watching the different birds dive into the water to catch fish. The boobies dive from very high, and at the last second they tuck their wings in and turn into a needle. Caspian terns have a much more elegant style of diving, they hold both wings out and practically corkscrew dive into the water, it looks amazing. On the beach there was a dead sea lion, and then next to it a dead sea lion pup. I heard that in the waters of this area, many Peruvians use Dynamite fishing as a way to catch food. What they do is throw dynamite into the water, which kills many fish, invertabrates, and mammals, and then collect the dead food at the surface. Unfortunately in this case, I think that the mom sea lion died, and then the baby followed her until it died as well, very sad. We had an awesome camp and bonfire, and wrapped dough around hot dogs and let it bake over the fire! An awesome idea from Jens, it was delicious.

     The next week and a half at PSF we worked on a variety of projects, like digging a foundation to pour concrete for a house, bricklaying a public showerhouse and bathroom, spending time with the local kids at the daycare, and more. We spent a lot of time on the internet as well, arranging everything for our move to St. Croix, and getting very excited.  We changed our trip, so that we are no longer flying home from Quito, but we will fly from Bogota, Colombia, to St. Croix, USVI.

In our last days of Pisco, we headed to the Islas Ballestas. Thes islands are a migrating seabird paradise, and are covered in millions of birds, including penguins!! We went on a 2 hour boat tour, and saw many different birds, definitely worth it.

     We said our said goodbyes to our family for the last 2 ½ weeks, and headed to the bus terminal to start our trip to Lima, the capital of Peru. Getting into Lime, we saw that it is a huge city, and very beautiful and colonial. We are staying at a hotel called Hotel España, about a block away from the plaza de armas in the center of lima. Walking around lima is a sight to see, so many old building kept in beautiful restoration, and many fountains and palm trees. The climate here is perfect, warm all the time, even at night. Hotel España is everything we thought it would be and more. First of all it is no more expensive then any other place we stay, about 6$ a night(35 soles for the two of us.)  We are staying up in the atrium, on the roof. The place is coverened in plants, and vines and it is beautifully green. I was walking around on the roof by myself, and all of a sudden, around the corner comes a tortoise! Small, about 2 foot by 1, and it just looked at me and kept on walking! I couldn’t believe it! The hotel also has many old painting and many chandeliers, as well as lots of statues, every things looks straight out of Mediterranean Spain.

There are tons of things to do in lima, my favourite is eating Ceviche! Mmm, it is so good. In order to make Ceviche, you need fresh fish, lots of lime juice, salt, spicy  peppers, seaweed, lots of thinly sliced red onion, steamed yuca and potato.  You need to marinate the fresh fish in the lime juice and spice it accordingly, and then wait a little, and the fish will become cooked in the juice, and then you can serve it. make sure to use lots of onions, because they are soo good. Serve the starches on the side, and then you are ready. The ceviche they make here in lima is very good, there is a place right around the corner of our hotel, and they do a great job, 12 Soles, 4$, and it is more then you can eat, as well as high quality. The next day we met some travellers, Laura from Georgia, and another girl from Australia. We all headed to miraflores to see the beach here in Lima.

     Miraflores turns out to be a 30 minute taxi ride from the Center, so much for walking. There is a huge difference from Central Lima to Miraflores. The first thing we saw getting out of the taxi was a star bucks, then a burgerking, then a mall with dunkin donuts and pizza hut! Where am I?? Peru? I don’t think so. While Miraflores is very nice, it is so similar to souther California, that I felt like I was in the US for a little. Very interesting. Miraflores is also really pricey, but nice, and it makes the center sem so much cheaper.

     Another thing we did in lima, besides shopping for bathing suits for laina, since they are 15 Soles, 5$, here, and we are moving to the Caribbean, is going to museums, and cathedrals. We went to the catacombs below cathedral San Francisco, and they were incredible. Thousands of bones were down there, and hundreds of years of history. It felt like something out of Dan Browns “Angels and Demons”. Today we went into china town, and saw the Chinese part of Lima. We really like this city, it has so much to do, and is so beautiful.

We are very excited, because mom, holly and uncle don are headed down tomorrow!! We will meet them in Miraflores, and then have an incredible time going to Macchu Picchu and seeing Peruvian mountain culture!

Check out the pictures for this story, you can see them even if you dont have facebook!




Hi Kids,

What a fantastic trip you are taking! I was looking for your e-mail address and found your incredible adventure from an earlier note. Dive instructors in St. Croix - brings back memories of treasure diving in Honduras so many years ago - and touring Macchu Picchu - something we always wanted to do. Would love to know how they worked those huge stones with such fine precision.

Give our best to your mom, Holly and Uncle Don when they get there. Hope you all have a great time together.

We are planning a family reunion next year (2Q10) and will keep you posted as it develops. We are looking forward to a super gathering like we had 7 years ago. Please send us your email address so we can keep in touch.

Love & peace!
Uncle Paul & Aunt Sharon

  Paul & Sharon Payne Apr 19, 2009 5:49 AM


Hi! I can't wait to read what you have to say about our time together. Keep it clean. Ha! I just want you both to know that I have printed two colored copies of each blog you have written so far. I will have them made into a book so you'll have a permanent hard copy for your treasure box. Keep us posted on any new developments. Did you see the pictures I put on Snapfish? Love you!

  Mommy Apr 22, 2009 2:43 AM



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