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Flattened

PERU | Wednesday, 10 September 2008 | Views [314]

So we got on the bus and went to Pisco.  It took about 4 hours.  There are lots of really good buses here and they’re pretty cheap. Riding with chickens and the family goat is not necessary.  We did know that Pisco had been badly hit by last year’s earthquake and that several hundred people had died.  However, we had also heard that tourists still continued to go there so we thought ‘How bad can it be?’  The answer – flattened.  The place was a complete wreck, few buildings stood intact and from what we could see from our taxi (which admittedly was only for a few minutes) there were few hostels, restaurants or shops.  On the advice of our taxi driver (hmmm) we drove on to Paracas, the next town along.  Before the earth quake, it had been smaller and less popular with tourists but as it was not badly damaged it seems the tourists are now favouring there.

 

The purpose of being in this area was to have a boat tour to Islas Bellastas.  This is a small island just off the coast which is famous for its birdlife.  It is dubbed ‘the poor man’s Gallapagos’.  Paracas was tiny.  Literally a row of restaurants about 100 yards long, 4 or 5 hostels and a couple of shops selling the locals favourites – fizzy drinks and crisps.  Seeing that this town was not going to live up to the needs of us two party animals, we decided to book the tour for the next morning and be out of there by lunch time.  Not to give the impression that Paracas is not nice; it was fine, just very, very small.  Of course I felt sick the next morning and we had to go the day after.  Never mind.

 

So Islas Bellastas.  It was an enjoyable two hour boat ride and we saw sea lions, a few penguins, boobies (feathered, not human), red billed cormorants, pelicans, some black birds (can’t remember their name, Nowers?) and the usual gulls.  The island didn’t smell too bad either.  The place is covered in bird poop, or guano, and this had been collected for years to sell as fertiliser.  Anyway we left Paracas fairly impressed with what we had seen but ready for somewhere a little bit livelier.  On to Huacachina.

Tags: islas bellastas, paracas

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