The next day of our race in the sand of Huacachina, we reach the Pacific side of Peru to discover a new facet of this amazing country. It is the first time in one month that we go down in altitude to sea level. We are so full of energy.
We are arrive therefore in Paracas which is the main city from where you can reach Ballestas Islands. People call them the Galapagos for the poor, although I do not agree with it… (From what I can see on internet, the Galapagos are a different kind of animal and it is hard to compare them with the Ballestas…)
Our tour to the islands leaves around 9am and lasts two hours spot on… It is a quite nice tour for you and your family…
It starts first with a stop at the « EL Candelabro » which used to be in the old time a mark for the sailors. This geoglyph has the shape of a trident and has astonishing size… From the top to the bottom of the main axis, there is 157m… It has a depth varying between 40 to 80cm. We are still not sure of its origin and the why behind it…
Finally, 20 min later we reach the Ballestas islands You can’t walk on them as this is forbidden since it is a natural reserve.
There, apart from the Humbolt Pinguin the Wine Lion or Wag Lion, an awful smell welcomes you…
Indeed, this protected place “cares” about thousand of birds and various species… Gray Gull, Semipalmated plover, neotropic cormorant, elegant tern… Obviously all these birds create bird dropping what is formally called GUANO.
Guano means bird dropping in quechua.. It is a powerful fertilizing which positively impacted the economy of the area. Indeed its exploitation started around 1850 and Guano got exported everywhere in the world, mainly in France and England. But issues with el Nino has reduced it level of production since there is less birds on the islands. It is collected by hand once or twice a year, and I am not really sure how these guys can stand the smell when picking it up.
That is it for our Ballestas tour. We then spent two days in and around Paracas to enjoy its beaches before heading back to our mountain for the Huayhuash trek.
A few more pictures below:
Not to say that part of Paracas shore looks quite polluted… A lot of dead birds, jelly fish and even a sea lion… When we aked the question, the local told us it was “normal”.. Hum, hard to believe…
Let’s finish this post with a postive note on Paracas…. A few pictures below to show you this cute and little sea side peruvian village.
Blog you soon,