After a short ride on PeruHop from Paracas, we arrived in Huacachina mid afternoon. Most of the travelers on the bus followed the recommended schedule of immediately joining a tour to the sand dunes and then they would depart the following morning. Keeping to our slower pace, we planned an extra night which allowed us to push the tour to the following day. Because Will was still recovering from being sick, this really worked in our favor.
We grabbed a room at PeruHop’s recommended hostel, Casa de Arena Lodge, and tried to relax before finding dinner. We were immediately uncomfortable in our room due to a strong stench of paint fumes. We noticed an employee was spray painting the banister outside of our room and the gaps in the window were inviting the fumes into our room. Continue reading
My reason for visiting Paracas was simple – to spend time on the water kiteboarding. A friend we met in Vietnam gave us some tips on the best kiting places in Peru but unfortunatly we were not close to any of those reccomendations. After doing a little research in Lima, I found that Paracas had good steady winds. The PeruHop bus ticket we booked also stopped in Paracas which made it very convientent.
We left Lima early for the relitivly short journey south. Driving straight would only take about 4 hours but we made several stops at interesting tourist destinations which were included in the ticket. The first stop was Cristo del Pacifico where we had an amazing view over the city of Lima before heading out into the desert. Next, we stopped on the road overlooking Pachacamac, Limas version of Machu Picchu. The bus was was high enough to see over the wall barrier so we could see the ruins without paying the $25 entrance fee. The next major stop was at an old spanish colonial house (Hacienda San Jose in Chincha), but the real excitement was underneath. Descending a narrow staircase led to a maze of Continue reading
An early morning flight from Quito brought us to Lima mid-day. After settling into our hostel, Kokopelli, we attended to our laundry, visited a supermarket, and had an early night watching a movie from our portable library. We had a slow start the following morning while planning our stay in Lima and our upcoming month in Peru.
Just as we were gathering our things for an afternoon walk, Will said that we had to go in a rushed tone. I looked towards him at the window and saw smoke billowing past. As we quickly gathered our valuables (passports and electronics), I opened the door to find hostel employees rushing through the halls with fire extinguishers. Continue reading
At the main dock in Puerto Ayora, we took a water taxi to board our ferry to Isabela Island. We were surprised to find the boat, Gaby, was barely larger than the small boat that took us scuba diving the day prior. The boat was completely full with every inch of space occupied by bodies. They handed out life jackets to each passenger and we headed out to sea. About thirty minutes into the two hour journey, the captain slowed down the engines with a concerned look on his face. After turning off the engines, he motioned for the passengers sitting along the back to move and he began to inspect one of the three engines. After a ten minute inspection, we noticed that the caption appeared to be changing filters. He put the engine back together and we again headed towards Isabela. About twenty minutes later, a different engine began smoking. Continue reading