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
Our five day tour of the Galapagos Islands onboard Darwin Yacht started out with a bang! (Click here if you missed the first half of Touring the Galapagos) The fun continued with several more stops:
Day 3 Continued: Espanola
After lunch, Darwin motored to the other side of Espanola for our afternoon adventure. Along the way, we spotted a huge pod of dolphins and Captain changed our course so we would intersect them. As we became surrounded by the pod of hundreds, several dolphins swam into formation with the bow of the boat. It was amazing to watch them swim and jump out of the water in perfect speed with Darwin.
We made it to Punta Suarez where we went for an afternoon hike. When we landed, we immediately saw a baby sea lion nursing which Billy estimated was only a few days old. We continued on a trail where we found more baby sea lions, marine iguanas, a Galapagos mocking bird, and a Galapagos hawk. But the main attractions were the large colonies of albatrosses and nazca boobies. We sat for quite awhile watching the albatross landing zone. Several of the young birds were doing a courting dance where they find their mate for life (a process Billy said would take several months). We also witnessed the nazca boobies courtship where the males present rocks as gifts to his partner for life. It was amazing to stand only Continue reading