My final destination (other than getting home via Lima) on this month long trip is to the town of Paracas on the coast of Southern Peru. The landscape from Arequipa to here has been all desert with very little vegetation. Very little plant life and no visible wildlife.
Paracas though, a small town, that exists these days purely for tourism, although in the past was bustling when they were mining guano or bird shit off the islands for the phosphates that are valuable. Then again ask Nauru how well that went, the country was wealthy for a while and now has little money and a barren interior of the island where the phosphates once were.
So my only real interest is to visit the Ballestas islands off the coast and see the wildlife and let my inner Sir David Attenborough lose. To do this I need to get on a boat, unfortunately crammed in with around 30 others. I tried to find a smaller more private boat, but the operators wore me down into submission. They’d lie to me anyway and once I paidI’d have little choice, so crammed into a speed boat with seats barely big enough for one person, instead crammed with 2 we headed out to the islands to see some wildlife. At least life jackets were provided! I’d also declined the optional land tour of the peninsula, which by all accounts is just a way to extort double the money out of you to see some rocks and a museum in the afternoon.
The island has numerous bird species, including the Blue footed Booby, Inca Tern, Peruvian Pelican and a couple of cormorant species. Oh and also forgot there are Humboldt Penguins also, sometimes visible high up on the rocks! Then there are the fur seals and sea lions, plus a few crabs were visible on the rocks also.
There is not much more to say than to enjoy the photos. I’m off to find a bar and drink a few farewell beverages and relax the rest of today. Tomorrow a bus ride to Lima and a plane leaves with my name on it at 6am on Tuesday, back in time for work on Thursday, where I’m sure nothing has changed and we are still busy.