23/03/2008 - 24/03/2008
First stop on our tour was the seaside town of Paracas, just south of Pisco on the west coast of Peru. We arrived in time for dinner and had a fantastic meal on the seafront. I had one of the local fishes, charela. The seafood is amazing on the coast of Peru, and very cheap too; I had a big meal and a beer for approximately £4...
The next day started with a boat tour. First we went to see El Candelabro, a giant figure carved into the coast of Paracas:
As seems usual with these huge carvings there are lots of theories as to why the thing was carved, but no-one knows for sure. Some of the theories include a calendar, a warning by pirates, various religious ideas and of course the obligatory 'built by aliens' explanation. Whatever the explanation, it's pretty impressive.
Then the boat swung over to Islas Ballestas, a nearby island covered with lots of birds sea lions;
There are various constructions on the island as the guano (i.e. bird crap) is valuable and therefore people collect it up for sale. There are loads of different breeds of bird on the island, ranging from turns to penguins and pelicans. On the down side it does stink of bird crap.
Sea lions also hang around the islands, lounging around on the rocks or making lots of noise on the beach. The sound of several hundred sea lions lying on a beach roaring their lungs out is certainly an experience!