From Corire I went back to Arequipa to book on a bus straight to Ica. It was 80 soles but the bus was good and provided a good dinner. I slept well and we arrived at 7am the next morning. As soon as I got off the bus a taxi driver was there and ready to take me to Huacachina. So I jumped in. He wasn't a normal taxi driver...he helped me find a hostel, showed me around the small little village and then took me to 2 different wineries that are free on Sunday's. The wine tasting was great and we ended up staying in the second winery all evening drinking the wine. It was a very rustic place with a sort-of museum and wine tasting area and then outside it had wooden tables and chairs and they sold small jugs of wine and played great salsa music! Carlos (my taxi driver) was a damn good dancer and helped me learn some salsa. It was the first time I felt like I could kinda dance salsa...
Monday morning was a day to sleep in after a late night out. In the afternoon Carlos found me a sand board and we jumped in one of the sand buggys that was going far up the dunes. The buggy was great fun, like a roller coaster almost! We then attempted some boarding in the middle of huge dunes...you could only see sand for miles on end, it was awesome. Such a strange but stunning place. After relaxing on the sand, we went into the city and had some cheap dinner and some great pisco sour J It was lovely to be able to see how the locals live, and just spend time with a local.
8am the next morning, Carlos drove me to Paracas where I got on a boat to see the Ballacas Islands where the Islands were littered with sea lions, seals, penguins and birds. It was incredible how smelly and how noisy it was there! Not what you think when you are sat at home watching these wild life programs with David Atemborough and his peaceful music! But it was good to see. Maybe not as good as the wildlife experiences I had in New Zealand, but good to see. After this, we went into the National Park and ate a lovely fish dish...it was a little expensive (30 soles), but very nice to have something different, so fresh with lots of flavour. There were only 2 restaurants, so it was a very quiet place, and although some tourist buses stopped for dinner, it was pretty much a beach where the locals chilled. So we did the same - played in the sea & watched the sunset! What another great day thanks to Carlos!