We arrived in Lima about 7.30am and promptly headed to the next bus terminal to catch the bus to Ica. This time we travelled with Peru Bus and it cost 28 soles for the 4.5 hour trip. We grabbed a crossiant and some fresh pineapple for breakfast with ham and cheese and boarded our bus. Ellen had got chatting to a local guy called George, well that is his English name and he was most helpful. He helped us with a taxi when we got to Ica which was nice of him. They blatently wanted to charge us more but he told them no. Especially as we had paid double for the first taxi to the bus station for the Peru Bus.. Man I have missed this they really see us coming. We got to our destination and it was unreal. I have never seen anything like this literally a tiny town in the middle of high sandunes and there is a water feature in the centre like a massive pond/small lake. It is the nicest and most chilled out place and I instantly loved it. We had a massive burger and some great chips for lunch, it was a monster of a meal and then we had a walk around which took like 15 minutes and booked our trip to the Ballestas Islands for the next day, pick up was 6.30 and we would be back by lunchtime. We would do 2 hours on a boat and see pelicans, flamingoes, penguins, seals etc so it was really exciting. It has been compared to a poor mans Galepanos and seeing as we are not going there we wanted to do this :) We were also going to do the sand duning and buggying but it wouldn't be until later the next afternoon so we thought we would book the next day after this trip. Ellen was not to well so I sat and read the end of Nostradamos book in the sunshine on the bench. Did I mention it is unbelieveably hot here.. but its all good. I then went to wander around these tiny stalls with accessories and bits and bobs and made a mental note to do some shopping the next day before I left :) Later that night we headed for a light snack after the big lunch and settled on pancakes with chocolate and bannana and they did not disappoint.
Today we set off for the Ballestas Islands at 6.30 which was very early doors for us. It took an hour and we went to a town called Paracas and we had a tea before we paid 5 soles to visit the islands and went on a speedboat. Our first stop was an island which had a flower looking symbol on it with trianges and squares. It was called the Candelabro They have been compared to the Nazco drawings however the technique are different. These were 10 metres deep and had what looked like a pyramid on it also. They are not sure who or what created this etching in the sand but its thousands of years old. We then went out to circle the Ballestas Islands which are different rocks but sea lions, dolphins, penguins, star fish and many wild birds live on these islands. Wow there really were thousands of birds on these islands and the amount of sea lions was breath taking. They have counted 6,000 sea lions and 3,000 were babies!! We saw them swimming away in the sea and they were so cute. There were plenty just stretching out on the rocks chilling. I have never seen anything like it. Apparently the cold water from the antarctic keeps the water around 16 degrees which is perfect for plants to grow and there are lots of sardines and fish for the animals to feast on. It was pretty unique and we spent about 2 hours going around looking at all the wild life. Afterwards we headed back to the mainland and had a light breakfast and walked around the shops and I bought myself a cute little ring with a Peruan stone in it. Now we are chilling before we head off on the sand buggies and I may attempt to sand board if it does not w*** up my ankle anymore. :) Enjoying my Paddys day away from home but I will have a beer later to celebrate my heritage :)
We are likely to leave tomorrow and head to Nazco for the day and fly over the Nazco lines.
We will then get a night bus to Arequipa where we will spend 3-4 days before we do a really long bus ride to Cuzco. Really hoping none of us suffer with altitude sickness. We will visit the Colca Canyon
It is a busy but exciting time at the moment. South America is so different and I really am loving it here so far. The food, attempting to learn more Spanish, the scenary and the FOOD.. we all know thats important to me :) Will update you again soon..