Ica and Pisco

I arrived in Ica by the end of the afternoon. I got off the bus and got a cab straight to Huacachina, the local oasis. The place reminded me the oasis from movies in the Sahara desert. There are enormous sand dunes around a small lake with palms tree, restaurants and hotels. There are just a few houses and a small number of inhabitants. Huacachina is known by the tourists for the practice of sandboard (a sport similar to snowboard). The difference is that here there is no cable car to take you to the top of  the dune. The tourists go up and practice in a higher part, without going all the way down, only in the end they go down the big dune. Some have the breath to go up and go down again. Here the climate in hot. After feeling cold in so many places, it was great to be in the hot weather, reading a book by the pool.

From Ica I went to Pisco, I wanted to visit the Ballestas Island. The boat tour usually leaves in the mornings. Boat is the only way to visit the place since the government prohibits the landing on the islands. Once again it was cold and rainy. After an hour trip we arrived in the islands. It looked like Abrolhos, the rocks and the birds were similar. Here the amount of birds is greater and the rocks form caves and arches. There is also small islands that are crowded with sea lions. The place is beautiful, I could imagine how it is in January when the climate is nicier and the sea lions are suckling.

In the afternoon I visited the Paracas National Park, an ecological reserve. From far away we could see flamingos. There is a small museum that shows how the Paracas lived; their houses embedded in the ground, their habits, mummies and some skulls (the ones with the surgery holes). The landscape of the blue ocean hitting the rocks makes the tour to be worthwhile. The local people nicknamed one of these rocks as the cathedral, they believe it has a shape of a church.

In the reserve there is a fishing village where I tried for the first time the famous “ceviche”, typical Peruvian food made with raw fish in lemon juice, garnished by yuca and sweet potato. Excellent!


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