Today we left the hotel early and set out for Paracas. There we hopped on a boat to tour the Islas Ballestas. First, we observed “El Candelabro”, a giant ancient petroglyph in the shape of a candlestick. Next, we continued on to the islands where we found thousands of birds. These islands represent an important part of Peruvian history because the birds’ droppings, or guano, was a coveted fertilizer in the 19th century and allowed Peru to experience an economic boom, although brief. We saw quite a few abandoned docks where ships once collected the resource.
Also on the islands, we saw penguins and sea lions. We were able to get close and watch the penguins jump into the water. It was a fantastic little tour. After docking back at Paracas we had a delicious lunch which included options such as ceviche, causa, lomo saltado, chaufa (a Sino-Peruvian fusion dish which takes its name from the Chinese “chao fan” or “fried rice”), and lucuma ice cream. Finally, we got back on the bus which took us back to our Peruvian homes in Miraflores. It’s good to be back to rest and reflect on a fun-filled weekend.