Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Down the desert coast of Peru with police harassment at every toll

After a week in Lima Peru we are back on the road down the panamerica hwy driving on this part of the hwy was pretty uneventful. The only action we got were the police shake downs flashing their traffic handbooks in our face and telling us we had tented windows and needing a permit and we were in the passing lane too long was also a violation in Peru, but both times we waited out the police and they finally let us go, ah patience is virtue. I can't tell you how many police checks we had on that stretch of road but it was a lot.
 look close you can see a picture survived hundreds of years and no one knows the mean or who made it
sea lions battling it out on Ballestas Island

Our first stop was at Paracas, we spent the night here because we wanted to catch a boat to the Ballestas Islands. The town is tinny tourist trap, every restaurant is fighting for every dollar. It seem to us that all the restaurants had a meeting to set prices because all the place were about the same and the food quality wasn't great either. We managed to found a hotel with a view of the ocean that also offered discounts boat tickets price if you stayed with them, was a win for us at only $40 for the room and boat tickets.

the middle of the desert pretty cool

need water

That morning the water was very calm plus the boat was a speed boat for Jieun didn't have any problems with sickness good day so far. Island Ballestas is a birds paradise, we saw Peru boobies, penguins, seal lions and countless other bird species. After returning at 12 noon we sped down to Huacachina, a natural lake oasis in the dessert. Our main reason to visit this beautiful setting wasn't to just sit by the lake and soak up sun but to take a sand buggy ride through the dunes and again to our luck we found a place offering a discount ride with accommodations cost, $30 for both great deal. We rocketed into the dunes that same day at 4pm, our driver was crazy, taking us over jumps and down step hills it was like a roller coaster ride but in the dessert. Surprised we even got to try body boarding on the sand, you actually pick a lot of speed on the sand and a few people even wiped out. 6pm came and the sunset views were stunning! On our ride back into town was just as exciting but we had to make a unexpected stop for someone had tossed their cookies and it wasn't Jieun!

After a full day of activities we plan to just visit some wineries tomorrow and drive to Nazca to see the lines of Nazca sketched into the dessert floor for hundreds of years.