In the afternoon we left Lima went to the South on Pan-American highway, which stretches across South America along the Pacific ocean. After 4 hours driving on a dusty road in the dark we get to Ica.
Ica is a little dirty town. As elsewhere on the Pacific coast of Peru it is covered with a thick layer of sand dust. These places are called “Pacific Sandbox.” Near the bus terminal there are many taxi drivers. All vying to offer a ride. They speak only Spanish. I quickly managed to bring down the price by a third and we go to the hotel. This hotel was the best on the route, booked for a maximum discount. It is behind a tall fence with barbed wire and guards. Inside solid 5*. All very nice, well maintained, spotlessly clean. Unknown archivestudio growing trees on the territory near the pools Alpaca roam, and at the horizon you can see a huge sand dune. The hotel is called Las Dunas.
Here I first tried the “Peruvian sushi” – ceviche – raw fish and seafood marinated in lime juice. I liked it, then several times ordered.
The next day we gathered at the Ballestas Islands, where you might spot a variety of birds, sea lions and even penguins Gumbolt, because there is a cold current. We wanted to go to a travel Agency at the hotel. In the morning it had to work, but spent a lot of time in the lobby, we realized that no one will come. We asked at the reception for help, the girl called somewhere and said that no one would come. But it was our problem, so the same girl at the reception found us a private guide with a car. Quickly came smiling Peruvian Margarita. She drove us to the pier in the town of Paracas. We got on one of the latest speed boat with a capacity of 50 people with a guide. Everybody put on life jackets.
The sea was a thrill. The boat raced at a breakneck speed, we rode the waves and after 10 minutes we were all wet to the skin. On the way we stopped to see on the sandy slope of a huge figure, the so-called “chandelier”, has been posted as tracks in the sand unknown by whom and when.
The guide quickly told all this in English and Spanish and we rushed on to the Islands. When we saw sticking out of the sea, rocky islands, then immediately felt a sharp smell of bird droppings (guano). It’s impossible to land on the islands, it is a protected reserve. There are only scientists in shifts and collectors of guano.
Sea lions climb up on the rocky shore. it is possible to drive very close.
But sailing to the beach, where rested pregnant females was prohibited not to worry them. I would very much like to see the kids,but you need to arrive in January, February. In dark caves hid a few penguins, perhaps in the summer it was hot. On the way back, the waves rose even more. We met the fishermen on our way back. They waited for the calm water. But we raced to the shore.
Margaret suggested that we go to the Paracas reserve. We agreed. I think that we certainly overpaid, but I didn’t regret to pay for the experience. The reserve was just a desert with a beautiful red dunes, overhanging the ocean.
Margarita is honestly worked for her money, she drove us across the sand in search of Ammonites and we pretended that we are very interested. Finally, she took us to the observation deck. The view was spectacular, deep blue ocean and red Bank. The site was fenced, but our girl said that you can go over the fence “all the same no one sees.” We made a cool photo.
Then we came to the beach and ran to get our feet wet in the Pacific ocean. We could swim, it was 18 degrees, but we just jumped in the waves, it was a great fun.
A lot of tourists came to see condor’s flight. Fortunately, the weather was fine, sunny and not cloudy. The condors didn’t disappoint. They floated in the air high above us.
The Andean Condor is the largest flying bird in the Western hemisphere. Wingspan is 274-310 cm., males weight 11-15 kg, females and 7.5—11 kg. Length of adult birds ranges from 117 to 135 cm. We were lucky to watch them in their home.
After a while I decided to go down to the Colca river. It wasn’t enough time for the descent. The road wasn’t hard and I easily went down for 15 minutes. But when I started to go up to the viewing point I realized that it was hard to breath. It was hard not only for me. In fact at 4300 m. above the sea level we feel a lack of oxygen. Locals chew coca leaves which help at the highness. At first I didn’t want to do it but then I changed my mind. Coca leaves really helped. At last I returned to the bus. We took pictures waiting for departure.
Our next stop was Mirador de los Andes. It’s the highest point of the road Arequipa – Chivay there is a lookout that offers a beautiful view of the volcanoes. You can see 6 volcanoes: (Misti, Chachani, Ampato, Mismi, Solimana и Coropuna).Despite the fact that the height of the volcanoes is about 6 kilometers, they practically do not rise above the horizon. The fact that the observation deck is located at an altitude of 4910 meters above sea level! when we got out of the bus the heart jumped in the throat and eyes watered from the strong wind. The view was amazing!
This is one of the highest places in South America and is the highest paved road on the continent. Here at the highlands live vicuna, in the harsh conditions of eternal cold and winds. Despite a constant shortage of food, water and even oxygen, the vicuña is perfectly adapted to this more than Spartan living conditions. Graceful animals are able to live in the mountains largely due to the warm soft wool of which they were endowed by nature. Rare vicuna wool is highly valued in the world of high fashion. To be precise, this wool is considered the most expensive of all known in the world. Theese animals are impossible to tame. Once a year locals catch them and cut the wool. The clothes from it may cost more than $1000.
We stoped to make photos of vicunas from the bus.
Also at the highlands lakes you can see pink flamingos. We saw them but at the long distance.
In the evening we returned to Arequipa.
Canyon Colca, Peru (part 1)
I’d like to tell you about Canyon Colca in Peru. Peru has a lot of sights well known all over the world: Machu Picchu, Naska lines etc. Canyon Colca isn’t so popular. But I highly recommend visiting. Canyon is 3400 m deep. It’s deeper than Grand Canyon (1800 m) in the USA. Canyon Colca isn’t so famous because it hasn’t steep slope as Grand Canyon. But Canyon Colca is very picturesque.
How to get
You can get there from Arequipa or from Puno. There are many tourist agencies which can offer a lot of excursions to the canyon. You can spend 1-3 or even more days there.
Also you will be able to go by bus. But it’s not convenient because you need to catch bus on the road.
When to go
The greatest attraction of Canyon Colca is the flight of Condors. They fly in the morning when they can soar in the air streams. So if you have only one day you should start nearly 3a.m. from Arequipa.
So we did. Started at night from Arequipa we were at Chivay at 7 a.m. It was really cold. We had breakfast with coca tea which was necessary on high altitude. Early in the morning it was very cold. I got frosen in my sandals and had to buy woolen socks at local market. After breakfast we visited the main square (Plasa de Armas) and beautiful Church of our Lady of the Assumption. Surprisingly, the Saints were dressed in colorful clothes. Next to the church you can buy national crafts and take pictures with alpacas.
After a break our bus started to the Canyon. We were lucky. The weather was sunny. I can’t imagine what to do in the Canyon when it rains. We came to “Mirador el Condor” The best point to watch condors.
A week ago I visited S.Petersburg. Today I’ll tell you about new show-museum Grandmaket Russia which is situated not far from the city center. Its size is 800 square meters.
The model presents the model of everyday life in Russia. Everyday situations demonstrate different types of human activity. Visitors have the opportunity to set things in motion on the model with interactive buttons.
Every 13 minutes on the layout there is a change of day and night. As light sources for the first time in the world was used more than 500,000 high power LEDs of different colors.
You can also see changes of seasons.
The movement of cars as close as possible to reality: cars and buses stop at traffic lights and stops, blink signal lights, change traffic speeds. Trains are really wonderful. To optimize the railway traffic on the layout at several levels stacked more than 2500 meters of rails. The total number of units — more than 2,700, of which 250 locomotives and 10 special cleaning trains.
The work of the model should constantly monitor.
I think it’s worth seeing.
I’d like to tell you about visiting Machu Picchu. May be my experience will be helpful for you. What’s the best way to organize the trip? When to go? How to get maximum impressions?
My paid travel post was published on travelicious.world recently. You’ll be able to get your questions answered and learn more about Machu Picchu – the Wonder of the World.