Friday, October 12, 2007

Islas Ballestas - 12th October 2007

An early morning wake up of 6.30 had us on our way to Islas Ballestas, otherwise known as the poor mans Galapagos, I thought I´d make a visit just in case the money runs out before I get to the real Galapagos!

It was a great trip that involved an hours boat trip out and then an hours or so around a group of islands where we saw endangered Humboldt penguins, Peruvian bobbies, guanay cormorants in addition to two bottlenose dolphins.

On our return to the hostal Sylvia, the owner, informed us that soon after we left there had been a small earthquake, which had got everyone nervous again, and its not surprising really when you see what the last one did!

We decided to head straight off when we got back to the hostal, me to Nasca and Noam to Ica although he was trying to get me to change my plans and join him in Ica for sand boarding, fortunately his desire to go to Ica was greater than his desire to join me!

I thought I might have a peaceful journey down to Nazca alone but it turned out we shared the bus to Ica where I then changed for Nasca, well it was nice for the company!

The bus journey in total took 4 and half hours and cost just $4, I don´t think I can get to Tescos for that price let alone anywhere further! Aha public transport huh?!

The hostal I chose in Nasca was the Barbant hostal run by a nice Dutch Peruvian couple, Hietta is Dutch 5'7" with a baby on the way and her husband Abdon is 4' nothing if that! A very nice couple who were able to help me out with all the things I was intending to do on my short visit there! Unfortunately though the beds were like boards or worse and even flexed when you lay on them, but hey its only for the one night!

They even helped me out by booking my onward travel, I´m taking the night bus from Nasca to Arequipa, around 9 hours or so! There was only two seats left when Hietta called the bus company, both on the top floor at the very front, it sounded good to me until she told me that no one ever wants those seats in case the bus crashes! Mmm!

In the mean time and top of the list for Nasca activities is a flight over the Nasca lines (of course) in addition to which I´m planning a trip to the Chauchilla cemetary and a visit to the Maria Reiche planetarium.

Straight after a bite to eat I headed off to the planetarium to find it wasn´t the top of everyone elses list of activities in Nasca as there were only two other people there and no guide to start with, even he wasn´t expecting any visitors! It was a good show though and he pointed out various constellations as well as Jupiter with two of its moons that we could see.

One of the others who was also into star gazing mentioned that she had been sandboarding that day down the highest dune in the world, Cerro Blanco (2078m). Now that was never part of my plan, as to be honest I´m not a huge fan of sand (!) but there I was seriously thinking it was a great idea!

On closer information gathering (by dad) it seems that there are in fact several "highest sand dunes in the world" but hey I managed to convince myself it was gonna be a great idea! We will see!

In the meantime its an early night for my flight over the Nasca lines.

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