Pisco

Trip Start Mar 08, 2005
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Trip End Mar 29, 2005


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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, March 11, 2005

We decided to make one stop on the way to Cusco. This area is a pretty popular tourist destination, but it's still relatively authentic. It's not like some other countries (like Mexico) that when you're in a touristy city (i.e. Cancun) you don't even really feel like you're in that country. Peru is Peru no matter where you are. Lots of poverty, lots of people in the streets, and a lot of shacks and huts made out of items you would never think could create a home. On the bus ride from Lima to Peru we saw these massive cities that are simply a collection of roofless huts and shacks scattered in the sand. No streets, no stores, just these sad little homes. They're each about 8x8 feet. Tiny. It's ridiculous to think people live in them. They're just out in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea how they live. So that's it for the depressing state of things. On to Pisco.

Pisco is small, classic, sort of nondescript. There are lots of restaurants and lots of Internet cafes. But they don't cater to tourists. They're for the locals. It's cheap as hell though. A couple of dollars for a meal. 30 cents an hour for the net. And churros for 30 cents!

So we got to Pisco yesterday afternoon and just bumped around town a little. We went to the beach, despite warnings that it wasn't safe to walk the half kilometer to the water. But I felt almost safe as we made our way down there. I'm faster than Bev and have no delusions of chivalry. But we made it and we saw a lovely sunset.

This morning we were up at 6 a.m. for a tour to the Islas Ballestas and the Paracas Reserve. This really is the poor man's Galapagos. Our tour was $11 instead of the several grand it costs to go to the Galapagos. The islands have over 200 species of marine life and birds. We saw penguins, Peruvian boobies (tee hee), sea lions, three types of Cormorant, etc. They have whales and sharks as well, but we saw none. But the sea lions were really cool. It was all interesting, but not much to say about it.

The second half of the day was in Paracas and it's all desert. Seeing land this desolate right on the water is a trip. Desert and water don't seem to go together. So it was a lot of driving on a dirt road and eating lots of sand. But we did have a couple of beers and enjoyed a great view. Now we're catching a night bus to Cusco.

When we first got here they tried to sell us a 25 hour ride to Cusco for 165 soles. Now we found a bus leaving from 5 minutes outside of town that takes 20 hours, has AC and is super wow (that's the official title), and cost 70 soles. What a victory for the two white kids in Peru. So off to the bus.
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