We are in our final country of South America now, Peru! First stop, Lima.
As we are doing Machu Picchu we thought we would stop in Lima for a bit. The weather here was a bit disappointing as it was grey and cloudy every day (almost like being back home). Lima is a busy city and the traffic is crazy, regardless of the time of day. It probably comes second (after India) in terms of driving craziness.
We decided to do a day trip to the ‘poor mans Galapagos’ as we wouldn’t be heading there on this trip. The Ballestas Islands is home to sea lions, penguins and many, many seagulls! The boat trip took about 1.5 hours and we did get close to see the different wildlife. Unfortunately, the majority of the penguins were hiding aside from 2, but there were plenty of sea lions sunbathing. It wasn’t the most exciting of boat trips, but it was a nice sunny day.
After our boat trip and lunch by the sea, we went on our next trip; Paracas National Reserve. This is where the desert meets the ocean. This really wasn’t worth the time. You drive through barren land and stop off at a couple of viewpoints of the ocean. It doesn’t have the greatest view and there’s not much wildlife to look at.
The last stop of the day was an old Colonial House; Casa Hacienda San Jose. Previously, it was used to own slaves as it was surrounded by plantation farms. It is an interesting place and an insight into Peru’s history. Unfortunately, parts of the buildings were closed as they had to fumigate the place. We still managed to see/walk through the slave tunnels, which were very claustrophobic. We also managed to see some of the torture devices. Nowadays, the house serves as a hotel so you can go stay there. It was a shame that we couldn’t see more of it as this was the most interesting part of the excursion.
Circuito Magico Del Agua
One night we visited the Magic Water Circuit of the Park de Reserva. It’s a nice, open space with 13 fountains dotted around. It was very nice to walk through and it’s a place filled with families. The main attraction is the ‘Spectacles Show’ which has 3 nightly showings. It is worth seeing if you have the time and it only costs 4 Pesos per person.
The food in Lima was pretty good and there was a nice selection of cuisine. One of the country’s delicacies is the Guinea Pig. As a meat, it is quite similar to rabbit and to the dark meat of chicken. It was nice enough but quite boney so difficult to eat. Lima also has a major Chinese influence and the fusion of Chinese dishes with Creoloe Peruvian are called ‘Chifa’. Dishes are also cheap and cheerful too!
We are off to Cusco now. Let’s see how we get on with the high altitude!