Day 6 of Peru – Ballesta Islands and Sandboarding – Adventures – April 29th
Ballesta Islands . – Desert – Sandboarding
Get up this morning for a fine breakfast of bread and bananas and liquid juice.
Get on van and pack up and head off to the waterfront to get on a boat to the Ballestra Islands
Ballesta Islands are totally amazing. The islands are on a animal reserve and are all just inhabited by sea lions, penguins and many other types of birds. As well many other types of marine and bird life.
The Ballesta Islands lie a short distance off the Peruvian coast south of Lima, and we made a trip to see them on a speedboat which in itself was a fun trip over occasionally choppy waters.
On the way to the islands themselves we passed the candelabra, a pattern etched into the sand and rock of a small island not far off the coast. Then we reached the islands and circled around them in the boat for a good length of time, These islands are a paradise for birds, including a huge number of pelicans and a few rare penguins, and a large colony of sea lions all of which could be seen really close.
We were told that the only time anyone goes onto the island is to collect the huge amount of droppings that collect on the islands (now totally white as a result) every 7 years. Otherwise the animals are left to themselves, and can just admire the daily tourist visits.
It’s a lower scale to the Galapago Islands but still totally amazing everyone. But overall a truly must see everyone. I highly recommend everyone to go. For sure.
From here we then went to a Pisco Sour making place and tried many types of Pisco and watched them make it. Many in the group bought a few bottles of the stuff. Hopefully good times await us.
Onward now to the Sand Dunes. I have been awaiting this moment for some time. As I want to go sand bugging on the dunes and try sandboarding as I am downhill skier and love to try this.
Huacachina was a lovely place to be – relaxed, loads of sun, surrounded by sand dunes – especially as a contrast to Lima. It´s a really small place in the middle of a desert, but has a fairly large lake in the middle of it, hence its decription as a desert oasis Do not underestimate just how difficult it is to walk up a steep sand dune, with the sand under your feet just collapsing every time you try to make a foothold.
In the end I had to crawl and I still needed a rest every 10 steps. We got there in the end though and had a great view across Huacachina and the neighbouring much larger town of Ica.
This was a great experience. We all strapped ourselves securely into the dune buggies which proceeded to mount the dunes and travel over them with ease despite the difficult surface and steep inclines. The up and down over the dunes was awesome, like a theme park ride only beautiful landscapes as well. It was an amazing experience as I read in my Lonely Planet that drivers here are reckless and how true they are. We strapped our selves with a shoulder harness and yes you do need it!
The boarding itself is the equivalent of snow boarding but on sand, and my first attempt was only semi-successful (as in I got down, but not without falling off a couple of times and rarely standing up fully on the board). After this I opted for the even quicker and much easier method of going down head first using the board as a sledge. These dunes are steep and we got up to some quick speeds, all great fun.
The sandboarding was awesome. I found its easier and faster to go head first down the sand dunes, then standing. This is so amazing experience that most of the group chickened out on.
Next onward to Nazca,