Our port today was Pisco. Actually, the ship docked at San Martin - a protected harbor area - as there is no harbor at Pisco. Our docking had been delayed because of heavy swells, so we had to choose between a wildlife excursion and a trip into town. We decided to take the wildlife excursion.
Our excursion was to the Ballestas Islands in small open boats. This area is Peru’s own version of the Galapagos. The Paracas Peninsula and Ballestas Islands comprise the most important wildlife sanctuary on the Peruvian coast. This is also the location of the Paracas National Reserve. It is located in one of the most desert areas of the Peruvian coast. It’s objective is to preserve a representative sample of marine sea cold flow or Peruvian Humboldt Current, which is a productive and protected area for a wide variety of migratory species. We saw large colonies of sea lions, Humboldt penguins, dolphins, Guanay black cormorants, Peruvian pelicans and Peruvian boobies. The island is mostly rock. However, Don noticed short stonewalls around the top of the rock islands and had to ask our guide about their purpose. ☺ The guide explained that the walls keep the guano in place for fertilizer harvesting every 5-6 years. The smells were very strong. This must be a place of very abundant food sources as there were thousands of birds and sea lions in every direction you looked. Just as we were admiring all of the wild life – bam! – we got bombed from above. ☺ So we’ll REALLY remember this adventure! SO GLAD WE HAD HATS ON AND TOWELETTES IN OUR POCKETS!
The rest of the day was spent resting and relaxing on board ship. Don is doing his early morning mile walk on the track and Carol is faithfully doing her workout in the gym.