Today we went to the ballestas island which was an optional activity, I didn´t really wanna do it because I saw lots of that sort of thing in the galapagos but everyone else was doing it and didnt want to be left out, as it was saw loads of dolphins so that was cool. The acutal islands were a bit crap, literally. They are covered with swarms of birds, it stinks and the island looks actually like one big bird poo. Apparently they farm it every 5 years and sell it as fertilizer. But basically- imagine a landfill site, like brogborough, swarming with birds. Then charge people to take a tour around it. Its a bit like that. Obviously its great if you haven´t seen a bird or a seal or a penguin before but it was just a bit minging looking! Maybe I am just been a galapagos snob! oh.. that reminds me there is a brand of food called ´snob´that make chilli sauce and another I spotted called 'Bimbo' ..kept me amused.
As we drove out of Pisco a lot of the housing is shanty towns and theres alot of fallen buildings, there was an earthquake in Pisco about 3 years ago which killed 700, a lot of the houses are made up of crushed shell, so they came straight down, the infrastructure still isnt near sorted out, apparently the government are just not responding to them and providing money to help rebuild, so more shell houses go up.
First stop was a vineyard that makes this pisco stuff. they know how to do taking sessions, 7 shots of pisco later feeling a bit wobbly. It worked though, I brought a bottle of pisco, going to see if I can make it last till I get home.
In the afternoon we went to an oasis in the peruvian-chillian desert (nazca desert) and it really is like you would imagine in a laurence of arabia type film. Except for the restaurants and sand buggys! Sand buggying is possibly the best thing ever, you are in this open sided 'vehicle' which is basically a motor, seats, wheels and roll cage. Add one loco crazy driver and you have dune buggying, they go tearing around the dessert stoopid fast, its like been on a rollercoaster. They take you to the top of big dunes and you can board down them, so basically its a snowboard you lay on and you go so fast, its really good, if a little sandy.
We arrived in Nazca in the evening- still in the desert. It almost never rains here. Our guide didn't see rain till he was 29! thats how the lines have managed to stay intact all that time. Its the second dryest dessert apparently, 2000k of it is in peru. Its an amazing landscape.