Paul & Cherie Peru Trip 2011 travel blog

On the boat to the Ballestas Islands

The Candellabra, 150m tall

Hats; not to avoid sun burn, but to avoid bird poop.

Loving their life in the sun, sleeping most of the day

Loading guano on to a barge.

Peruvian Pelicans, Humbolt penguins and Cormorants.

So many birds and poop!

How did those Sea Lions get up there?

That is not snow. The white is guano!

Lots of birds due to the abundance of fish to eat due...

Birds everywhere!

Some birds were nesting.

Many arches on these islands are used as shelters by the birds...

Guano collecting company.

Loading area for boats.

Bags of guano are being loaded onto the boat.

Another archway.

Sleepy Sea Lions.

Amazing how high they can get up in the rock cliffs. Dark...

The dark area is not trees. Those are birds!

Poop hats! Look at Paul's right arm. He was pooped on!

A beach where the sea lions have their babies.

Another beach for sea lions to give birth.

More Sea Lions

A male with his harem.

Birds following the boat.

What An Amazing Day

We did so much. The day started with visiting the Ballestas Islands which is a sancturary for birds and other wildlife. These islands have been dubbed the "Peruvian Galapagos". We took off in speed boats. You had to wear hats because there were so many birds and you could get hit by guano (bird poop). Paul did!

These islands have a series of arches and caves that provide shelter for more than 160 species of marine birds. We saw: Humbolt Penguins, Peruvian Boobies, Peruvian Pelicans, Inca Tern and Cormorants. There were so many birds on the cliffs that the cliffs appeared black in colour.

We also saw lots of sea lions sunning on the rock cliffs. Some were pregnant. There were young ones too. Some of the males were competing for the females. A few were swimming around. There were hundreds of them.

We watched men loading bags of guano onto a barge. It is used as a fertilizer. It use to be an important source of revenue for Peru.

Along the way to the islands we saw the famous "Candelabra" geoglyph. It is found on a hill in the port. Some say it was a navigation aid. Others claim it was a pirate's sign. Some say it is more likely a Nazca ritual symbol. It is 150m high and is stamped into the desert hillside which is sandstone. Because it does not rain much in the area and it is windy, the depression still remains visible.

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