On with the Journey: South to Paracus, Peru -- Tues, Dec. 17th
Well, after an enforced hiatus, I'm back online. When confronted with a roadblock, if I can't figure out a solution, maybe I'm not supposed to at that time. Perhaps I'm just supposed to enjoy where I am, whatever I'm doing, and remember. Notes help, but I didn't take many. I have most of my memories upstairs, and I'll do my best to recount the journey as it unfolded. I'll continue with blog posts till the end of our South American trip. I believe I left off in Peru....
We began with a gray morning again, tho the sun shone by early afternoon. This destination was a mystery to most passengers. Looking at the photos below, you can probably see why. Princess uses three place names regarding this port-of-call: Pisco, San Martin, and Paracas. All we could see when we docked was desert. Okay, it seems Pisco was flattened by a devastating earthquake in 2007 and is largely not rebuilt, so no tours or shuttles were offered to Pisco and no taxis parked at the dock. Princess offered two expensive tours, which Jimmy and I elected not to take, and both tours were sold out early anyway. One tour was an Isles Ballestas Wildlife cruise. We didn't sign up for this as we planned to take a similar wildlife/penguin cruise later on in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Buses lined up at Paracas Port like sardines in a can.
We learned that the reason for this stop is to pick up two busloads of passengers that departed our ship in Lima for the optional three-day Machu Picchu outing. (would've loved doing that, but - hoy! - talk about expensive!) Jimmy and I would've preferred an extra day in Costa Rica.
Poles alongside the road with no wires...?
Bicyclists going nowhere? Nope. Riding to a fossil site miles away. Hope they have plenty of water!
Princess did offer a shuttle service to the town of Paracas. We always visit a town if we can, so we paid our eight dollars each and hopped on the shuttle for the half-hour drive thru the desert to tiny Paracas.
Our ship and these fishing boats look about the same size, but these boats are more colorful! Our ship is visible left center, far in the distance.
We've discovered that public bathrooms are never easy to find in South America, but at this beautiful San Agustin Hotel we found relief! In the midst of not-much-at-all, was this gorgeous hotel with one of the world's longest swimming pools, complete with sea gulls. We enjoyed a cuppa delicious coffee in their (deserted) open air dining room, and used their wifi. I guess the hotel must attract paying guests, but ...?
Loved reading this sign at poolside. Translations aren't always easy!
The main draw of Paracas when the ship is in port is their outdoor market, featuring locally made products.
We were back aboard in mid-afternoon, as the ship would sail shortly after 4:30 for Coquimbo (La Serena), Chile. Oh boy -- Chile! Before we get there, however, we have to turn our clocks forward one more time. Another hour lost! Looking forward to our day tomorrow in Northern Chile.