On our way to our final destination, Lima in our overland trip from Rio de Janeiro, we stopped in a town called Pisco in Peru for a night.
When we arrived in Pisco, it was late afternoon. We went out to explore the city and found there were very few people at the main square. It was so empty. And there’s not a lot to do either. There were very few restaurants. Apparently there was an earthquake that affected the town really badly just a few years ago. So everything seemed really new. It was a really strange feeling to be there. It felt new and there was no one there.
Pisco is also the name of an alcohol. From the name of the town, I thought we’d be seeing bars and every store would be selling pisco sour, the national drink of Peru. But that wasn’t the case. So the main attraction was the internet at our hotel which was the fastest we had during our stay in Peru!
From our experience there, I think the main reason why people visit Pisco is because of the Ballestas Islands, also known as the poor man’s Galapagos.
Early the next morning after our arrival in Pisco, we rode in the overland truck for just a few minutes until we reached the dock to take a speedboat to the Ballestas Islands. You can only view the islands and wildlife on the islands and can’t get out of the boat.
We had to wear bright orange life jackets and sit in the speedboat for about 30 minutes before reaching the first attraction called El Candelabro (in English, the Chandelier). This is a geoglpyh that no one is exactly sure of its significance, kind of like the Nazca Lines in Nazca, Peru.
Next, we sat in the boat again until we reached the islands with wildlife, and lots of wildlife. Hundreds and hundreds of birds! We were fortunate to see about five Humboldt penguins diving into the water from the island.
At one point, when we reached the sea lions, everyone was moving to one side to take some pictures, that the tour guide had to tell a few people to go to the other side because the boat was tipping!
But I don’t blame them for going to the other side because we were so close to the sea lions!
Here’s a Vine video I shot of the sea lions at the Ballestas Islands:
After sailing around the islands and getting more pictures, we headed back to the dock The smell of the gas from the boat made me feel kind of sick. And the movement of the boat when we stopped for people to take pictures made me have some motion sickness. So on the way back, I fell asleep. Plus we had an early start.
When we arrived back to the dock, restaurants were opened, there were lots of souvenirs for sale and someone walking around selling empanadas on a tray, which I must stay were really tasty.
Next, we were on our way to the capital of Peru, Lima!