Paracus? I hardly know her!

We hit Paracus mid-afternoon and start with a late lunch at the local Fusion Latino to catch up with our new Rio friends Bill and Ellen, before jumping back on the bus to head into Paracus National Reserve for a sunset tour at the Golden Shadows trek.

Here we find a whole new meaning of the words “bumpy road” as we crawl our way to the start point in a bus unlike my brother’s favourite video game

The walk up and over the dunes along the cliff line is as spectacular as it is scary that some people just can’t follow instructions about safe distances. As the sun sets on today’s adventure, we share a romantic moment… while Dory third-wheels.

Doug and Dave can’t resist the temptation of a short down climb to an otherwise inaccessible rock beach to take the final photo of a beautiful and adventure filled day before heading back to the hostel for a good night’s sleep.

Up we get for another early start and we head off on a boat to Ballestas Islands. We saw sea lions floating on buoys on the way there. They were not bothered by our presence, so just flopped down to sleep.

The island was 20kms from shore. From the boat, we could see cute humble penguins, boobies, starfish, terns and a green sea full of red krill. The island was white as it was covered in bird poo. On the way back, we saw a pod of dolphins circling a school of fish, so they stopped the boat right in the thick of it. We had bottle-nosed dolphins swim right underneath us! It was so amazing.

We got back from the boat trip with about two hours before our bus was leaving for the next town. We decided we had time for a 45 minute time slot at Yaku Park which was an inflatable adventure park.

Our new USA friend, Andrew, came along and the four of us raced around the course which we had all to ourselves. Doug gracefully jumped across the first obstacle whereas Dory fell in the drink. David roared with laughter. To our amazement, there was an inflatable pillow which someone would sit on the end of and another jumped off a tower, landing on the pillow which launched the first person into the air, landing in the ocean. This was awesome! 

We continued around the course, finding obstacles to battle on. There was a hole to jump through, in which, on her first attempt, Dory got stuck! A zipline to the exit was a great treat and the boys tried to clear the sign. 

We decided we had time to do another pillow launch but this time two would link arms and jump together to launch one person off. We went so much higher this time and the staff sat around laughing and enjoying the show. We realised the time and jetted back to the hostel for a quick shower. On arrival, the lady at the hostel tried to tell Dory in Spanish that someone from Peru Hop called and said we had to be at the bus at 11:00 am but it was already 11:05 am. The bus was not meant to leave until 12:00 pm so we thought we were meant to meet at 11:45 am. They had told us on the bus that they would only call our hostel if they were looking for us if we were late. Doug came down and translated/spoke Spanish with the host. He confirmed 11:00 am at the bus. We threw all our belongings in our bag and raced out the door in our wet clothes. We ran to the meeting point to find out there was a miscommunication. The lady who made the call said she told her 11:45 am. We got changed in the facilities at the hotel which was the meeting point and repacked our bags on the footpath.

The bus trip began and along the way we stopped at a vineyard where we tasted sickly sweet wines, similar to cough syrup. We were also given a shot of pisco which is apparently the national drink of Peru. The man conducting the group tasting got three people to go up the front. Dory was one of three chosen as he knew she liked a drink when she tried to sneak a second tasting cup from a non-drinker; our USA friend Andrew. The drinking game began and because no one said “salud” (cheers) before taking their shot, they all had to drink again. The next part was that after your shot, the host up-ended your shot cup and counted to three to see if any drops came out. If they did, you take another shot. Dory was happy with this so ensured there was still some left in her cup. As soon as he turned it upside down, the liquid RAN out. One lady, our Canadian friend Ellen, got to sit down as there were no drops falling from her cup. Then there were two. The next shot was taken and the other guy got to sit down. Dory remained alone; her next shot emptying the bottle. After that shot he ended the game. 

We then continued on the bus until we came to Huacachina; a little oasis in the desert.