Wednesday, 19 November 2014

0147 Lomas de Lachay to Paracas NP

14th Nov 

We woke up still in heavy mist that coated everything in dampness.  It was really eerie – we could literally only see a few yards – Which explained why we found ourselves camped in a day parking area, and hadn’t even been able to see the toilets that we just on the other side of the track !!  No point in walking anywhere, so we had breakfast and headed back down the trail to the Ranger’s Station. This reserve is a weird area – In the middle of desert, it only rises about 500 metres ASL, but is almost always covered in this thick mist which provides so much moisture that plants grow here.  One of the plants is a kind of vine that covers other normal plants with a web like coating.  Most odd.  Anyway, back down, a quick Buenas Dias to the Ranger’s and then back on the road south.

In the desert we continued to pass the long sheds in the desert every so often.  We had decided that they must be for chicken’s because chicken’s are the main food in this part of the world, and I guess they need a lot of them to supply the demand !  Later in the day we stopped and asked a policeman and he confirmed that they were for chickens – What is odd is that a lot of them are derelict – It seems a lot of people try to make a living breeding and selling chickens, and not all of them succeed.

 We passed through the now seemingly endless desert of sand interspersed with irrigated crop growing of corn, asparagus, and others, and then through a twisty pass along side the sea, with heavy mist on the road.  It was then through more desert before suddenly there was a lot of low cost housing all over the place and covering the hills almost as far as you could see into the haze / smog (not sure which it was !).  We were in the outskirts of Lima. We didn’t plan to stop, so we just motored through on the main road – It was pretty hectic often with 5 lanes of traffic trying to squeeze into 3 lanes on the road !  Pretty normal, but we made it through in a couple of hours, and once out on the other side, stopped for fuel and found a little place selling hot dogs that smelled so good we had to have one !  Hmm – Not as good as they smelled, but OK, and did us for lunch, but we did take a photo of the place just in case we decided to sue them later due to stomach problems !!

Just south of Lima we turned off to Pachacamac where there are the famous (and big) Inca Temple of the Sun and other Inca ruins spread over a large area.  It certainly must have been something to see in its heyday in about 1400 AD, with its red walls which would have been visible from miles away.  Situated on the coast with views in all directions, it was a major fort for the Incas.  The archaeological restoration has been done very sympathetically, with new material only being inserted in order to retain the original walls and prevent them collapsing further.  This method simultaneously serves to demonstrate what parts of the temple and other building would have looked like in the past – Indeed in some areas the original render and red colouring are still visible.  It is a big site, and over looks the current town, as well as extensive sporting fields including several polo fields, soccer pitches, and a bull ring.    As we came back down to the car park we saw a weird dog with no hair – And found out that it is a Peruvian breed of hairless dog !  Not very attractive !!

After a quick ice cream we went out past an enormous hammock hanging by the road, and on down the coast.  Quite an interesting road, winding along near the sea, and with a number of high end resorts either being built of just finished dotted along the way.  Then it was into Chincha Alta which is all wine production and tasting cellars – And for some reason lots of life-size golliwogs !  You don’t see them much any more, let alone full size ones !  Then for some reason Chincha Alta got busy – Really busy !!  It was an hour or more before we got through, by which time it was getting dark and we still hade some 45 kms to go to Pisco and then Paracas Nat Park where we knew we could camp in safety.  So the last hour was not much fun in the dark, especially through Pisco, and then out into the National Park where we couldn’t read the signs very well, and probably missed a couple of turnings !  But suddenly we saw a sign with a tent on pointing down to a beach, so drove down a dirt road for about 1 km, found  deserted beach with a deserted restaurant there in the dark, so had a quick supper and went to bed exhausted !  

Photos are here

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