It was 6am and chilly when we boarded our boat to go see the islands of Paracas, a protected marine reserve. All of the colorful fishing boats and pelicans were out in full force.
The limestone rocks were a deep orange which contrasted with the bird guano everywhere. The locals actually collect and sell the guano once a year. It is an extremely lucrative industry there.
Halfway to the island reserve, we paused to witness a huge carving of a candelabra on the side of the limestone cliffs. No one knows who made it, but they DO know it dates back at least a 1000 years in the history books. It was used as the Free Mason symbol in Peru in the 1600’s
The shores of the Paracas islands were all smooth, dark black stones.
The little islands themselves had beautiful rock formations and caves that we went through in our boat.
Pinguinos? Who knew that there were penguins in Peru! The crazy thing is that between Cape Town and Peru, that is twice in one year I have witnessed Penguins in the wild…they are SO cute!
The Sea Lions, or “Lobos Del Mar” were the funniest to watch though. I have NO clue how they climb on the tops of those sheer rock formations.
Sarah and I in our boat. That was the first pair of sunglasses I lost on this trip.
Even though it was an overcast morning, you could see how clear and green the water was. It must be magical on a sunny day.
I just think these pelicans are so funny. We were mesmerized watching them as they dove for fish all around us.
Afterwards we drove about an hour towards Pisco, aptly named for the Pisco Wineries everywhere there. We toured one winery and these were the old wine casks made out of ceramic that they used to ferment the wine, instead of oak or stainless steel.
All of the different Piscos that we tested out. They are strong!
The “Tuk-Tuk” Taxis that I see all over Asia have completely taken over the streets of Peru as well!
Remember that Candelabra carving? Well, archaeologists uncovered a mass tomb at that site with over 400 mummies…all with long skulls. We witnessed some of these mummies and skulls in their local museum. Many people believe they were imitating aliens that visited them long ago, by binding their children’s heads at a young age to get this effect.
Here is a mummy of a young Peruvian child found there.
Our hilarious driver, Pachora, after 2 days of only speaking Spanish with him, we realized how often he tells dirty jokes that we were not understanding at first…Oh Pachora!
We finally arrived at Huacachina, the Oasis in the middle of the desert that boasts the largest Sand Dune in the world! This place is SO trippy, the massive mountains of sand go all the way to the lake’s edge.
The make jewelry out of ANYTHING!
This is a puppy of a rare dog. They call it an Incan Dog, because they think it’s lineage dates back to the Incas. He’s so cute in a hideous sort of wayJ
We came across these young girls that were all practicing their Navidad or Christmas dances. They taught us how and let us join in. It’s very similar to clog dancing.
Sarah and I wore many hats on this trip…figuratively and literally!
While they were dancing, we could see a glimpse of their underskirts as they twirled. All of them they had embroidered with their names and sometimes the name of a boy they liked.
More underskirts of the dancing girls:)
I LOVED the name of this boat. Since their “V” in Spanish sounds like a “B” of COURSE they would spell Moby Dick like this…too funny.
View across the lake of the HUGE sand dunes that we were about to go sand boarding down. These hills are NOT for sissies.
The beginning of our insane dune buggy ride over the huge sand dunes….Possibly one of the MOST fun things I have ever done!
Our usual jumping photo wherever we go. This was our personal buggy for the day. The people in Huacachina drive these around as their normal vehicles, since the sand sometimes takes over the roads below.
I was OBSESSED with photographing these sand dunes.
I was mesmerized watching the wind constantly changing the patterns.
It was so surreal of a landscape and simply gorgeous!
Sarah and I brought dresses to throw over our shorts to pose in the sand dunes. We are always stashing colorful sarongs and extra outfits for when we travel. You never know when they will complete a photo.
Our driver was taking the photos with both of us in them.
This one I made my Facebook Profile picture, until one of my sister’s friends asked if Sarah and I “Planned on getting pregnant together”…which I then realized just how prego we DO look in this photo! Ha ha
Sarah’s shadow in the nearby sand dune.
I wished that we could stand in a spot without having to create footprints in the sand. The lines were so perfect I didn’t want to destroy them.
To me, this photo looks like Sarah was standing on a giant fingerprint.
I got this dress at a fashion shoot I did and have had it for years and have never worn it…I am glad I finally found a use for it!
Here is a view of how everyone was sand boarding down the dunes. SO MUCH FUN!
More of the endless sand dunes. I felt like we had been transported into the Sahara Desert.
A sunset portrait with our dresses and our Dune Buggy.
Sarah getting ready to Sand Board for the first time.
The first trip down, they make you ride on your stomach like a sled. You go SO fast, that it’s pretty scary, but the ride is so smooth and quiet.
To slow yourself down you drag your feet in the sand behind you. It was the most intense hill I have ever gone down.
Sarah trying it standing up for the first time.
I LOVE this shot, because you can see the perspective of the city below and see just how HIGH we were! These hills were intense, the largest one was 2200 ft high!
We watched the spectacular sunset from our dune buggy and then saw how all of the sand dunes turned every shade of the rainbow.
Here we are finally descending back down to the little Oasis town of Huacachina. What a bizarre, amazing little place!