Although it was one of the first days of the traveling with Dylan chapter, the trip to Ballestos Islands will be hard to top. The morning started with a quick breakfast where Michael mis-ordered and ended up with no eggs...but he did save $.80. We were then ushered off to the boats (I don't care what anyone says, boats are cool). The boat contains a mix of people from all over the world. We all share the excitement of seeing exotic wildlife despite our disparate backgrounds. As we speed out to the islands, the birds begin the show by dive-bombing for fish in our view. This is an incredible display as the birds hoover at cruising speeds then abruptly jet downward and they go under the water (sometimes 7-8 feet) and emerge with a fish. It appears that a school of fish must have been near the area, because there is a fleet of birds all performing this dive-bombing. Soon, we reach an area of the Peninsula where there is the famous candelabra carved into the side of the hill. It is longer and wider than a football field and the guide offers merely that they don't know why it was made (aliens). It is apparently 2300ish hundred years old (aliens). After we witness this ancient symbol in the hill which was also accompanied by various red beaked black birds and boobies, we boated on. We came toan island that was populated by a huge assortment of wildlife, including penguins (always smartly dressed) and seals. At the edge of a cliff on the island birds lined up to jump of the edge and fly in formation. Literally hundreds at a time went to the edge of the cliff and jumped. It's difficult to explain how awesome this was to watch. It was a bird airport and there was a flight leaving every microsecond. This amazing display was accented by the cavernous rock formations and the seals scratching their heads and taking a siesta on flatter of the jagged rocks. As we began to leave I thought what an amazing vision...it's Galapagos light. The boat began the trip back to shore and Dylan and Michael and I shared large smiles as we were satisfied with this tour. But wait, dolphins. Michael first spotted a dolphin jump out of the water in the distance. I wasn't sure it was a dolphin and suggested in could be another seal. Then the show began. The dolphins begin emerging from the water. They seemed to be searching for the jelly fish that were floating near the surface of the water. They would often arc out of the water in a group of three or four. One did a twist right by the boat and I could almost touch him (maybe her). This amps the enthusiasm up a few notches and created some separation anxiety as we sped up and left the dolphins behind. As we got to the shore the pelicans were flirting with us at the shore. They are really funny looking animals. One was approaching Dylan as if to say, can we be friends? When Dylan didn't quite know how to speak pelican Spanish the bird flapped at him aggressively sending us all in a bit of a sprint. A local begins to feed the pelicans small fish as a display for a few Soles (Peruvian currency). This creates a fun spectacle. Some peruvian school kids want pictures with Dylan, Michael and me. This seems funny, but very fun.
Then we begin the tour of the national park. Not to be cynical, but this tour seemed be mostly a trick to funnel us into the restaurant section of the peninsula to eat. Oh well. We ate some ceviche while we waited. They wanted $2 to use the bathroom. I refused out of principle...then the bumpy ride back to Paracas began. Perhaps bad timing for martyrs. We made it and then got on the 45 minute late bus to Ica. A very good day and a good start to the adventure part of the trip.
Viva mas amigos