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10/16/2013

Ica, Paracas, and a whole lot of fun...

My blog posts begin too frequently with “Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile”… I am just so caught up in living my life as a Limeña. I am literally having the time of my life, but my time here is coming to an end quickly. As I sit here writing this I have exactly two months until I land back in home sweet Minnesota. Oh what a bittersweet thought that is! I really am missing home (less than a week or too ago. Sorry all!) but really this is such a priceless experience. My spanish has improved un montón and some people have even gone as far to say that I am fluent. What a feeling it is to hear that. (See Mom, your not spending all your money for nothing!) Before I even came to Perú I promised myself I would take full advantage of everything Perú has to offer. Incase you are geographically challenged, Perú is an EXTREMELY diverse country. It has coastline on the Pacific Ocean which means beaches, it has a desert which means sand, it has the Andes mountains, and it has the Amazon rainforest. I am hoping that I will be able to travel to a place situated in each of these locations. So far I have been to Máncora which is up north with beautiful beaches, Cusco which is in the Andes mountains, and just recently I traveled to Ica, Paracas, and Huacachina which is in the desert! It was definitely a crazy trip! Ill tell you all about it… Friday October 4th 4:30am: Wake up and get ready 5:45am: Arrive at Cruz del Sur bus station 6:30am: Bus departure with final destination being Ica 11:30am: Arrive at bus station at Ica. Purchase bus tickets for the night, guard our luggage and head out for a day of fun 12:00pm: First stop: Tacama Vineyards -Here we took a tour of the Tacama vineyard and bodega where we learned about their process of making wine and pisco. After about an hour long tour we finally got to the fun part: wine and pisco tasting! We tried about 4 different wines, and 3 different piscos. ¡Qué rico!

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2:30pm: Head to the second vineyard of the day. 
-Here we ate lunch at their restaurant. We then toured around the vineyard, however it was more of a museum type vineyard, not with actual production happening. After we tried all of their different piscos. The funny thing about this is the group told our guide it was my “birthday” so my little taster cup (the size of a small shot) was filled to the top with pisco everytime…We tried about 6 different piscos. Nevertheless it was such a fun time with our group!
4:30pm: Explore the Plaza de Armas in Ica
6:00pm: Arrive at bus station for our departure to Paracas
7:00pm: Depart Ica, final destination being Paracas
8:30pm: Arrive in Paracas, walk to find our hostel and get all settled in.
9:30-??: Hang out in the hostel bar, practice the slack rope on the beach, and have a great time

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Saturday October 5th
7:30am: Wake up call! (Such an early morning…Especially after staying out super late. But thats Perú life for ya)
8:00am: Tour to Las Islas Ballestas
-For this tour we took a large tour boat out to the middle of the ocean to see these islands. There are inhabited by many different species of animals, but are not capable of supporting human life. We saw animals such as sea lions, penguins, and various species of birds. I did get a little motion sick from all the waves but it was still awesome!

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10:00am: Return back from Las islas and eat (very quickly)
10:50am: Meet to head on our second tour of the day: The national park reserve
11:00am: Start second tour
-This tour included many different stops. We stopped at a museum to learn about the national park reserve, a lagoon, and various spots to look at the ocean. We even got to stop on a beach where we could go in if we chose to. It was such a beautiful tour and the national park reserve was HUGE! Amazing to see the diversity. It was a desert full of sand surrounding by a beautiful blue ocean!

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3:00pm: Eat lunch at a place located right by the lagoon
3:30pm: Return to the hostel, change into swimsuits and head out to the beach
5:00pm: NAPTIME (FINALLY!!!!)
7:00pm: Get ready for the night, head out to the hostel bar
9:00pm-??: Once again hang out at the hostel bar, eat the AMAZING pizza (literally the best pizza I have ever had in my life) and hang out and meet people from all around the world!

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Sunday October 6th
9:00am: WAKE UP CALL!
10:00am: Head out to the beach one last time before leaving
11:00am: Hop in the van for the hour long trip to Huacachina 
12:30pm: Arrive at Bananas Adventures Hostel, change and lay by the pool to get some sun! (Such a beautiful and warm day!)
2:00pm: Hop into our dune buggy and head out on our adventure!
-This was a 2 hour long tour where we went around all of the sand dunes in a buggy as well as sandboarded! Oh my was it exhilarating!! We were going so crazy fast up these HUGE sand dunes and then dropping down them! It was like a rollarcoaster. By the end of all of it we were all COVERED in sand. I unfortunately don’t have pictures on my camera because I didn’t want to drop it but there are some on my facebook :) 
4:00pm: Return back to hostel, shower, and head out to town for some ice cream!
6:30pm: Head to the bus station for our departure back to Lima
12:30pm: Arrive back in Lima and head back home

This whole trip was so amazing! We fit so much into just three days but we were all so exhausted after. The only bad thing was we didn’t have time to be tired because midterm exams started Wednesday so we had to be productive and study.

On Wednesday I had to give my first oral presentation in front of a class full of Peruvians. It was intimidating but I did it, and I now feel even more comfortable with my spanish speaking abilities. I have another midterm exam coming up on Tuesday and then another presentation the following Tuesday. October has been such a busy month for me between school work and traveling!

I feel like these last two months are going to absolutely fly by. I have so much planned, and so much I still want to do. Guess that means less sleep for me, but hey, who needs sleep anyways? 

Well that is all I have for you today. My hopes are to post later this week, maybe Wednesday sometime to talk about non travel things happening in my life so stay tuned for a post all about my volunteering and more about my day to day experiences here in Lima!

¡Hasta pronto!

 

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