On our last day in Lima, I went to the upscale Miraflores District on the shuttle bus provided by the ship and visited the Artisanal Market which stretches for several blocks. At the end of the day we set sail for General San Martin which is South of Lima. This is a port which is under construction on the coastal desert. They hope that it will become a major port in the future. Here I took a tour to Paracas National Reserve which is an ecological reserve located on the coastal desert.
We commenced with a visit to the interpretive site to learn about all the different species that are protected in this area, and also about the evolution of this part of the coast, which is of considerable interest to geologists. I could not get right down to the beach which is a wildlife reserve but I saw a lot of flamingos, pelicans and other birds. I coud not find any fossils that are apparently in the rocks here but a good example was on display in the centre.
We then stopped at Red Beach. It is the only beach with red sand and its shoreline is populated by numerous seabirds. During the visit we saw many different desert landscapes, including Supay Beach noted for its superb cliffs formed during the Eocene Period, which show sequences of horizontal layers. All the soil in the reserve is formed by marine sediments, so you can also see prehistoric fossils.
Our next stop was at a landmark known as the Cathedral. Here I did see some impressive birds as well as the stunning scenery.
Lastly we visited Vineyard 1615, located in the province of Pisco. The vineyard was originally part of the Old Hacienda of Santa Cruz de Lanchas, dating back to the 16th century. A particularly fine climate lends excellent characteristics of flavor and fragrance to the Italia grapes. The use of technology in the management and development of the vineyards ensures premium pisco grapes for the production of Pisco wine. This vineyard is Peru’s largest exporter of Pisco. We enjoyed a local home drink made of pisco. Called a Chilcano, it is made of pisco, ginger ale, lemon and sometimes sugar. It is 42 to 45 proof. Our drink containd Pisco Pura but we were also offered samples of other kinds of Pisco, straight!
Figs and peppers were also growing in the area. The soil is made arable by the use of guano. No pesticides are used in agrulture as the dryneess of the area pretty much deters pests.
We now have three days at sea. We are heading north to Costa Rica.