Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Desert On Sea

From Nasca I bussed it to the coastal city of Pisco, in order to visit the nearby Paracas National Park.

Little did I know but just three weeks after my visit the city was hit by a 7.9 scale earthquake leading to the deaths of circa 500, and turning much of the city to rubble. Naturally for me learning that a very nice city, next to a fabulous natural area, teeming with wildlife, is basically no more, is very thought provoking. Here are two photos post earthquake of the street where I slept in a small, and now guess, ruined hotel.

The day trip to the Paracas Reserve involved taking a fast launch out to the Ballestas Islands, past El Candelabro(whose origins are unknown, but may date back to the Nasca civilisation times), which are home to an amazing array of seabirds and sea lions.

The following picture is one of the last ever taken of this beautiful arch and stack, known as Cathedral Rock, for the arch collasped during the earthquake, leaving behind just a stack.

Here's before and after shot I found: