We had been planning to visit the Ballestas Islands (the poor man's Galapagos), but when we found out it would take from 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. we changed our minds. It would have been another 6 or so hours sitting on a bus again. So instead we arranged a shorter tour of some islands off the harbour right outside Lima, the Palomino Islands. We were picked up by a taxi from our hotel
New furniture vendor with his load on his hand cart
and taken to the harbour, where we joined the tour group on a water taxi which took us out to the tour launch. We spent 4 hours on the water (and I got sunburned even tho I had 60 spf sunscreen on) and toured around the islands. One of the islands was used as a prison for political prisoners and terrorists for years. Then the new president was going to move the prisoners off the island. They revolted and took control of the island. So the Navy was called in and they bombed the island and destroyed the people and the facilities. There are only ruins left and it is illegal for civilians to land on the island. Our guide said officially 112 people died, but apparently the common people say it was a higher number. We saw many different seabirds, including penquins! and of course, the sea lions. Don went in swimming with the sea lions and enjoyed it immensely. They seem very curious about the boat and people, and are not aggressive, which is a good thing because one of the males can weigh up to 300 kilos!
Don swimming with the Sea Lions
On our way back the guides stopped the boat and went swimming. A lone pelican kept hanging around and trying to bite both the people and the boat. They had to hit it with a flipper to get it to stay away. Very strange behaviour. I think maybe the fishermen toss the pelicans bits of fish and he was expecting us to feed him as well. We got safely back to our B&B and after a rest, went out and had a very nice supper. Tomorrow is our last day in Lima, we fly out late tomorrow night.