Paracas National Reserve is where the desert meets the sea.
Actually we did not plan to come to Paracas at all. A big desert with notorious wind and cold water didn’t sound very appealing to us. But it was one of the logical rest stops between Lima and Cusco so here we were. And we ended up having a great time.
Paracas has the kind of scenery that one has to be there to truly appreciate. As far as the eye can see was sea and sand. We were free to camp anywhere and we chose a lone spot atop a sandy bluff overlooking the rocky tidepools and sea birds. At night the sky was breathtaking. There were so many positives that the wind didn’t matter. We spent a lot of time here just being family. Playing in the sand, waiting for tidepools, cooking, watching birds. Simon even took out his fishing rod.
Even praying mantis eggs hatch in Paracas. On our last day, we noticed that the box holding the praying mantis egg sack laid in Colombia had two tiny baby mantises! We had been carrying this box for over two months! We read that usually one egg sack would hatch hundreds of mantises so our guess was that they probably ate each other while waiting for us to discover them. Either that or we tortured most of the eggs to death by goiug back and forth between tropical weather and freezing mountain tops.
On our last morning, the wind disappeared and it was magical. It was then when we could hear the silence of the desert. And our bodies discovered a sudden lightness without the relentless weight of the wind. In a desert without a lot of spacial reference, without sound, without the normal jolt of landing underfoot with each step, it felt strangely soothing and peaceful. It was a fun few hours exploring the dunes and goofing around. But alas, it was only a lucky few hours and when the wind picked up again, it was time to leave.