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MALAGUAS en PARACAS

Paracas, Peru

My list for today: Yoga. Breakfast. Research. Lunch. Explore. Enjoy Sunset.

Yoga. Check

Breakfast. Since Backpackers Paracas did not offer breakfast, I had to venture out for provisions. I had some papaya preserves I had bought in the market in Arequipa but needed pan. My stash of teas had been exhausted since Southern Freezing Chile. Paracas, being a small village made it easy to collect supplies before my stomach had a chance to growl. I got some bananas and Nescafe at the mini-mini-market and bought some pan from a vendor on the street. The man gave me a few extra pieces of bread but did not ask for extra Soles. He passed me the bag with a gleeful grin exposing the 3 teeth he had left.

After breakfast, I unpacked everything. Since I was going to be here for 5 nights and there were ample shelves and dressers, I took full advantage. The rooms were much nicer than one would expect walking by the place since the front had unfinished brick walls and a white makeshift barricade. The open air hallway between the rooms was wide and clean, and lined with colorful cloth folding chair you could recline in and soak up some rays.

Research. I was happy to have some coffee to drink. My next task required focus. It was time to plunge into my vast store of nerdy medical articles. New advances, new devices, diagnostics and drugs. I was happy I had earmarked a few silly studies to keep my mind from exploding from too much information. Even though my travels are winding down and it was time to actually look for a new means of gainful employment, I was actually excited about some of the prospects.

Lunch. When it was time for lunch, my buddy Alberto pointed me in the direction of a cheap menu lunch for only S.7. Like many small towns, the cheap menu is usually run out of the front living room of someone’s home. The only women in the “restaurant” were the one’s running it. All the customers were men. Most of them appeared to be construction workers.

This town was under major renovation. In a few years, the appearance of this town would be dramatically changed. Here and Pisco, only 5-10K away were devastated by a large earthquake in 2007. The epicenter was in Paracas National Park. On the way back from lunch, I passed a taxi with “Jehova Guiame”. I wondered if this taxi’s tire has spontaneously fallen off like the van we had on our Salkantay Trek (see 6/21).

Explore. Enough work. Time to play. I threw on my bathing suit and a lil dress. What did the beaches have to offer. Um, the one next to the port, not much. Keep walking. I knew there was a Double Tree south of town so there had to be some pristine beaches along this stretch. After the Yacht Club, I found another walkway along the beach. It took me into a super-sweet resort. The best thing about being a blonde is that provides me an all access pass to wherever I want to go. If I wanted to plop down next to one of the two inviting pools, I most likely would not be “busted” or asked to leave.

Inviting as the pools were, I continued down the path out of the resort and further south. I walked on one of the piers, I looked into the water. HOLY CRAP! A massive jellyfish. Correction. TONS of massive jellyfish!. As I continued my walk down the beach there were, as journalists that are too lazy to fact-check or don’t know how to express big numbers, “tens of thousands”! Realistically, there was probably about 250 washed up jellies on the shore from the first resort all the way down to the Paracas National Park boundary. The jellyfish were large and colorful looking like a colorful bed of flowers but one you would not want to step in. There was a sign posted at one of the playas warning people about pastilillos (stingrays) but no mention of these. Was this the only sign they could buy? Was it cheaper?

The concrete path passed many private homes or rental cottages. All with large decks overlooking a large yards with green grass. Only a few had a pools. Most toys for water sports: kayaks, kite-boarding, wind-surfing. This walk transported me back to the stretch along beach street in Ormond. This part of Paracas was a glimpse into what this town would look like in 5 years, an exclusive beach resort community. God, please no golf courses though!!

The path ended and I walked on the sandy beach. Sweet, this is what I was searching for my run the following day. The only thing, I would have to hurdle jellyfish. I watched my step. In the event that I did get stung, I did have a remedy: a full bladder. However, I did not want to resort to that.

Closer to the the park, I finally made it to the Double Tree. There were more people roaming about. Men and their sons were inspecting the jellyfish washed up on the shore by poking them with sticks. One little girl who was walking with her family was wearing a princess costume. I have a feeling she is going to be a very high maintenance adult female. I passed a group of teenage Peruvian girls singing Adele’s “Someone like You” song at the top of their lungs.

The walk from Backpackers Paracas to the edge of Paracas National Park took me 2 hours. Once I returned, I took a shower. There was only 3 showers and only one with hot water. The hot water shower was the typical suicide shower with electrical attachment to the nozzle. I looked up and noticed I had a “skylight” aka hole in the roof.

I want to watch the sunset from a little waterside bar. It was happy hour 2 for 1 chilcanos. I got a happy little buzz on as I watched the activity around me. Two guys were teasing 3 pelicans with fish. They would only feed them if there were a few tourist that would pay for a photo of the feed. A man had his girlfriend pose in front of the 3 pelicans kneeling with knees spread wide in the sand. Sexy pose but didn’t understand why in front of the birds. Did he have a weird bird fetish?

A few travelers sat at the table next to me and struck up a conversation with me. Two of them were from Sacramento and the other guy was from the UK. They were all green in regard to just getting to Peru. I happily shared some travel advice with them. The couple was staying at the Double Tree. I decided, I wanted a but of luxury and made the decision to celebrate Independence Day in style at the Hotel Paracas. We had another round of Happy Hour drinks. Whew! I felt happy!

The sunset had been lackluster but at least the drinks were good and so was my company. As I walked back to my Backpacker Hostel, I was happier that I was not moving on tomorrow and would be staying a few more days in this sleepy beachside village.

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