Desert wasteland

The staple of Paracas is Isla ballestas, otherwise known as the poor man’s Galápagos island. An abundance of animals such as birds, penguins, and sea lions inhabited this island. I expected all of that, and that is what I saw. What I did not expect was what I found in the Paracas National Reserve.

The Paracas National Reserve is a national park that can be explored via ATVs, cars, or bikes. Being the budget travelers that we are, we opted to get some exercise (aka train for our Machu Picchu hike) and bike around the national reserve. I expected greenery, trees, water, maybe some nice animals. But for three hours we biked through a massive desert wasteland. Mountains of desert sand could be seen in all directions. I can only compare it to the deserts from Mad Max and Star Wars. So in other words, it felt like we were biking through a post-apocalyptic world far different from our own. The weather was cool and the sky was overcast. It was a very surreal afternoon.

The desert turned into a beach by the ocean

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