Paracas National Park

Today’s adventure was a tour to Paracas national park. We would have preferred to do this ourselves but it was way cheaper catching a tour bus out there. The national park is part of the Atacama desert and it ranges right to the coast. So we were privileged to see sand dunes and rocky cliffs plunge into the sea. It reminded me of parts of the coast line in Australia with its rugged landscape and clear blue water.
Our first stop was a rocky outcrop called the cathedral which would have been an impressive archway of rock connecting the mainland to a rock in the water, however the 2007 earthquake destroyed the archway so it is now just a rock in the ocean. Saying that it is still a very impressive landscape.
We then hit playa Roja or red beach and again just stunning with the red beach, yellow rocks and clear blue sea. Our tour then stopped at a random beach in the middle of nowhere that had a cluster of restaurants around it. Tim and I being the wily backpackers we are, had a packed lunch and sat on the beach and ate that while watching the pelicans sun themselves on a near by rock.
The day was really great but being able to see it at your own pace without a bus load of people would have been better. The other disappointing thing that must be mentioned is again the levels of rubbish in this national park. We did stop at an information centre and it did have a big display on rubbish and the environment which was good to see but I just don’t think it is getting through. Looking at the beautiful scenery and watching 20 Pelicans swimming in crystal clear water surrounded by plastic bags is a little disappointing and lying on the beach in a spot you think is clear of rubbish only to look up and see a dirty nappy 10 metres away turns your stomach. I just hope one day the problem is resolved before it is too late. S

   
Where the desert meets the ocean

 
What used to be an archway.  To be fair it’s just a rock in the water now, maybe time to change the route of the tour?

   
Spectacular coastlines

 
The red sand of the Playa Roja

   
The number of birds in this whole area is just phenomenal 

 
The spot where we stopped for lunch, it was a bit cold for a swim though.

  

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