Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Ballestas Islands

pelicans and penguins

With sand still in places that it shouldn't be, we set off for Lima, with a stop in the Ballestas Islands.

lots of birds

The Ballestas Islands are known as the 'poor man's Galapagos'.  They are three small islands in the Pacific Ocean, just off El Chaco near the Ica Valley.

sea lions

The islands are covered in birds such as Peruvian Pelicans, Boobys (stop sniggering!), and Humboldt Penguins.  There are sea lions, and though we didn't see them, there are various types of turtle too. 


We sailed around the islands, stopping regularly to watch the thousands of birds flying around and perched on the islands, and the sealions that were mostly resting on the rocks.

pelican with a beakful

It was an impressive sight, especially when groups of pelicans flew past and you could see that some had a catch stored in their beak pouch. 

some bird or other!

There were also men working on the islands, with the delightful task of collecting the guana, or bird poo, which is sold as fertiliser.

more birds

I came close to collecting a bit of my own as one flock of birds flew overhead, but thankfully it just missed me.  One of my fellow travellers wasn't so lucky.

sea lion

I'm not sure that there is any way that this can actually be comnpared to the real Galapagos of course, but it is a good place to go if you want to see the ea birds and can't afford the real thing.

 We got back to the mainland just as the sun started shining, and had lunch on the seafront before continuing on to Lima.

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