Monday, 10 May 2010

Glamour, culture and politics

Winter is coming to the southern hemisphere. The weather in Lima gets horrible; the sun disappears for weeks, the sky is gray, it gets cold and humidity reaches about 99% - at times we actually breathe water. But this is just in Lima; this country is weird climate-wise.

Being the glamorous guy that I am, I hate being unable to wear my sunglasses for more than a 6 days in a row, so I went south looking for a ray of sun to protect myself from. The destination was Paracas in the province (or region) of Ica south of Lima. It's on the seaside, it has a touristy island called the Islas Ballestas and a natural reserve - a good combination for a weekend.

My friend and I decided to be very hippie so we didn't book anything in advance and just hopped on the bus after work. As we got there at 1 in the morning, we knocked on several hostels' doors looking for an accommodation. One had a room available for us, unfortunately it wasn't the Hilton. It had questionable brown stains on the sheet

And a very innovative portable shower

I was however very excited about these little problems as I felt like a real backpacker - with way more style and elegance.

The next morning, we made our way to the Islas Ballestas. They consist of two small islands withholding an incredible amount of wildlife. It is actually called the "poor Galapagos" - I know, totally below my standards, but I was playing the backpacker for the weekend.

It was cloudy as we left early in the morning, which made the islands look rather mystical.

These islands are home to some hundreds varieties of birds and other marine wildlife. Birds are everywhere flying from rock to rock and singing without any synchronisation making it the world's loudest avian techno festival.

Try not to watch Alfred Hitchcock's Birds before going there, it could be scary

After having witnessed the largest bird orgy in the world along with some penguins, sea-lions, pelicans and oh, did I mention birds?


Well, after that we went back to shore, rented bikes and headed to the Paracas Natural Reserve. It is a very interesting yet unusual natural reserve because I didn't really understand what they were preserving.

It is a heavily guarded place, perfectly protecting its fauna and flora from any outside danger

Once inside, you can find a beautiful and unique forest with very rare types of trees

You can also take a tour on that superb state-of-the-art boat

And look at the incredibly diverse and well preserved wildlife


There is a heavy fishing industry inside the reserve, as the planktons are rich and very nutritive in this area making the fish taste particularly good.  Though the people seemed to be overfishing and not taking care of the environment at all. 

So I'm not sure who gave them the "national/natural reserve" status, but if they were trying to preserve something, they miserably failed.

After having taken the taxi back - because we were too tiered to bike, we sat at the beach and waited for the sun to set 

Alcohol was presented to us

No, it wasn't a masked sex party

And we partied in an empty club, literally. At the heat of the night, we reached a number of about 14 people inside,  9 of which were tourists. We all got to know each other and among the tourists were a couple of Israelis.

After several Pisco Sours and Cuba Libres, we started making peace and having very deep political conversations about the Middle East "yeah man, fuck this war" "totally man, let's make peace, I don't understand why it is so hard" "I really wanna go to Beirut" "and I heard Tel Aviv is a great city", and so on (well they're all soldiers, I didn't wanna get my ass kicked).

Technically, I resolved all of our problems with Israel on that night. Actually, with the help of alcohol we not only resolved Lebanese-Israeli issues, but all the Arab-Israeli issues. Alcohol gives you negotiation talent.

For that reason I think that we should lock all the Middle East politicians in a room with a ready-to-sign peace treaty, a pen and an unlimited supply of alcohol. Trust me, this matter would be resolved in a few hours. And like after any party, they'll be hungover and saying "what the fuck did I just do?" - though their actions would be irreversible and we'll have peace.


  1. Hehehe well actually I have previously suggested the same thing to resolve the Lebanese issue, but with ecstasy pills instead of alcohol.

  2. great match alcohool and conflict resolution but this two things are unfortunatly ... forbidden !
    les photo du desert , bateau et oiseaux waw c trop BO!