General San Martin was named for Jose de San Martin who liberated Peru from Spain nearly 200 years ago. For thousands of years, pre-Columbia societies utilized systems of irrigation to transform the coastal desert into productive farmland. The area round General San Martin is again reminiscent of a moonscape. It is an extension of the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth.
Keith, Gregg, Joe, and I secured a taxi and driver at the port for 2.5 hours of touring for a price of $30 pp. We visited the Reserva National de Paracus. This desert landscape on the Pacific Ocean is incredible. I saw turkey vultures, American oyster catchers, and Peruvian boobies. There were loads of jumping fish. I delighted in watching the sea otters. Our guide found a small red crab whose iridescent colors were magnificent. The water temperature is 13-14 degrees C. (55-57 F.), however, I stuck my hand in the bay, and the water did not seem that cold. We picked up turritelas, marine fossils of cone shaped snails.
After returning to the ship, I took a walk along the pier. What a sight!! Huge jellyfish in reds, yellows, and multi-colors were near the pilings. There were also large pelicans, much larger and prettier than the brown pelicans found in Florida. Dozens of cormorants and a few Peruvian boobies were also on the pilings. After watching the jellyfish for a period of time, I spied something out in the bay. Sea lions swam near the pier. All in all, a lovely afternoon.
The Zaandam singers and dancers performed music from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
I purchased photos of the jellyfish I had watched earlier in the day. While I was taking photos with my iPhone, the ship photographers were taking photos. Although I was pleased with the photos on my iPhone, theirs were better.
This was my favorite port so far. And really,there is nothing here… nothing unless you look… and then it is filled with wildlife.