The Ballestas Islands are sometimes called "little or poor man's Galapagos". The ride took us about 1 1/2 hours out into the ocean. On the way we passed by an Island with the ancient three-pronged Candelabra geoglyph, a giant figure etched into the sandy hills, which is over 150m high and 50m wide. No one knows exactly who made the geoglyph, or when, or what it signifies, but theories abound. Some connect it to the Nazca Lines, while others propound that it served as a navigational guide for ancient sailors and was based on the constellation of the Southern Cross. Some even believe it to have been inspired by a local cactus species with hallucinogenic properties. The other islands provided amazing sights and sounds of sea life (sea lions, penguins, and thousands and thousands of several species of birds. We were very enriched and invigorated by the experience.
Our travel buddies, Rob and Mary Merrill, Diane and Joeus, Kelly and Robert Bluth.
After eating lunch, off we went again. About 2 hours later and inland in one of the driest areas of the world, we arrived at the Ica sand dunes where we boarded a dune buggy and raced out into the mountains of sand dunes. Diane and I sat in the front seat. We were a bit nervous at first as the driver drove like Mad Max, around, over, and nearly under the massive dunes. Several time we thought, "well here is where we leave this mortal life" as we thought it would be the first time we would roll in a dune buggy. We flew up and around the crest of a dune and then over the lip of another. We were thrilled and survived but Kelly Bluth wasn't as impressed. She was such a good sport and rode it out to the bitter end. Then out came the sand boards (improvised from snow boards) and off we went speeding down the sand dune mountains. What a thrill for these "old" but young at heart seniors.
Our mission is such a diverse and cultural experience we will treasure the rest of our lives. We work hard in the office, especially now as we prepare for the annual meeting to include all the Assistant Area Auditors from all five countries (35 in all). A new member of the area presidency has been called, Elder Hugo Montoya. He is from Mexico but currently serving in Salt Lake. There is a problem getting the VISA cleared and will not be here in the office until the middle of December, just missing our annual meeting. Joe has been having a video conference with Elder Montoya nearly every day this last week since we will work directly with him.
We have been serving in the La Molina area for nine months and we were introduced to a new store called Macro. Oh my goodness, it is almost identical to Costco minus the variety of American items. The prices were cheaper and there were bigger quantities, more cheese and frozen food. It was easy to get frustrated because we have such a tiny freezer. We sure had fun looking at the warehouse full of food, personal care supplies and kitchen gadgets.
I stenciled this fun pattern on the white wall to highlight the pretty arch in the room. Putting our stamp on this place to make it feel more like home.