The beaches of Paracas are stunning - wondrously beautiful, and you can have them almost all to yourself at this time of year.

We traveled there last week, staying at lovely vacation rental - our view from the afternoon:

Afternoon View
Afternoon View Two

A great spot as a resort, if that is all that is required. However, nearby is the “Reserva Nacional de Paracas”, site of the famous candelabra, the possibly even more famous Ballestas Islands and many other less-well-known-but-no-less-spectacular locales.

We have visited a few times now, but it never gets tiresome. This was the first time we were able to visit the Reserva’s most popular beach, Playa La Mina.

They are making efforts to make it more accessible, after it had been closed for some time. We arrived near sunset:

After spending some time on the beach, we headed to the other side of the bay. We were not quite sure where we were heading, other than it was off-road and south towards some beautiful hills and shoreline.

Along the way, we passed the Las Salinas de Otuma, a saltmine in the desert. Attached to it is a small industrial village that is run off a generator. At the time, I was not sure what it was though - and thought perhaps it was a tiny tourist village.

Crossing over another dune, we approached Playa Mendieta:

It was a gorgeous site, made more beautiful that it was a view we had to ourselves.

Straight-ahead:

And to the left:

And to the right:

Truly beautiful. But at the same time, the solitude, and near absence of any traces of human presence, gave it a slightly sinister feel. It brought to mind H.P. Lovecraft, and his legendary sea monster/cosmic horror, Cthulhu:

In “The Call of Cthulhu”, H. P. Lovecraft describes a statue of Cthulhu as “A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.” Cthulhu has been described in appearance as resembling an octopus, a dragon and a human caricature, hundreds of meters tall, with webbed human-looking arms and legs and a pair of rudimentary wings on its back. Cthulhu’s head is depicted as similar to the entirety of a gigantic octopus, with an unknown number of tentacles surrounding its supposed mouth.

Source: Wikipedia

Luckily, we escaped unscathed and the only sea monster I encountered was the Pulpo (Octopus) that I had for lunch. Delicious!

John Kelvie // 28 October 2016