Ocucaje Travel Guide

  • Fossil hunting with the Desert Man
    Fossil hunting with the Desert Man
    by darthmilmo
  • You can really see the old bay in this shot
    You can really see the old bay in this...
    by darthmilmo
  • The Desert Man of Ica and his truck
    The Desert Man of Ica and his truck
    by darthmilmo

Ocucaje Things to Do

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    by darthmilmo Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The desert man showed no mercy. He was not interested in the prehistoric whales, but was interested in its predator, the 25-meter long prehistoric giant shark. Both of these animals lived around 14 million years ago (yes, that is 14,000,000 years ago). That is a long, long time, but a short time in geologic terms. Unlike the whales, the only remnants to these amazing sharks are their teethes. Some of the teeth have measured more then 20 centimeters in length (7.8 inches)! He also pointed out that a shark could have thousands of teeth in his lifetime.

    Desert of Ocucaje
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    by darthmilmo Written Feb 25, 2003

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    We stopped to admire a fossilized whale in pretty good shape. From afar, it looked like a hill, but up close, one could see the shape of the whale: its spinal cord, its head, its eye-sockets, etc. It was a museum quality piece located in the field of origin! He pointed to us that today; whales live in the ocean, especially at bays. They love them and often return to bays to die. He then showed us a couple dozen small hills made of bensonite and then pointed out that they were all fossilized whales. Living things release calcium and turn into bensonite.

    Fossilized whate in the Desert of Ocucaje
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    by darthmilmo Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The Desert Man is not only an adventure seeker, but also a learned scholar. Using his knowledge of eology, he demonstrated to us how water had carved this area creating a bay in the ocean. He then shifted gears and began telling us about the geologic history of the region. He told us about the uplifting of the region from sea level to about 600 meters above sea level. This change came about due to the pressure in the continental tectonic plates that resulted when it came crashing into the pacific plates. This crash created the Andes Mountains and another smaller chain of mountains closer to the coast. The desert lies now in between these two mountain chains, elevated 600 meters above sea level. Therefore, the bay now lies before us with all of its prehistoric stories and treasures.

    Eology lesson: Desert Man and Archo in the field
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Ocucaje Transportation

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    by darthmilmo Written Nov 11, 2002

    The Desert is one of the most dangerous environments on Earth. Do not underestimate the dangers faced in this environment. If you plan on visiting the desert, please make sure you hire a good driver or tour guide. Make sure it's a decent vehicle, preferable a 4x4 truck.

    Desert of Ocucaje

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Ocucaje Sports & Outdoors

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    by darthmilmo Written Nov 11, 2002

    Where can you meet the Desert Man? He is well known in the hotels/hostels of Huacachina. Try asking for him by his name, Roberty Penny Cabrera. Make sure you treat him with upmost respect. More importantly, be sure you're serous about this trip. He is picky about who he takes. In a way, he reminds me to the Soup Nasi in Sienfeld. He can say who goes and who doesn't. So go with an open attitude and tell him you're willing to learn. After all, this is one of the best learning experiences out there.

    Desert Men of Ica

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Ocucaje Favorites

  • darthmilmo's Profile Photo

    by darthmilmo Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Fondest memory: Just being out in the open hunting for fossils was an adventure i'll never forget. You can see fossils on museums, and you might even read about fossil hunting and how it's done in books, but I was there, I saw the whales and I collected some prehistoric shark-teeth! It was an amazing experience.

    Eye socket of a fossilized whale
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