The Road Towards Rio
13th May 2012
Huaca, Huaca, Hey, Hey
The fact that a place like Huacachina even exists is mind boggling. Its central feature is a lagoon surrounded by a wall of sand dunes of incredible height. The main purpose of our trip here was to dabble in a bit of world class sandboarding (N.B when we say world class, we mean the dunes rather than our abilities). To recover from our overnight bus journey, we didn’t hesitate in finding ourselves a pool, some sunloungers and Primaveras to help us adjust to the new desert climate.
The next day, we set off on our dune buggy and sandboarding adventure. We had been warned against the perils of the dune buggies and as soon as we set off we could understand why- each buggy held 13 people and the seatbelts resembled something you would find on Detonator. If we had to compare the experience to anything, it would be a rollercoaster minus the track and safety nets. Nonetheless, after a few minutes we got over these initial fears (with the exception of Laura and her fear of heights) and started enjoying this strange adrenaline rush. We soon arrived at our first sandboarding dune. For those of us who had skied before, we were expecting the “baby slopes” to resemble the equivalent of the green slope in the mountains. However this first dune could only be described as a red, if not a black. A bit apprehensive, Keri volunteered as team guinea pig and successfully flung herself down the dune with minimum squeals, boosting the rest of us with confidence.
A few slopes later, we were all in the swing of things, eagerly queuing up to throw ourselves down each dune despite the fact they were getting considerably steeper each time. After all the excitement of the afternoon had died down (not to mention a few bruised pubis mons along the way) we settled down on a dune to watch the sunset over Ica. Without trying to sound too cliché, it really is some of the most stunning scenery we have ever laid our eyes upon. Our journey back to Huacachina was only made better by the postcard view that emerged from behind the dunes.
That evening we took the opportunity to sample our first pisco sours, a traditional Peruvian drink. Let’s just say that we won’t be making it a regular occurrence!
The next day, Tash and Millie returned to the dunes for a fun hour of quadbiking. A particular highlight was when Tash got stuck half way up a dune and generated a mini sandstorm in Millie’s face, forgetting there was a reverse function.
Our departure from Huacachina was far from ordinary. A couple of dreadlocked twenty year olds bundled us into their lime VW campervan and drove us up to our bus that would take us from Ica to Arequipa. Even though this little journey lasted ten minutes, we wish this could be our permanent mode of transport around South America.
|13th May 2012 Sandboarding the dunes|
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