Big City and Even Bigger Sand Dunes
Trip Start Mar 18, 2008
23Trip End Ongoing
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We took in a little history in Lima too
We split Lima after two days and headed south to Huacachina, near the town of Ica which was devastated by a huge earthquake last year. Ica still looks to be buried in the rubble from that catastrophe but the little oasis of Huacachina remains in tact. It is definately one of the strangest places we have come across. Situated in the middle of towering sand dunes that stretch for miles in any direction, Huacachina consists of a series of fancy but old buildings surrounding a smelly lagoon. Apparently in its heyday it was a place where the rich and famous of Peru travelled for vacations, but now it serves as a base for sand boarding and dune buggy tours (actually that is all there is to do there)
Our sand boarding/dune buggy excursion was a really fun trip. The dune buggy went racing up and down the dunes at a fair speed, until we were at the top of a series of dunes fit for sand boarding. Thinking it would be like snow boarding, PT strapped into his board and rode in a straight line to the bottom, where the sand flattened out and turned as hard as concrete and the sand board came to an abrupt halt. There were worried moments after PTīs hip took the brunt of the crash and despite not being able to walk properly for the next couple of days, weīre fairly certain that there is no major damage. Most people reverted to lying down on the boards and the final few dunes were so huge that we almost backed out of flying down them with our faces just inches from the sand.
Next morning we caught the local bus to Nazca, two hours from Ica....if your bus doesnīt break down in the middle of the desert and out of phone range. We made it to Nazca late in the afternoon, on the replacement bus full of two loads of passengers, because another bus from the same company had broken down on the same stretch of road. In Nazca we boarded a six-seat Cessna and went on a half hour flight over the Nazca Lines, which are a series of mysterious figures and geometric lines carved into the floor of the desert rock. They were first discovered in the 1920īs but nobody is sure how they got there and what they represent.
After a pretty full day and a busy week of travel, we hopped on the overnight bus for the long trip to Arequipa in Southern Peru, where we hope to explore the deepest canyons in the world.