A Sandboarding & Dune Buggies Finale to S. America

Trip Start Jul 13, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hospedaje del Barco

Flag of Peru  , Ica,
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mike and I discussed a sandboarding trip six months ago, but at the time we were too geared up to trek in Peru and Bolivia.  We then settled on saving our sandboarding hiatus for the final excursion of our trip.  Outside of Lima is a town in the desert dunes called Huacachina.  Hauacachina means "crying woman" in Quechua (native Peruvian)  The legend starts .....Centuries ago a beautiful Incan princess was wandering through the desert near her house, while clutching her mirror in which she constantly admired her beauty. However, when she raised the mirror to her face she immediately saw a man who was watching her from behind her. Shocked, she dropped her mirror, and when it shattered the shards of glass transformed into lake Huacachina.  One version states that the princess fled the scene, with her veil scraping along the ground, creating the dunes that surround the oasis. Another version states the woman remained in the oasis, and became a mermaid (una sirena). To this day, there are people who say that the mermaid in the lagoon is lonely and so every year she drags one man by his ankle, deep into the lagoon where he drowns.  Well Mike is still with me, so he wasn't one of her victims. 

We spent our day walking around the lagoon of the oasis in the middle of the desert.  We booked a buggy and sandboarding trip for the sunset hour.  Then we buckled ourselves in.  We were in for a Mad Max Thunderdome experience.  The driver, Jesus, made sure we had an unforgettable experience.  We'd climb up a dune and not know how steep the drop was as the slammed on the gas, taking air.  He would also take sharp turns in the dunes and pull all sorts of doughnuts and burnouts at the last minute.  Next sandboarding.  Mike and I thought, no PROB, we're experts.  After all, we've snowboarded tons.  Mike straps on his sandboard and goes for it takes a plunge downhill, catching his front edge, and face-planting in the sand.  He lifted his head and looked like the scorpion king.  So sandboarding is not exactly like snowboarding.  Basically, you can't turn very well, and there is no ankle support given that there is only a few velcro straps to keep you locked-in.  We did four or five more slopes and many crazy jumps in the buggy and then watched the sky change like a kaleidoscope during sunset. 

This was our last adventure in South America....it has been an unbelievable and unforgettable six months. 

Now it's time to get married!
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