Oasis of America
Trip Start Oct 04, 2009
70Trip End Nov 20, 2010
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Where I stayed
Canola del Sur
Eric had put the only oasis in the Americas on his must-see list early on, and we looked forward to it every time we saw a preview on the back of the 50 soles bill. It also distracted us from the dirty look we received from using a 50 note to buy something like a 3 soles bottle of water.
There's a wow factor to driving into the dunes village. You wind into a nest of sand, with walls hundreds of feet high, and blindingly bright. You look all around and all you see is sand and sky.
There were dune buggy cars double parked on the streets leading to our hotel, tourism has taken over this resort. I couldn't believe how high the sand looked and took about 15 pictures of a total stranger crawling to the top. Later, I documented Andy's copycat barefoot climb. Eric wanted to watch the sunset from the top - which seemed a solid hour away including sinking time. On our hike, we witnessed some sandboarding - it didn't seem too difficult as long as you had some speed and actual boots & bindings. We followed footsteps up the firmer crease of the sand and even though the wind almost tipped us over the edge, we arrived before the sun dipped behind the endless desert mountains of sand. I can't even use the word "dune" as it makes it appear too small. We had "dunes" at the end of my street growing up. These are huge rolling hills of sand. I didn't even know places like this existed. It was like a work of fiction. And it was JUST as fun to run down as it looked. I reached the bottom out of breath and with my jeans pockets full of sand.
The natural oasis lake was petite, but picturesque in the center of the very soft, sand nest. We ate at a restaurant on the shore and soaked in the scenery and some sun.
Besides the sand acitivies, there wasn't too much to keep you busy. Mostly eating. I didn't love how being 1 of 4 affected our feeding schedule. I felt like I was the only one hungry all the time, probably because I was, but majority ruled and I survived my suffering and bought more snacks. Since Eric didn't want to eat every meal at Banana's (it's worth the long wait, mmmm) even though the food was perfect, we tried other lakeside spots warmed by heat lamps and Pisco Sour's, Peru's national drink, which consists of grape brandy, lemon, egg white and a dash of cinnamon. Egg whites make a surprisingly tasty cocktail. Chile thinks Peru stole the drink idea from them. I'm on Team Peru. After a couple rounds, Eric unleashed Mom's peanut butter presents which were promptly devoured in no more than 5 minutes.
I also realized quickly how much of a family thing "photo recognition" was. At the end of each day, I try to get Andy to look at all my photos and reflect on the highlights. Andy usually conveniently falls asleep before or during. I was excited to have a new photo audience and after the dune tour, Eric and I took turns showing each other our favorite photos from the day. Finally, someone to appreciate the time and effort I put into my photo angles and memory capturing. It's good to have Eric here in Peru. We play the photo exchange game with excitement. Look at this one! These were some of my faves: