Being flung around the dunes of Huacachina

Trip Start Jul 05, 2012
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Trip End Jun 19, 2013


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Where I stayed

Flag of Peru  , Ica Region,
Monday, April 1, 2013

Highlights

Huacachina.
We got up earlier, well actually the taxi driver was thankfully ten minutes early and woke us both up so it was a mad dash to get to the bus on time. I blame Jade she forgot to set the alarm! So after a pleasant 5 hour bus journey on the pan-american highway that cuts straight through the harsh desert landscape we arrived in Ica. A grumpy old man took us the 10 minute journey by taxi to Huacachina and had a go at us because we wouldn't do a tour with him. It ended up with him speeding off muttering 'stupid english'!
Huacachina is a little town set around an oasis in the desert surrounded by huge sand dunes. We have never seen anywhere like this on our travels, the sand dunes are like sky scrappers and they give this place a truly unique setting.

Dune Buggying and Sand Boarding.
Our dune tour cost £7.50 and for our money we got a ride in a massive 15 seater monster of a buggy! Our driver Hulio was a brute of a man, bald, short, stocky with the face of a pit bull who grinned at us before we set off as if he had just murdered several people. The roar of the engine was intense enough to get the excitement flowing before we even hit the sand, but when we did Hulio was truly in his element. We spent an hour being flung around huge dunes each time Hulio would tease the buggy slowly over the top before we would plummet down the near vertical drop on the other side. By now everyone was loving it, including us (although my pants may suggest otherwise), with everyone shouting for more, Hulio, of course, obliged. Eventually we stopped to admire the stunning surroundings, huge dunes and desert as far as the eye could see. With our hearts still racing we moved onto our next activity, sand boarding. We grabbed a board from the back of the buggy and Hulio handed everyone a piece of wax to rub on the base, so we could go faster, although I'm sure gravity would help us enough. The first dune was small for us to have a practice standing up. I went first and last approx 3 seconds before landing on my arse. Then repeated the process until the bottom of the dune, slightly embarrassed. Jade however, nailed it and made it to the bottom without falling at all and was full of confidence for the next bigger dune. However that confidence soon vanished as she gathered speed and then in front of most of the group produced one of the most epic bails the world has ever witnessed. 'Arse over tits' doesn't do it justice! I had the awkward task of trying not to laugh and look concerned at the same time, but this proved impossible as she dug herself out completely ditched in sand. From then on we opted to slide down face first, much safer and easier. We completed about 10 dunes in total all getting progressively bigger with the last being truly massive. Think skyscraper, and took about 3 minutes to slide down it. We did love our sand boarding experience although we have a few bruises and aching arms. After we finished Hulio gave us another ride in the buggy, this time taking us up a huge dune and again our hearts stopped as we peered over the edge to reveal the huge drop below. Like a roller coaster we zoomed down followed by the customary celebration of 'we've survived!'.
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