Didnt sleep a wink on the overnight bus. Call me a traditionalist but I like sleep time to be in a bed and that bed shouldnt be moving and the bed room shouldnt be full of complete strangers farting and snoring. My problem and im going to have get used to it.
We arrive in Ica, a large working town, at the ungodly hour of 5.15am. Why create a timetable that gets you to a location this early. Theres a small cafe open thankfully so order a coffee to pass a bit time till at least 6am. We jump in a taxi to Huacachina about 5km and the location of the tourist hotels. The roads are dusty and quiet the sun has just risen and as we approach a junction we spot a western looking bearded hippy standing in the middle of the road with a leopard skin romper suit on and a clowns nose dancing & juggling (really badly) in front of the only car on that approach road
. Whatwhowhy, and especially at 6am. This place is going to be different to what we have ben used to. From Trip adviser we figured that there were two hotels that we liked the look of and one in particular. The driver didnt know where it was so we just said drop us in the middle and we'll ask. Huacachina has built up around a palm fringed lagoon surrounded by huge dunes.from the air it looks like something out if a movie where the guys been walking in the desert too long and sees a mirage in front of him. we ask a girl who is sweeping a path where our no1 choice hotel is and she points across the road. In English she says why go there when the hotel she is outside is cheaper and invites us to take a look. It looks ok and she offers to give us a room each which hasnt been used overnight to rest until check-in which is nice. Theres not a lot here, but being surrounded by dunes is stunning. We sign up for a dune buggy ride in the afternoon. Wifi is intermittent here and we struggle to keep a connection and that meant no watching game but i later find out we won 3-1 and level with chelsea! The dune buggy experience is amazing and the views from on top of the desert is excellent.we have a go at sandboarding down the dunes, a couple of lads tried it the traditional way standing up and mostly fell on their backsides. The rest of us did it lying on our stomach's and it was great fun and really fast. They drove us to progressively higher dunes so the last one was really high and steep and we flew down,great fun and money well spent. We chat to some of the other tourists and it is amazing to hear how long some of them are travelling for, 6months to a year is commonplace! We are by far the silverbacks of backpacking, everyone here seems to be twentysomething but dead friendly.this is the most amount of gringos we have met so far and its good to talk to them. Go back for a shower to get rid of all the sand stuck to us and realise there is no light so we shower by torchlight. We mention this to the girl who runs the hotel and she just laughs.there is a light but it and the switch are in the corner behind the door, aha so you have to go into the bathroom in the dark partially close the door and feel around for the switch, how stupid of us not to notice. Have some grub, few beers and turn in. Its red hot and fan only works for 90 mins at a time.in the morning my sheet looks like the Turin shroud without the beard of course.