Dunes, Desert and Pisco..

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Up at 6 in the morn in Lima to catch a bus to a town called Ica. We booked our tickets with Cruz Del Sur and we were right to. Fully reclining chairs and breakfeast served with a movie thrown in for good measure. The eight hours went fast but the destruction caused by the earthquake we saw in some of the towns on the way was terrible. Made you wanna just get out and help. The only thing standing in most of the houses were the four concrete pillars on each corner that were re-inforced by rebar. People are literally still living in tents. We had read that a lot of travellers and tourists were avoiding towns like Ica, Huacachina, Paracas and Pisco because of the earthquake destruction but we decided to go and at least give them some business. The best decision we've ever made.

We arrived in Ica at about lunchtime and hastily made our way to get a taxi to Huacachina. The taxi was a banged out piece of crap as usual which was made worse by the enormous craters in the road. Craters are commonplace in Peru. Roads are not. There´s only one road into the desert oasis in Huacachina due to the fact that the entire place is surrounded by enormous Dunes. The taxi driver brought us to Casa De Arena Hostel which we had read about as being a lively place. The room we got was our first taste of backpacking wonder. Three beds barely sheeted and a toilet. Who cares it was 30 degrees outside and I was ready to get this daz cleaned body out into the sun for some spit roasting.

At the poolside bar we met Ed (from England) and Egbert (from Holland) and the four of us ended up drinking for a while and talking. Although after 2 bottles (700ml) of Brahma beer Lou was getting well on so she suggested we should walk to the top of the Dune at the back of our Hostel. Two minutes she reckoned it would take to climb the monster so of course Ed, Lou and Linford decided to try it. Ed and Lou made it three quarters up but of course Linford had to try and run the last bit. I lost me t shirt and about half a stone. Sand running es no muy bueno.

They´ve got a restaraunt down the street that Ed had been to the night before so we took i t on his word that we should eat there. Egbert joined us. If anyone has ever seen the films cheech and chong you´ll appreciate the image of the waiter we had servin us. He was Chech and Chong morphed together. The food was good if you could just get the stoned muthatrucka to remember what you ordered. Great place. Great laugh.

Next day we booked the dune buggys and the sandboarding. Me, Lou, Egbert, Lee (from Holland) and three girls from scotland got the ace card when we got the most dangerous (and the most fun) driver of them all. While everybody else was driving along the beaten tracks our driver was climbing 80 degree slopes and turning at the top. We nearly shit ourselves when he began blessing himself. If that didn´t get you screaming he would begin zig zaging in and out of the other dune buggys at high speed. Absolutely Fˇˇking brilliant. Never laughed so much with fear. Of course then we hit the dunes with the sand boards and that was almost as good. But secretly I think we all just wanted to get back into the buggy and burn the dunes up. We watched the sun go down at the end of it all and on the way home were treated to some enormous jumps and even crazier driving. Absolutely worth every cent of the 10 euro we paid.

We hit the same restaraunt that night and met more people and ate and drank the night away before our bus to Nazca the next morn.
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