Huacachina Oasis

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Mar 17, 2006

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Our next stop along the coast was the Oasis of Huacachina near the city of Ica. This area of Peru has a large strip of desert between the coast and the mountains. The oasis is surrounded by huge sand dunes - the reason for our visit.

We were staying at El Barco hostel which runs dune buggy and sand boarding trips into the sand dunes. After a brief rest we set off at 4.30 in our dune-buggy over the sand dunes. Our buggy was a fairly new and comfortable one with sports car seats and safety belts. Roaring over the dunes was so exciting - like a roller coaster. We were surrounded by huge dunes - I couldnīt believe that our buggy was able to make it over them without turning over!

After about 20 minutes of adrenaline-rushing buggying we stopped at the top of one dune to practice sand boarding. These boards were a bit more battered than the ones we used snow boarding but our guides rubbed them with liquid wax to make them glide more easily. We strapped the boards onto our shoes and set off down the dune. It was pretty similar to snow boarding - the landing was soft and grainy instead of wet and cold. I found my board kept getting stuck in the sand so I ended up hopping down the dune strapped to the board. Our buggy waited for us at the bottom of the dune to collect us and take us to the next dune.

Our second one was even higher than the first so I decided to body board down it - it was brilliant fun. Iīm not sure how fast we were going but it was such a rush. It was over all too soon and it was time to head back towards a good vantage point to watch the sunset. It was a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the dunes - Iīm not sure the photos really captured it. As dusk started to fall we headed back to Huacachina covered in sand. I still have sand in my shoes after one week!

Huacachina is a very relaxing place. I could see people spending a few days just hanging out by the lake or boarding on the dunes. Unfortunately we had to leave the next day for Nazca and werenīt able to stay longer.
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