Nearing the End

Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
Trip End Jul 05, 2009

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Where I stayed
Hotel Curasi

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Our trip was nearly over, so what better way to end it by visiting the city of Ica.  Ica is situated to the east of Arequipa and is smack dab in the middle of a desert.  The city itself is surrounded by huge sand dunes and palm trees, and is really noted for its bodegas (vineyards).

After arriving in Ica by way of overnight bus (this time we actually took a Cruz Del Sur bus so there were no problems to speak of), we took a taxi to head out to the Lago Huacachina neighborhood, 6km outside of town.  Lago Huacachina is a quiet, tiny place butted up against sand dunes.  In the center of the neighborhood is a lake.  The biggest recreational activities in Lago Huacachina are riding around in dune buggies and sand boarding on the sand dunes.  Rowena and I hadn't really done any recreational stuff on this trip other than hiking, hiking, and more hiking.  Not that hiking is bad, but the two aforementioned activities would be a welcome change.  We found the Hotel Curasi hostel (it's a hostel, don't know why they stuck Hotel in the name) with the help of the taxi driver since the one I originally wanted was booked.  Part of our check-in process was signing up for the dune buggy ride and sand boarding for the next day.

For the rest of the evening, we grabbed some lunch then walked around the 'hood and came across a couple sitting on one of the bigger sand dunes in the area.  I took one look at that sand dune and told Rowena that I had to climb to the top.  Exhausted or not, I was going.  We set off to conquer it.

We quickly recognized that climbing the huge dune was going to take a lot of effort and determination.  For one, you had to get on all fours because of the steep angle of the thing, and when you did try to move, you would move inches as the sand collapsed around your hands and feet.  Undeterred, I kept going while Rowena became quickly satisfied at 15% of the total climb.  I imagined myself as an Egyptian scarab scurring across lightly to the top.  In reality, I was an awkward humanoid ineffectively plunging limbs meant for solid ground.  As I neared 75%, my little fear of heights started kicking in, but sucked it up and finally made it to the top after an estimated 45 minutes.  The view from the top was unbelievable and I snapped a few photos as proof I climbed the thing.  Descending took a mere 10 minutes leaning back against the sand dune.
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