Mr Sandman

Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh I want to tell you we just had the best day and night of the tour but feel like I've used that line too many times already and wouldn’t want to be put on the spot to actually choose one that was better than the others. You’ll just have to take my word for it that this was a very, VERY good day!!

This was the last night of our tour before we arrived in Lima and people started to branch off in their own directions.  It was potentially going to be emotional but without doubt it was going to be memorable.  We first drove to a small oasis town in the desert called Huacachina where we transferred off of our truck and into sand buggies which are now officially my favorite mode of transport without comparison.  These things tear along the sand dunes and the louder you scream the faster they go!  It’s as if every driver we ever had in South America learnt on a sand buggy.  Before we knew what was happening we were flying up massive sand dunes like mountains and catching air over the top before barreling down the other side.  All the exhilaration of the ride was enough to make us forget why we were there in the first place – sand boarding!!

Apparently the art of sand boarding is nothing like snowboarding so we didn’t even attempt it that way, the best way to get speed up was to lie face first down on the board, lift up your legs and ride it in a straight line down the dune.   You can really get some speed up this way!!  The first time I screamed, and then after I managed to get the sand out of my mouth I learnt to keep it shut the next time!  Between dunes we were bombing around on the sand buggies and the dunes kept getting steeper and steeper and more daunting but we didn’t bottle out (although I wish I’d had the guts to!) in fact Steve won a lot of the races for who could travel the furthest, in part from being fearless enough to never put his feet down for brakes and in part because he’d had a big lunch!  We carried on until the sun was setting and we all sat on a, less steep, dune to see it disappear behind a sand mountain on the horizon.  Then the fun really began…

We were sleeping out under the stars for the night on the dunes, no tents needed just some very sandy sleeping bags.  To spend the evening we had a campfire and our guides provided some food and more importantly free Pisco Sours, the national Peruvian drink that’s a bit like rum and lime with sugar.  The only problem is that in the past on excursions we’ve been on any 'free drink’ provided was watered down heavily and wasn’t alcoholic anymore, if it ever had been, so it was a shock to everyone’s system when after powering down a few cupfuls we were a lot more drunk that we realised!  And of course we were in the desert – an adults giant sandpit!  I’ll save some of these stories for telling in person as I can’t do them justice to write them down but I will let you know the one that paints me as a hero (as if I could resist that)…

Steve had been off on the horizon looking up at the stars but in his rather inebriated state when he looked up he managed to topple over backwards as well and land in the sand.  Luckily one of the girls had been keeping an eye on him and helpfully went over to make sure he was alright, however timed it wrong and as she leant over him he managed to get up and they had a head-on collision knocking them both to the floor again (I have since been informed Steve actually managed to knock his mum out in a similar way once in his youth when getting out of the bath, maybe he should start standing up more slowly!!).  I managed to get Steve back to the campsite with his head hurting, for more reasons than one, and only once he was in his sleeping bag did I notice that one of the lenses was missing from his glasses.  As his lenses cost about 300 and we don’t have a spare pair with us I didn’t want to have to tell him in the morning so my mission began.  I’d like to quote others in the group when I say that ‘geniusly’ I followed the footprints in the sand from the chair of the girl who Steve collided with until I found evidence of the crash site and then in the middle of the night, in the middle of the desert, by moonlight, I managed to find one specsaver glasses lens and true glory!  Of course I then carried on celebrating my success for most of the rest of the night before finding my own sleeping bag and looking up at the stars until I eventually dozed off too.

In the morning I woke Steve up who unfortunately had partly wriggled out of his sleeping bag in the night and managed to sleep face down in the sand so was completely covered in sand including completely full nostrils and ears.  My biggest regret of the tour was not to have got the camera soon enough to capture that moment for you, he looked like the Psamiad from 5 children and It!  Naturally I let him think his lens was lost initially as punishment for head butting girls and he was suitably pleased by my achievements to retrieve it so I informed him he now owes me for his sight and I will let him know what suitable repayment he can give me in due course.

A sand buggy ride later we were back at the truck, full of sand and with no time to change or shower before an 8 hour drive to Lima, our final resting place.  What a great way to finish an amazing two months!

Lots of Love

Amy and Sandy Steve
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jennyoneb on

Amy, you are such a good writer! This post just made me laugh soooo much!

Sounds like you are having a great time - this is the trip I want to do next year.

Can't wait to see you in Sydney, not too long now!

Keep up the blog, it's great.

Jenny xxx

samsonite32 on

Re: Hahaha
Hey Jen!

Thanks for reading and keeping up to date - a mission I know!! I hope you're looking forward to being a guest star in the blog when we get to you in Sydney..!!! We're in New Zealand for the next 4-5ish months so if you fancy a holiday just let us know!

See you sooner than usual!! xx

julia_ackroyd on

Brother Sandman....!
This made us laugh so much, great story Amy....tell Steve no more alcohol - I'm not sure they have Specsavers in Peru!! Lots of Love xxxxx

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