Trip Start Nov 26, 2007
88Trip End Nov 26, 2008
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Our ticket from Arequipa was booked using our improved spanish and we even manged to get a pretty good deal which we we proud of, a nice comfy bus with food, tv and reclinable seats although we were short changed... maybe it was a sign. The journey was about 10 hours which is nothing compared to the mamouth 29 one we did from Chile so we were prepared. At about 2am the bus pulled over at a tiny one road town, a few people got out so we followed and went to the toilet and guess what had happened when we returned? It had gone! Pitch black in the middle of nowhere we couldn't help but laugh. Both our backpacks were still on board as was one of our day packs and the seat still had a jacket on, we thought it would be pretty obvious that people had got on but obviously not! The bus was also heading for Lima another 12 hours away and didn't how we would deal with getting them back from there, especially with our poor spanish, we'd already started to think of how to get my cousin Simon to speak to someone because he is fluent evwn though he lives in Australia!We managed to tell a local who started yelling his voice at others, understanding our predicament and led us over to a security hut which contained 3 asleep police men. The shouting man told them what had happened and we were immediately put on the back of their tiny 150cc bikes with no helmets or jackets. Fortunately they didnīt try to catch the bus which we had initially thought but took us to a police station the other way to a man who didn't seem particularly interested in helping so after a bit of standing around we got back on the bikes and screamed back the other way to a station further along and woke a policeman who seemed to be in his pyjamas! After alot of miscommunication we managed to convey the details of what was missing and where we were going and he made a few phone calls. Fortunately for us there are police checkpoints all they way along the highway from which they would intercept the bus, give them a ticking off and keep hold of our stuff, and hopefully all of it. He then went into his bedroom, put on his uniformed and haled down another bus for us to board... and didn't want a tip for his troubles! We were lucky and manged to get all our bags and got to our destination at 8 in the morning... It could have been so much worse!
Huacachina is an oasis in the middle of skyscraping dunes and after our ordeal it really was like paradise found.
The big attraction here though is the massive dunes that are made of fine sand of course to hurtle down them at great speed on lumps of wood they call sand boards. The difficult bit was getting to the top, taking a step back for every step forward because of the depth of sand but the views were spectacular and worth the effort, at points we were able to see the Andes with snow on which was a bit strange. It was good fun though both of us getting down with sand in every crevice imaginable.
who gave us tips and we eventually ended up going out for a 'fiesta' with him that evening... and took our well deserved r and r after that!
Where I stayed
Hostal de Arena