The Dunes

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Jun 05, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Twenty minutes of climbing up scolding hot sand dunes for a ten second ride down seems crazy right?  Until you experience the thrill of strapping an old snowboard to your hiking boots, and flying down three hundred vertical feet of untouched sand... Without exaggeration, Squaws Siberia Bowl of sand, right outside our hostel door. 

Huacachina is a tiny town outside the bustling city of Ica on the southern coast of Peru.  Built as a retreat for Peruvian elite,  today it serves as a mecca for sandboarders, and those of us snowboarders who are confused by the change in seasons between the hemispheres.  The town itself is tiny, just a little strip of restaurants and hostels built around a picturesque lake in the middle of a giant dessert of massive dunes.  Its still a common vacation spot for rich Peruvians so there are a couple of really nice old hotels, and boats to be rented on the little lake.  Of course, we had no time for that. 

We practiced sandboarding in the morning, hiking up the ridge to the tops of the dunes and then figuring out how the ride differed from snowboarding.  We quickly learned a few lessons:  Alot of wax on the board is crucial,  turning (even on the steepest hills) is pointless, and most importantly:  before falling, close every bodily orifice,  we still have sand in places we did not even know existed. 

Once we were well versed in the art of bombing down the dunes, we hired a local guy to take us out in his dune buggie to the really big ones.  From up there, it seemed like the dessert went on forever,  spines of dunes snaking their way to the horizon... we explored in the buggie until the sun set, and ended the day with long cold showers. 

To all of you lucky loved ones, a poem from Max:

Todays Tomorrow

We hunt.
A Game.
To survive in a world of 
two palms, two thumbs, two hearts;
Loose self in other;
Lets hunt together.
WeŽll crouch silently in
Arid landscapes, and
Touch mountain tops for those
who struggle.
    there we can wait.
I beg you to wait with me!
our forearms wrapped
with their palms
our fingers clinching onto
the edge of their divinity.

One by one, our sore & bruised
feet will reach the top!
Couching & waiting for
the others; together.
Arms spread thick.
Palms ready.
Fingers strong.
Lets loose self.
    Lets find us.
Lets put down spear gazes
and End the hunt of
    Uncrtain gains.
Arid landscapes
will become lush forests.
our crouch a stance.
our touch timeless.
    Confide in us.

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