July 31, 2006
I finally got into Ica at around 6:30 AM after being delayed most of the night by my broken-down bus. I successfully withdrew money from an ATM and shared a cab to Huacachina with a couple backpackers named Sean from the USA and Suzann from Denmark who were on my bus. The tiny oasis resort doesn't even make the map, and I skipped it when I was in the area last year because I didn't think there was much there, but I heard so many good things about it from fellow travelers that I figured I'd have to check it out.
When I got into town, I saw that it wasn't even really a town. Huacachina consists of a tiny lagoon surrounded by a few houses, a lot of hotels and restaurants, and some of the biggest sand dunes in the world. The two attractions to the resort are taking dune buggy rides through the sand and sandboarding. I signed up to do both this afternoon.
About an hour before sunset, Sean, Suzanne, a guy named Oliver from Hong Kong, and I jumped aboard a dune buggy and were taken for a wild ride. We started driving at breakneck speeds around the dunes outside of town. Then we went over the top of a few dunes. It was like being on a wild roller coaster ride, Peruvian style. We also stopped several times for sandboarding. It's kind of like snowboarding except you can go as fast as you want without fear of running into someone else or a tree. And when you fall, it doesn't hurt because there's nothing but cushiony sand to worry about. The experience definitely made Huacachina worth a visit. The only problem was that sand accumulated absolutely everywhere on myself and all of my possessions. I have a feeling I'll be finding sand in new places for weeks to come.
After all of the problems I have had with my buses the last few days, Huacachina will be the perfect place to relax for awhile. I can't believe I only have ten days until I go home. I know it's still the length of a normal vacation, but it feels just around the corner for me. That my trip will end eventually is starting to become a reality now.
The photo album for this entry is here.