Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sandboarding in Huacachina

Spent a day or two chilling out in Cusco and really didn`t want to leave cause it`s such a great place but we`ve only two weeks left in South America so it was time to hit the road again.

Got another 15 hour bus to Ica which is a small town on the west coast of Peru. We had to cross the Andes from Cusco and the majority of the drive was through completely barren desert with no sign of life for hours on end.

Reached Ica and went directly to Huacachina. Huacachina is an oasis about 4km outside Ica and the last bit of civilisation for another couple of hundred km`s. There`s really nothing at all in Huacachina except for a couple of hostels, an oasis and a bar but it`s surrounded by huge sand dunes (think Laurence of Arabia) that dwarf the buildings below them.

Our hostel is grand with a pool, a bar, restaurant and lots of hammocks to relax in, for EUR5 a night we`re not complaining! The hostel runs dune buggy/sandboarding trips in the surrounding desert which is the main reason we came here so we signed up immediately.

The buggy/boarding trip was unbelievable. So much fun. The guys driving the buggys were completely mental just tearing up and down the dunes. At times we were coming down near vertical drops, everybody screaming. It was just like being on a huge rollercoaster on wheels. Then they stop at the top of some dunes and we get to board down them - a lot more difficult than you`d think.
The `sandboards`are just glorified strips of wood with some pasta sauce rubbed on the underneath to make it go faster and some velcro nailed on the top to strap your feet into!

I prefered to lie on the board and go face first down the slope, you go much faster this way. Unfortunately, due to the amount of suncream I had on all of the sand stuck to my face and arms and I looked completely ridiculous by the end - gave everyone else a laugh though!

The second last slope was so high that when you stood at the top, the people at the bottom looked like ants, so much fun coming down that one! For the last one they left us off to walk up one of the dunes, it took forever as the sand was slipping so much under our feet but when we rounded the top of the dune and looked down we could see our hostel and actually sandboarded our way back home - so cool!

Had a BBQ and drinks at the hostel that night (all you can eat and drink for 15 soles which is about 4Euro).

Spent another day or two here, enjoying the sunshine but heading on tonight to Arequipa.


  • God that picture is hilarious Elaine - I thought it you had zillions of freckles when I first looked - sounds like you are having a brilliant time

    By Anonymous Mrs Delaney!, at 2:51 AM  

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