Firstly, apologies for the delay between this blog entry and the last. I’ve managed to fall off a bike and break my shoulder, which makes typing particularly difficult.
Regardless, here is what has happened in the mean time:
After Lima we went straight to Huacachina. Huacachina is basically a lagoon in the middle of the Peruvian desert. The drop of water is surrounded by sand dunes towering in every direction, making one feel particularly small and alone, in the middle of nowhere. Besides the lagoon featuring on the back of every Peruvian 50 Sols note, Huacuaucina boasts nothing of any political or contextual interest to speak of. The place is essentially a tourist hotspot, that offerers one thing and one thing alone: sandboarding.
Sandboarding is basically like snowbording but on sand dunes. Amazing. We arrived and booked our sandboarding trip with our hotel. After a morning lazing around the (decidedly smelly) lagoon we went to meet the buggy which was to take us up into the dunes which surrourded us. The buggy was basically a crash-cage with six rusty old seats inside and by the time we set off the light was so flat it was practically impossible to discern where the dunes started and finished.
The buggy ride was like a roller coster trip but so, so much better. The whole trip took about three hours and our driver, George, stopped at strategic points to allow us to wizz down a sand dune on our bellies on the sandbords. We ended up at the top of a strategically placed dune, to watch a perfect sunset before heading back to the hostel.
Showering after-sandboarding is not fun. The desert may be boiling in the day but as soon as the sun goes in, the temperature drops to nothing. Hence, staying in the cheap hostel with no hot water is not the smartest idea when every inch of your body is going to be sand-stewn.
The next day, we decided to rent sandboards ourselves and get up early to climb the sand dune behind our hostel. Now, I may not be the fittest person in the world but Camilla runs marathons and even she would tell you that climbing a sand dune with sandboards on your back is flipping hard work. Anyway, we climbed it (in record time, obviously), before doing some real standing-up sandboarding back down the dune.
Huacachina was a great place to relax but we were hoping that our next stop – Nazca – would provide us with an insight into Peru, beyond the chat of Tony the Barman.