Sandboarding in Huacachina

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.


  1. Now I guess this will be not get past the moderators but here it is anyway…

    I seriously cannot think of anything I’ve rather read less than accounts such as these. They just serve to remind me of the time in my first fresher’s week when some idiot told helpfully informed me that my summer sounded ‘boring’ (to be fair, it was, I had spent the entire summer working in Sainsburys’) after regaling me for half an hour with some inane drivel about his ‘transformative’ time in India and South America in his gap year, funded no doubt by ‘daddy’.

    Now I’m sure you’re nowhere near as moronic as this particular individual was (I believe he was wearing his school tie at the time), but these kind of posts just sound like boasting to those of us who can’t afford to go abroad on jaunts like these. More importantly, it’s just jaw-droppingly uninteresting (as is reflected by the complete lack of comments) to anyone but maybe you and your mates you’re traveling with.

    I can only presume you’ve never heard of Max Gogarty…?

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  2. Ignorant comments like this are ridiculous. I am coming to uni in September after a ‘gap year’. I worked for 8 months of this ‘gap year’ to fund a months travel at the end of it (from which i returned a few weeks ago) – my parents didn’t give me a penny to help.

    To say: ‘i spent my summer working in Sainsburys’ (ie ‘i’m working class so i can’t afford to travel) is just as bad as assuming that every ‘middle class’ person who travels is funded entirely by their parents.

    It’s really irritating to know that when i come to Uni in September i’m going to be faced with people like you who make automatic assumptions about people and are completely deluded by the stereotypes (ie ‘middle-class gap-yar’) portrayed in the media.

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  3. Sorry, how does a ‘months travel’ equate to a gap year abroad? I don’t really see the parallel.

    I was talking about kids who ponce about for a year on their parent’s dime and then spend all their time driveling on about it.

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  4. Do you not wonder why you get no comments on these articles?

    People do not find it interesting. No one wants to hear gap year students during seminars, before lectures, or even during freshers or at any social event, EVER. I can’t see why people think their stories of travelling are particularly worthy of broadcasting. Especially in a student paper, during the recession, it almost seems vulgar.

    It would have been more interesting to have made it a photograph featurette. That way people can have an insight into the places you are going, without the mundane explanation (maybe try and cut BASICALLY out of your vocab) and undertones of gap yah-isms. And it would have been infinitely more appealing than reading about your life.

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