10.04.2009 - 10.04.2009 27 °C
Fri 10.04.09 - Huacachina
Getting to Huacachina required 4 transitions – collectivo (mini van stuffed with people) from Lunahuana to Imperial, another collectivo to Canete, local bus from there to Ica (approx 2.5 hours leaving 2 seconds after we bought our ticket) then a short taxi ride to Huacachina. All told it was 4 hours but we avoided any waiting time which we were stoked about.
The place was crazier (landscape speaking) than Lunahuana. Our hostel was situated on the edge of a small lagoon, which was surrounded on all sides and for miles by great white sand dunes. The ‘town’ was originally built in the 1920’s as a holiday destination for Peru’s elite. The original hotel there still caters for that sort of crowd. We spent the afternoon looking around the town’s restaurants and hotels (quick tour, very small), decided that the lagoon looked far too green to be a safe place to swim for anyone other than the Peruvian kids and then hiked to the top of the western most dune to watch the sun set.
As we trekked up, we watched a convoy of dune buggies tearing around the sand dunes, following a sort-of track only barely distinguishable by the tyre imprints in the sand. The buggies launched themselves blindly over the dune buggy peaks, getting airborne before landing on the down-slope and extracting yells and screams from the passengers in the process. Sandboarders would be dropped off at the top of the steepest dunes and picked up again at the bottom. We were keen to try it, but not that keen on the price.
As the sun neared the horizon, we perched on the highest dune we could find and watched the light get deeper and the shadows longer to produce some fleeting images of seemingly endless desert and sky-scapes that we will remember for quite some time.
When the show was over, we turned tail and decided to run down the steep sand dunes in a unique combination of exhilaration, gravity, un-coordination and laughter that produced a buzzing smile until we reached solid ground and removed a cubic meter of sand from each shoe. As we write now three months later, the sand has only just stopped finding its way out of the shoes and socks that were worn on the day.