Watch out world the Barkers are coming!
Right then, what have we been up to? first of all we are both fighting fit again...touch wood! After the madness of Cusco we decided to go to the coast for a while, so we packed up and headed for Pisco on the Peruvian coast. It wasn't a very pretty place, to say the least, but it served a purpose and we went on alittle excursion to some nearby islands called the islas Balesteas. We were sold them as the "Poor mans" Galapagos...rubbish, for a start the galapagos are tropical, with sandy beaches, and you can stay on them. This was just a few windswept rocks off the coast of Peru! But for what they were and how much we paid to go see them they were okay, and we saw sea lions fighting, cormerants, Pelicans and the best named birds in the world...Peruvian BOOBIES! oh how i laughed...so many jokes so little time! After we had seen the islands, we got the hell outta Pisco, cos there was nothing else to do and it was dusty and crap! Next up was Huachachina...Very bizarre but nice place. It is just a lake in the middle of MASSIVE sand dunes (also known as an oasis dave!) ! The weather was gorgeous, the hostel had a pool, and we meet some english folks as soon as we arrived! Through these folks(benj, Raj, Marco and others) we decided to walk up the side of the dune behind our hostel and watch the sunset. IT WAS HUGE, such hard work, cos everytime you took a step you sunk back to where your other foot was! but we struglled through and made it to the top for a well earned rest and a beautiful sunset. Then two of the guys had brought along sandboards and they tried to make it down. very funny to watch. Next day was Dune Buggy day, we had a really nice lunch by the lake, and then went back to the hostel to go dune buggying and sandboarding! It was wicked, the buggy took eight of us, and was going down and up the most crazy gradients, after a bit of a rollercoaster ride we stopped at a small dune and straped in. What with me being the snowboarding pro i tried to jump straight up and proceeded to fall unceremoniously on my arse! All the rest of the group were girls so they just sat down on the boards and went for it! It looked like more fun than standing up, so i decided to lay down on my chest, face forwards and go for it...much more fun! after a few runs on the baby slopes we jumped back in the jeep and went to a bigger dune, this time we all went straight down, either sitting or laying, and a few people stacked it and got a face full of sand! The next dune we went to was a whole different ball game! THe guy called it El Sanddune De Morte (Sand dune of Death!!)! We looked over the edge and could not see the slope! \Naturally being the boy i went first, face down and balls out! It was soooooooo good, really, really quick and it got the adrenalin going good. Everyone made it down first time, but the second time it didn't go so well! as always seems to happen around us, something went wrong! one of the Irish Girls decided to go all out, sitting down and got some serious speed up, when she hit the bottom she came off hard! after the tumble she was really badly winded and then she was in absolute agony with her back. The Buggy came down to get us and then could not get back up the dune so most of us got out and waited at the top, it took the driver about 8 attempts to get out of the dune, the whole time the girl who hurt her back was in absoulte agony and sitting n a dune buggy...not nice! Atfer we got back to the hostel and got all the sand out of those hard to reach places, we went to the bar and saw the rest of the Irish girls...turns out the Tanya had fractured one of her Vertebrae!!! she now has to wear a corset for four months! but she can walk and crack jokes so she seemed ok. After that you'd think we'd leave it alone... but nono, we went again the next afternoon! it was a much bigger group this time and there were some crazy american kids who were just bombin in down every slope and wipeing out every time! one kid went down the last dune on his front, hit the bottom at some serious speed and left the board behind, just scraping along the sand on his face and belly!!!! he got up in a state and had loads of sand unbder his bottom eyelid!!! as his mates came down some tried to help him get the sand out, until one of them got his priorities right and said "before we get the sand out, lets get a frickin photo!" That night we went out for a meal with the irish girls, a guy called dan from NZ(whos gonna be our tour guidein Auckland!), and another NZer called tim. It was a good meal and nice to have some different company (not that i'm bored of ellen you understand!) to chat to. Next up was the most mammouth journey we've doen so far. WE started in Ica, got a bus to Nazca (2 hours), got off the bus and on a Cessna plane, flew over the Nazca Lines (40 mins) (they were ok not spectacular but interesting!), then we had dinner and booked a bus for 8:30pm to go to Tacna(14hrs) near the Chilean Border. we waited for the bus until 11pm, got going eventually, then the bus broke down and we had to get on another already full bus, so i had to stand for about 4 hours, then we stopped and got on another bus. we eventually arrived in Tacna at about 2pm, jumped straight in a taxi (big old 80's style Chevy!) to go to the border, and into Arica in Chile(1hr) once in Chile and through the most rigourous customs i've ever been through, we got on another bus to Iqiuque(7 hrs) and now we're here! My fingers are tired so i'll have to write more when i can think of it and when we have some news! WE are both fine by the way and still loving it!