Huacachina is the only South American desert oasis. Makes me feel like I am in the Sahara desert haha. When we arrived on the 15th, Michelle and I were told that we must climb one of the sand dunes to catch the sunset, which of course we did. It took us about 15 minutes to hike up but it was a steep incline and it's all sand so by the time I reached the top I'll admit I was winded and sweating profusely. Once we got to the top though, we could see just how vast the desert was around us and sand dunes just kept on going through the horizon. We looked down on one side and could see the lagoon of Huacachina and on the other side of the dune was the city of Ica. To the east it was a bit more developed but right at the bottom of the dune we climbed we saw the shanty part of Ica, I mean this area was incredibly poor and undeveloped. For those who have never traveled to poor areas or developing nations, you get first hand experience how easy we have it back home and everything is put into such different perspective. The area of Huacachina itself is tiny and completely thrives on tourism which involves taking dune buggy rides and sand boarding, needless to say was awesome.
On the second day we lounged around a bit, swam in the pool at our hostel and played water volleyball with some of our new foreign friends. But the highlight of Huacachina was absolutely the dune buggy and sand boarding part. We left around 4 and there were 9 of us plus the driver in a buggy and he drove crazy through the dunes and everyone was just laughing the whole time. We were with 3 Brits, 3 Canadians & 1 other American and we all simply had so much fun together. The sand boards were s*** though, a simple piece of hard wood in the shape of a snowboard with Velcro straps. Michelle and I tried boarding down like we would with snowboarding but the boards and straps were so bad that we just rode down flat on our stomachs or sat on them and rode down. The last dunes were the most fun though because they were pretty steep and you could get really good speed going down. So Michelle and I decided to go again the next morning but we rented actual snowboards and boots which would be better to carve in.
Remember how I said hiking up the dunes was exhausting, well we did it several times in snowboard boots and carrying a board up, definitely my work out for the day. We had better boards so I thought sand boarding would be very similar to snowboarding, oh I was wrong. Every time I tried carving on toe side my board sank in and I ate s*** so heel side was the way to go. At the end I looked like a sand monster since I was covered in sand from head to toe. I also still can't decide if hiking up in the snow or sand is easier, they are both exhausting haha. We leave Huacachina today (the 17th) and we will be going on a pisco winery tour, basically a chance for everyone to get free booze and get wasted. So this will be interesting. From here we head to Nazca to see the Nazca Lines and have dinner there. We will not be staying in Nazca since we are taking an overnight bus to Arequipa. So until we reach Arequipa, adios!