We arrived at Ica, the nearest down to Huacachina which is an oasis in the dessert. We got a taxi from the bus compound and were wowed with the scenary when we got to Huacachina. Sand dunes surrounded the oasis which looked quite surreal. The one sand dune was about 150 metres high! How is got there and how it stays there are questions for another day.
We took a walk around the 'town' which took all of 2 minutes before walking up a smallish sand dune to get a better view. We then thought it would be a really good idea to hire a snowboard and take it up the biggest and steepest dune around! Walking up was so hard, add the wind and the steepness to that and it made for a nerveracking experience. Getting to the top though was a great achievement and the view was spectacular! There were miles of sand dunes on one side and Ica town and mountains the other.
There was a problem though, we had to get down. Not the best idea to go up the steepest dune for your first attempt! We both made it down in one piece and Kris was surprised how similar it was to snowboarding in powder.
That evening we went to 'desert nights' for some food. We got chatting to a couple of Canadians who asked us if we wanted to go on an adventure with them. Intrigued, we found ourselves accepting and when the bar closed we headed up the dunes with a guy from Berlin and a local guy from the bar (who said his name was Julia Ceasar, but his friends called him Mega!) We took with us various musical instruments! We 'jammed' for about 2 hours with Emma joining in shaking a cluster of shells, only occasionally in time. It wasn't as hippy as it sounds but definitely out there!
The next day we chilled out and waited for our sand dune buggy tour that started at 4pm. We got picked up and started our drive through the dunes. The ride was quite tame and smooth at this point. We stopped for photographs before heading to a dune to sandboard down. Kris paid extra to hire a real snowboard whilst everyone else made do with the smaller ones they were given. Some people tried to stand but most including Emma led down face first and got pushed over the edge by the driver!
We went to a few more sand dunes to practice before returning to town. On our way back however the driver let rip! He drove up and down ridiculously steep sand dunes and up steep banks. It was like a rollercoaster, only you couldn't see where you were heading. He would drive to the top of a dune and sometimes it would be flat, sometimes a steep hill! That all lasted for over 5 minutes which was definately enough!
Martin and Adam turned up that evening so we had a couple of drinks at their hostel which played loud techno music to the 3 people that were in the bar!
We decided to stay a 3rd night as it was a nice relaxing place. We hired pedlos with the guys and then Kris walked up the massive sand dune we walked up on the first day with a snowboard, while Emma waited at the bottom taking photos! How very nice of her!
That evening we all had a meal together with pisco sours the local alcoholic drink. Pisco is the local liquor and they add egg white to the cocktail.
We left the next day and got a bus to Nasca.