It was March 1st the following morning and we took a short bus to a place called Ica. This was a spot of civilization about 5 minutes away from Huacachina, an oasis in the desert where we would stay overnight. Huacachina is popular for exploring the sand dunes in a buggy followed by sand boarding down the dunes and we were excited to give it a go. We stayed at a hostel called Bananas which had a really good vibe and included the sand tours in the cost. We booked in for 5pm the following day on the recommendation that it comes along with the sunset!
Unsurprisingly it was super hot in the desert so the hostel pool was a welcome treat. However, very surprisingly, it did actually begin to rain when we were there! The “town” of Huacachina itself was very small and we had explored it in a few minutes! In order to use an ATM or get groceries that were more than basic items sold at mini markets, it was necessary to take a moto-taxi back to Ica.
That evening we set off to get to the top of the sand dunes for sunset. Now, unless you are reading this with experience of trying to walk/run/climb up a sand dune please reserve your judgement!! It was one of the toughest leg workouts I have ever ever done. One step forward only to fall five backwards! But, it was eventually worth it when we finally got to the top…even though I was surprised it was still bright to be honest!!
We spent the following day relaxing by the pool and enjoying really good food in the hostel until our sand buggy tour at 5pm. We met our first Irish travel companion that afternoon, Jason from Meath and it was lovely to hear the familiar accent and swap travel stories! When time came for the tour I nervously strapped into the buggy and held on tight. It was scarier than any amusement ride I’ve been on but so much fun and I’m sure the screams from our buggy could have been heard down in the oasis!
Once at the top the sand boards provided so much entertainment and it was a really fun evening. There was a series of increasingly deep dunes to take on – sitting or standing and an obligatory trip flat on our stomachs for the finale! At the end of each down we had more practice of getting up the dunes and it was actually a pretty exhausting evening!
I think the screaming sound effects of our video footage captures this adventure more than my pictures can:
After a very strenuous scrub to eventually remove all the sand we caught a night bus (Cruz Del Sur – again!) from Ica to our next stop, Arequipa.