Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

Sandboarding at the Oasis Huacachina

PERU | Sunday, 29 June 2008 | Views [1502] | Comments [1]

Indiana Jones has a lot to answer for. After watching the new film in Cuzco, we couldn´t pass by the Nazca Lines without having a least a little glimpse of the famous scribbles and to be fair, they weren´t really up to much. The town itself was all but wrecked in last year´s earthquake and the lines look like they were dug into the ground last week. I think this is one for people who are really into the whole Nazca mystery, for random chancers like me and Steve, it was a five minute glimpse then hop back on the bus to Huacachina, scene of some terrible crimes against sand.

The resort (near Ica) was also hit really hard by last year´s earthquake and our hotel room although charming, had no roof on the bathroom. It is a weird place, a laguna of fresh spring water set in a ring of sand dunes in the middle of the desert. It was once a glamorous spa resort for the rich and famous, but is now a faded old dame with a murky pool of stagnant water that would kill, rather than miraculously cure anyone who dared enter it and loads of backpackers cluttering up super cheap restaurants and skiting down the dunes on bits of old kitchen furniture.

Fortunately the weather was lovely and we spent most of our days with a piece of MDF strapped to our feet, sand boarding down the massive dunes. All great fun on the way down, especially if you apply wax and watch the thing fly down, dragging you after it on your back, hands flailing wildly. The real bummer was trying to crawl up to the top in the glaring desert sun, sand falling down all around you and reducing you to crawl on all fours and rest every two steps to regain your strength.

A solution was called for, we booked a sand dune buggy tour. This is basically a roll cage with an engine and seats which takes you into the desert and deposits you at the top of dunes, collecting you at the bottom to drive to the next one. All very lovely, but we had the driver who had clearly escaped from the asylum and stolen the keys to a buggy after kidnapping the true driver. He raced at the dunes at speed, drove up them at vertical angles, pausing at the top to let you feel it flip backwards slightly and just as you thought it was going to roll over and kill all on board he would spring his foot on the gas and throw you down the other side of the dune at full speed. All the while he would be looking back over his shoulder at the captives on board, grinning manically the more we screamed "please god no, stop, we want to live." The other groups looked on in shocked horror as we came to a screeching halt just inches from their faces, all on board screaming.

Great fun.

Tags: dune buggy, huacachina, ica, nazca, oasis, peru, sand, sand dune, sandboarding, water

Comments

1

I just came back from new mexico, & I found out that you can use just about any thing to bord except for cardbord
it just doesn't work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
have fun !!!!!

  noah Jul 17, 2009 1:14 PM

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