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Published: November 3rd 2008
At three I moved from my place by the pool to change into pants. I figured that my stretch pants had a higher capability of being pulled down, or worse case scenerio, completely off, and cordoroys were the better bet. The afternoon was only just beginning to cool, and people, melted into a sludge of hot apathy, began to rouse themselves and wander the town of Huacachina.
I packed my backpack and made my way to Sand Adventures, a dunebuggy tour partly run by a young girl from Vermont. For forty soles I had entrusted two hours of my life to a young Peruvian who only spoke Spanish. I was one of three tourists signed up for the 4:15 trip. The other couple, a guy from Wisconsin and a girl from Panama, shook my hand and acted as photographers for the rest of the afternoon.
I was slightly unnerved by the faulty seatbelts in the dunebuggy. The seatbelt loops over both shoulders and snaps into a buckle between the legs, much like a baby´s car seat. One of the straps was tied with an overhand loop, not enough to hold weight or pressure if the buggy were to roll.
Which it nearly did as we vroomed up our first dune. The driver, taking too sharp of a turn at the top, started sliding sideways instead of backwards. I gripped the metal edging of the buggy, heart thudding, entertaining a sense of dejavu. The tires spit sand into the air, sinking deeper, but finally breaking free at the bottom. With the buggy in second gear we were once again on our way across a sandy world.
The tour consited of zooming up and over dunes, all of us screaming as we plummeted fifty feet or more to the bottom, stopping often at the edge of steep dunes to pull out modified snowboards for a ride down. None of us knew how to snowboard, and were content to lay attop the boards, treating them like sleds. I had to laugh as I slid down the dunes, plopping over on my back at one point to make a sand angel--home was so much colder than this! How fortunate to be expereinceing the same joys of winter, but without the numbing pain in my hands and feet!
We stopped at another smaller oasis in the desert before finishing up our
tour with a sunset. We were all silent, taking a moment to enjoy the expereince inwardly, as the red orb quickly slid behind the mountains with a shake of its head.
That night, after eating dinner and spending several hours online, I loaded up my pack and headed for the a ridgeline to the left of Hucachina. I walked along the waters edge, staying close to the shadows so as not to draw attention to myself. As the buildings ended and the dunes began, I started to climb up, my pack digging into my shoulders and sand filling my shoes.
The moon shed enough light for me to go without a headlamp. I panted, moving one foot in front of the other, straining as each step was grabbed by the sand. A hundred feet later I was behind a dune. Here I used my headlamp to find a spot unmolested by buggy tracks (I cringed at the thought of being run over by one of them in the morning) and relativly flat for reasons of comfort. My "tent" was merely a moscquito net with poles. I rolled out my sleeping bag and stared through the mesh at the
stars. Despite scaring myself silly with memories of zombie movies, I fell asleep and another day in Hucachina came to an end.
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