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Published: November 19th 2008
Day 595 (13.11.08)
We set out in the morning to see Huacachina in the light and by the time we'd wandered along the grand promenade surrounding the lagoon and admired the fancy buildings we were already beginning to fall under the spell of this peaceful little haven. Our hostel provided us with a free 'boat trip' on the lagoon, this would be self-propelled though! We took a little row boat out on the water and had done a couple of laps before 10 minutes were up, a lovely way to start the day though!
The main activity in Huacachina (other than chilling out) is to take a dune buggy into the sand dunes for a spot of sandboarding. We thought this sounded pretty fun so booked up with our hostel for that afternoon.
With a few hours to kill we picked out a spot by the pool, read our books and enjoyed the warmer weather down here near the coast. We chatted to some fellow English guests, Beth, Stuart, Mike and Ellie and went for some lunch at the place we'd found last night.
At 4pm we joined about 12 others on a dune buggy to begin
our tour. With all seatbelts firmly in place the engine roared into life and we thundered into the dunes at breakneck speed with the driver taking great pleasure in trying his hardest to terrify all the passengers aboard. What followed was a crazy rollercoaster of a ride across the vast areas of desert dunes that surrounded the town, the engine screaming (along with several tourists!) and the radiator spitting water back into our faces. Absolutely brilliant!
After this wild ride we stopped at a set of three rolling dunes for a go at sandboarding. With a previous attempt in San Pedro under our belts we were raring to go. Mark would go for the more skilled standing approach with Chrissie more than content to attempt to gather the maximum possible speed by going down head first on her stomach. We both managed some excllent runs to far exceed our previous efforts in San Pedro. After we'd been down all three dunes the buggy came to collect us and take us back to the top for another go. It certainly beats having to clamber back up the dunes under your own steam.
Our next stop was the biggest and
steepest dune the driver could find and this was fantastic. We both went for the stomach option down this one and the rush as you hurtle head first down a huge dune with the sand flying up in your face is pretty indescribable, you'll have to take our word for the fact that it's great fun!
After two efforts at this dune we were off on another dune buggy ride this one even more crazy than the last. We ended the tour with views of sunset across the desert and a panoramic view over the town as night began to fall. It had been a superb and exhilarating afternoon and the tour from Hostel Salvetierre comes highly recommended from us!
With sand in places that sand should never be we had well needed showers before meeting up with the guys we´d had lunch with and all going back to what was fast becoming our 'local' for dinner.
Day 596 (14.11.08)
Whilst we were in the area we wanted to visit the Islas Ballestas just up the coast commonly known as the Poor Mans Galapagos. We´d thought about getting the bus to Paracas and then taking a
boat trip from there but with some baragianing with the hostel it turned out cheaper and easier to do a tour from Huacachina. This would also mean not having to pack up and move on today which sounded good to us. With a day to chill out we had breakfast in town with Beth, Stuart, Mike and Ellie and sepnt the rest of the day by the pool.
When the weather cooled a little at about 4pm we decided to go for a walk up the dunes to catch some views over town and the desert. This is far easier said than done with every step up the dune resulting in your foot slipping back about two thirds of the distance you'd stepped, a kind of natural Gladiators travellator. The tough climb up was worth the effort as we sat on top of the dune and drank in the views.
With hunger setting in we hurlted down the dunes at full speed relishing the fact that running down the dunes is far more fun than climbing up them.
A last dinner at our local with our giggly lady finished our time in Huacachina and after our room
was cleared of the fifth cockraoch we´d found today we opted for an early night before our trip up to Paracas the next day.
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