Quaking in Our Sandshoes

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October 30th 2011
Published: October 30th 2011
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 Video Playlist:

1: Rob Sandboarding 12 secs
Tina Writes

We had allowed for two days of recovery in Cusco before moving on. As we were now in a $50 a night hotel, recovery was fast. A good bed and shower make a world of difference. We both went for a massage, this time paying a little more for better quality and hot stones, it was fantastic! Then straight to, you guessed it, Maccy D’s. Ahhhhhhhh.

We later met up with two of the people we met on the trail, Mitesh and Deepa. We had got on really well on the trek, plus the fact that Deepa’s pace was similar to mine and Mitesh being a good friend and staying with her, just like Rob had for me. We all went for a drink in the world’s highest Irish pub, swapped emails and went our separate ways. Deepa’s sister lives in Glasgow so maybe we will meet again.

Next day we booked our tickets to Ica for the day after then headed to the main square for lunch/dinner. We forced ourselves to eat somewhere other than McDonalds and decided on a set menu for S20 (£4.65) including a drink and a dessert. As we approached the restaurant, I heard my name being called and turned to see Matt and Kate, a couple we had met in Argentina and bumped into various times since. They joined us for lunch and we sat chatting for hours.

The bus to Ica was at 6pm, so we hung about the Hotel chatting to Colin on Skype and then headed to the bus station. It was going to be a 16 hour journey. We had got the first class seats which included dinner and breakfast. The last time we had this it took 6 hours before we got any food so we bought a sandwich and ate it as soon as we got on. The food was then served immediately after! They had some Spanish singing pop stars DVD on, he was clearly famous in the 80’s from the looks of the videos and it was playing full blast. I had to ask them to turn it down but they only turned it down a little bit. I wasn’t happy. I don’t think Peru have heard of earphones. They then put on ‘The Tourist’ dubbed in Spanish, with English subs. I watched for a while but as I had this film on the netbook I decided to watch it in English simultaneously.

Rob felt quite sick on this journey and spent most of it trying to sleep and ignore the nausea. We both had a tough time sleeping even though our seats went back 160°. At 7am I was woken by the blasting sound of Legally Blonde dubbed in Spanish and no English subtitles, being played. WHY!!!!!

We arrived in Ica and headed straight to Huacachina in a taxi (£1.60). Huacachina is an oasis surrounded by massive sand dunes. It looks amazing. The thing to do here is go sand buggying and sand boarding. We did our rounds of the hostels and settled on another 3 star hotel, but it was just as cheap as the others and it had a pool at S80 per night (£18). We headed out and had a look around.

The cafe next door had WiFi, so we headed in there. As I sat checking out Facebook, I turned to Rob to tell him to stop tapping his leg under the table (Smith Disease) but in the same split second I realised the vibration was an underground train or maybe a motorbike was about to pass by my side and then, again, in the same split second I looked up and saw the waiter run. I then knew it was an earthquake! I bolted out to the open expecting Rob to be following but he was grabbing our stuff, I screamed ‘RUN ROB!.’ Out he came and I asked him if he was mental, he said ‘what’s going on?’ he still hadn’t worked out it was an earthquake. I was in an earthquake in Zante a few years ago so I guess I worked out what it was from that experience but if you haven’t been in one before, it’s really difficult to understand just what the hell is going on, it’s such an unnatural feeling but yet is very natural in its own right. There were another 2 tremors that day. Each time we ran out to the open along with the locals who all looked a bit scared. That was the most worrying part, in Zante, these tremors happen twice a month, so the locals don’t even raise an eyebrow but here they looked afraid. Lima and a lot of the Peru coast were levelled in 2007 so I can see why. I asked around about how normal this was and they told us it happens about 2 times a year. So I guess they just can’t be sure if it’s going to be massive or not. When there is no death or destruction in an earthquake its actually quite good fun.

Next day we climbed one of the dunes. Easier said than done, wish I still had my can of oxygen! Then we ran down it. Rob at great speed. It was quite funny. We spent the afternoon in the pool and then got ready for the buggying. We climbed aboard this metal roll cage on wheels and off we went. Speeding over the dunes. It was great fun. We were taken to the top of one of the many dunes and the ‘sandboards’ were brought out. Just like a snowboard, you could stand up on it or lie down, head first and fly down the dune. It was a bit scary. Everyone lay down for the first go. Then we climbed the next dune and went down the other side. Rob decided to stand for this one but was on his arse in seconds. Next one, I tried standing, same result. On my arse. We got to the last dune and it was massive. The speed I had gained half way through was mental and the G force was strong. All I could see was the next dune in front of me and I really thought I would smash right into it coming out the other side like Wiley Coyote or something but, of course, I went up the hill coming to a slow stop like everyone else. We watched the sun set and headed back to the hotel. Great fun but the sand will be with us for a long time to come.

Next up is Arequipa, likely our last stop in Peru.

Additional photos below
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30th October 2011

Huacachina looks amazing! it's like a town from A Final Fantasy game or something. Watched Rob sand boarding through my fingers. Very brave!
30th October 2011

Sounds fab but I am sure you'll be finding sand in every orifice until you reach Asia :-b x
6th November 2011

Sand Boarding! Dune Buggies with rollbars? That's nothing, you should see me wizzing round Tesco on my Electric Buggy---put the fear of death into you, Old Ladies throwing wobblers and clutching their handbags! Now that's what you call fun! Good Blog, do keep on enjoying yourselves, Love, Pops.

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