Peru Day 4 & 5 – Huacachina

The alarm clock rang at 5am. I wanted to get out early and take a walk in the desert to photograph the dunes at sunrise since last night we didn’t get to see much in the dark. At 5 there’s light already, I keep forgetting I am under the equator line. This is my first time under the equator so it’s still a bit of a reason to wonder; the sky is different, I don’t recognize any stars. We walked for a while (after five minutes you realize that all those movies of people running in the desert are fake, there is no running here, walking takes too much energy already), I shot many photos of the dunes and the oasis seen from above. It gives me a feeling of being in Morocco, never been there but from the photos I’ve seen this is what it reminds me of… actually it sounds like I need to fit Morocco in one of my next trips.
There was some fog and therefore we did not see the sunrise, and only around eight, when the sky showed itself a bit, we saw that the sun was already high. I missed the warm sunrise light. Too bad, it will be for next time.

Dunes are BIG and STEEP… no avalanches here though

We laid down on the sand (very thin, the thinnest I have ever seen, but it doesn’t stick because it’s not humid and there’s no salt) and we enjoyed this morning in the Peruvian desert. Back at the oasis, at 9:30, we had breakfast and then did the desert tour in a Dune Buggie and tried a hand at sandboarding, it’s like snowboarding but you gotta go straight, speed is ridiculous and you can’t stop unless you throw yourself down, fall, or reach the end of the slope (which typically ends with falling hard after what must feel like when you drop out of Warp Speed if those dampeners are malfunctioning). We had tons of fun; in  our group there was a German girl who had just visited Chile by herself and will be traveling until January when her boyfriend meets her, and together they will travel South America until April; there were also 3 Israeli and one American.
We had sand everywhere… back at the hostel Lindsey and I took a nice swim in the pool (wish I had more time to tan, the sun is strong here and it’s barely spring. Scorching hot!). We met some people and had dinner with them, that was the end of a long, exhausting and fantastic day.

I removed some more sand from my pockets and after breakfast we lingered around the oasis for some more photography and a bit of relaxation, then in the afternoon we took a cab to Ica. There, we wondered the streets a little without getting too far from the populated center while we waited for the time to catch our next bus. Regardless of the recent earthquake and destruction the town was bustling with an ongoing flow of people, this probably would have been a good opportunity for a photo reporter, but that’s not my kind of photography, so I just enjoyed walking around and mixing up with the crowd. We also quickly discovered that this town knows the art of pastry making, in one of the bakeries we saw we had, what we agreed was, the best strudel we ever had. I could go back to Ica just for that. In the late afternoon we finally boarded our bus to Nazca and after a few hours spent staring at the desert out of our windows we arrived.

The Peru Travel Adventure continues here

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