Ica and Huacachina
We checked into our hotel in Huacachina, a short five mile drive from the town of Ica, and scoped out our new digs.
Complete with a bar, breakfast, a pool with lounge chairs, and laundry service, I was pretty stoked.
I arranged tickets for sand boarding at 1:30 and decided to walk around his desert oasis and find out what the lagoon is all about. Only a block away, we ran into a postcard paradise, a cute little lagoon, encircled by palm trees, restaurants and bars, amongst sand dunes and nothingness that stretched as far as your eyes could see.
It was amazing. It was around 1pm and almost time to head out for our sand boarding thrill ride so we headed back to the hostel. The lounge chairs were filled with people tanning the fairness off their skin and drinking cerveza around the pool. This looked like just too much fun and the awful array of random tan lines I had acquired from the many unflattering outfits I'd clad myself in for the last month, begged to be evened out. We decided to push out sand boarding back to four and kick it by the pool for some r&r. I read the end of my second novel and munched on a fresh avocado salad while the rays worked their way into my pasty exterior.
It was time for sand boarding! I grabbed an ice cream bar on my way out to the buggy and psyched myself up for this long awaited thrill ride.
They loaded us into the nine seat buggy and introduced us to our driver, "smiley". I later deducted that his name must be attributed to the masochistic way he giggled right as everyone was about to piss themselves with fright. Without so much as an instruction or a waiver of any kind, Smiley whipped the buggy up through the dunes.
Strapped in, like a three year old in a car seat, head banging against the roll cage, we plummeted down the sand on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime!
The dune buggy ride was just as much fun as the sand boarding itself!
Now I figured that, since I had been snowboarding before, and I was pretty good at that, sand boarding should come easy. Not quite. First of all, the boards are not like snowboards, they don't even have bindings, just Velcro straps to hold your feet in place.
As you glide down the hill, the concept of weight disbursement are the same but if you cut into the sand at all, you're done for. The sand overtakes your board and you're kissin' dunes. It wasn't too hard to get the hang of and it was a great rush.
The last hill we came to was monstrous and we were told that this hill had to be done on our stomachs for safety reasons.
At first it made sense until I was laying face down on the board, with my head dangling over the top, mere inches from the sandy death below me, hanging on to the Velcro straps with white knuckles of terror. I flew down the peak like a penguin on an iceberg and let out the most girlish scream of my life.
It was great! I went again.. And again until it was dark.