Huacachina is smack-dab in the middle of a desert. An oasis town with not all that much to do except for the desert excursion. As soon as we arrived, we grabbed our day packs and jumped out on the doorstep of the desert excursion company we were using. They showed us to our vehicles which were essentially large 11 man dune buggies and we were on our way. The noise vibrations these things gave off was enough to set off all the car alarms of parked vehicles that we passed. These buggies had power. After passing through the entrance to the desert, we were off for an awesome adventure.
The dune buggies were AWESOME. We shot up almost vertical dunes, ramped off the top and sped though dips. It was most exhilarating, especially when it feels as if the dune buggie is about to roll over when turn 180 degrees on an almost vertical dune. It was almost like a roller coaster. This awesomeness went on for about an hour but felt like 5 minutes. Between dune hopping, we stopped off on various dune for Dune Boarding which I will go into more detail below. It was a beautiful sight seeing the city (town) of Huacachina from the top of the dunes as well as the sunset. Even though dunes are nothing new to me as we have a fantastic dune desert in Swakopmund, Namibia, it was the first time seeing a dune desert in South America and I have never done a desert excursion such as this. When I do get back to Namibia after this trip, I will see if I can find something similar. As mentioned in a post months ago, it is sad but true that when living in a country, you take the possible adventures for granted and never do them. I was like that but that has changed with this trip.
This was some solid bruising fun. Obviously since none of us had experience dune boarding and this included the snow-boarders among us as even though the concept is the same, it’s a whole different ball game. Instead of standing on the boards, we lay flat on our bellies and held onto the foot straps. Our desert guides then shoved us off the edge of the sand dune. We did this three times on three increasingly higher and steeper dunes. We started setting challenges among ourselves as to who could go the fastest, furthest and perform the most impressive dismount. It was indeed good fun with a small adrenaline rush as the board tipped over the edge of the dune. I managed to get the highest speed and furthest distance on the final dune but my dismount was non-existent. As it started to get dark, we all jumped back in our buggies and headed for camp.
Camping in the Dunes
We finally pulled into our camp which had been set up by a couple other guides. Snuggled between sand dunes on all sides with nothing but sand visible, we had a massive barrel of Pisco Sour (a proudly Peruvian alcoholic beverage made with pisco, raw egg white and lime), a table with cooking equipment set up and a bonfire. We all gathered around the bonfire with with our pisco sour and relaxed, chatted and enjoyed the dunes. Dinner was served half an hour later and was pretty darn good. Rice, beef and veg. More pisco sours followed that until everyone was rather, for lack of a better simile, motherless. Sleeping bags planted on the sand around the bonfire were quickly filled with comatose bodies. I was one of three that lasted the longest before calling it a night. Wasn’t the most comfortable sleep. Should have made a hollow in the sand to lie in instead of the flat sand. I know for next time.
Back to Civilization
Woke up around 7am the next day, hopped back into the dune buggie (some crawled into them looking a bit like death warmed up) and we got another 15 or so minutes of adrenaline pumping dune buggieing as mentioned above to wake us up. Got dropped off in town at a hotel where we met up with Jono and Alvaro our driver and tour leader for a quick breakfast before heading off. And that was the end of Huacachina. A great adventure and for $50, I think it was well worth it. From there we were off to Huanchaco to spend a couple days relaxing on the beach. Braden out.