Archive for July 18th, 2010

18th July
2010
written by Ilana

So after what seemed like forever, we finally left Lima on Sunday and went to heaven on earth, a desert oasis called Huacachina. The oasis is a 5 minute drive from the city of Ica, which is a 4-5 hour bus ride from Lima.

This was our first of many long bus rides in South America, and after reading Lonely Planet I was terrified of having my things stolen while on the bus.  I wore a money belt and held my bag for most of the ride, which was probably a bit over the top.  We watched The Day After Tomorrow in Spanish, which kind of made it more fun,  since we guessed about the dialogue.

As soon as we got off the bus in Ica we realized how happy we were to be out of Lima.  As opposed to gray skies and nasty weather the skies were clear blue, and it was actually warm outside.  When we drove up to Huacachina and I saw the oasis and the massive sand dunes, I knew I was going to be much happier than in Lima.Huacachina oasis

We decided not to book a hostel in advance, which stressed me out, but I decided to try and adapt to the backpacker lifestyle and be more go with the flow about things.  When we reached the hostel, the man at the desk told me it was full, and I then immediately lost my new backpacker style and freaked out.  Bloom went to some other hostel and was told there were parties there until 6 am.  Not our style.  After checking out a few more hostels we found one that was cheap and relatively decent in what appeared to be a Peruvian family home.   It was confusing where the hostel ended and the home began, but overall it was good.  I apologized to Bloom for my freak out, and once again told myself that I would be more chilled out about things in the future.  We’ll see how that goes.

The next day in Huacachina we wandered around the oasis and relaxed.  In the evening we went out on the dunes in a sandbuggy that speeds over the dunes.

In the dunebuggy

We were in the buggy with a few Israelis and a few chabad guys.  Classic.

Of course Bloom was an awesome sandboarder, and I was too scared to stand and board, so I went sitting up or on my stomach, which actually went insanely fast.

Bloom sandboarding gracefully down the dunes

Bloom gracefully sandboarding

Ilana sanboarding head first and not so gracefully

The whole thing was amazing.  We saw the sunset over the dunes and they looked like they went on forever.

From Huacachina

Sadly, we left Huacachina that night on an 11 hour overnight bus to Arequipa where we planned on touring or trekking the Colca Canyon.

We splurged on first class seats on the bus, which meant that our seats were huge recliner chairs which leaned very far back.  Another luxury was the heat, which we hadn’t encountered previously in Peru.  AND there was wireless internet!  The bus was definitely nicer than any hostel we had stayed in thus far.