I'm writing this post a little out of order, but I wanted to write about our sand boarding adventure this morning while I have an internet connection and while it is fresh in my mind.
We arrived in Huacachina last night to be welcomed at the reception right by a pool again by the bar. This hostel is much bigger than Kokopelli and it is surrounded by giant sand dunes. It's quite the scene. There is a disco inside the hostel and the scene is quite young but energetic and lively. Dylan seems to be developing an appreciation for travel which thrills me. There is a barbecue which we join that is $8 ayce and drink for 90 minutes. Michael and I put a dent in their supply of pisco sours which I found particularly good. Michael actually switched to rum and coke because he didn't trust the raw eggs they were using in the pisco sours. Even though it was a Saturday night and we had no early obligations and the disco was thumping like a peruvian taxi I hit the sack early and Dylan and Michael followed shortly after. This allowed for an early wake up and breakfast. As we were ready to go we hit the sand dunes early for our sand boarding trip. We were picked up in a dune buggy and we traveled with 6 others in the vehicle including the driver. Little did I know that the ride to the and from the sand boarding would be the highlight. The driver was blasting up the dunes at supersonic speeds, berming into the hills at angles that seemed ripe for a flip and the roll bars gave me little consolation. The girl next to me described it as a sandy roller-coaster. Even when I was pissing my pants at the top of the Stratosphere I had the sense there was engineering and some safety standards. This dune buggy had all of the same thrills without the same sense of safety. Oh well, it's a good way to go. Zoom straight up steep dunes, no problem, but the blind flight over the summit and the plummet straight down to berm another sand dune at mach 5. My heart is racing and we haven't even started sand boarding.
So our thrilling ride gets us to the precipice of sand dune with a fairly steep pitch staring us down....but it's just sand.
We all start out on top of the boards as if they are snow boards. The sand doesn't provide much resistance so the only real move is to bomb straight down or wash out. We all try to make a few turns which seems to kill the momentum too much. So Dylan and I just lay face down on the boards and bomb it. Woo hoo!!
At the bottom we all think we're supposed to climb back to the top. We're wrong, but we don't discover this until we have already wore ourselves out negotiating the seemingly mammoth dune. Breathing heavily and whipped by the task we are incredulous when we see the dune buggy drive to the bottom. Lesson learned. We hit it again, but this time eschew the snow board style and try variations on our bellies and butts. At the bottom it is small climb to the next peak. We do this three times with down hill slides back to the buggy. There, the driver takes off and we assume that's it. Nope. That was the warm up. We find a slope that's longer and steeper. This looks a little daunting at first. No worries, it's sand. I go first and I choose a slightly wider board thinking it would really go. What I didn't notice was the nose of the board was slightly flatter. I sit ass down and release myself to the power of gravity. The flat nose means more sand flying in my face at mach speeds. Bad choice. As I get to the bottom, mouth full, eyes welded shut, ears encrusted, I see the Korean woman lay face down on her board and race down the hill at an impressive speed. WOW!
We're pretty spent by the time we get back in the dune buggy. I'm not sure if we're heading to another dune or what. The driver amps up the speed and angles on this drive. Wow! Totally thrilling! We are flying over dunes and into berms. We fly in this thrilling fashion for a while. This is really the best part. Dylan is totally enthused by this reckless endeavor. We get to a point where we can see Huacachina. This is really an oasis in a barren desert. There is a small body of water surrounded by large sand mounds. The palm trees line the water. It's a nice scenic ending to a pretty thrilling trip.
Viva mas amigos!