Sun, sand and a lagoon
Huacachina Travel Blog› entry 21 of 45 › view all entries
We were last in Huaraz high up in the mountains 400km north of Lima. Having heard nothing positive about Lima, only that it was constantly grey, overcast, polluted and depressing we decided to pass straight through. We therefore caught a night bus from Huaraz to Lima arriving at about 6.20am, where we took the advice of a taxi driver to take a Peru Bus (Soyuz), with the terminal being across the road rather than the Ormeno (much further away and apparently closed....) we were planning to take. He also helped to relieve us of the 12 soles for the longer journey we didn't take. Oh well, we did get our bus 20 min earlier than planned and about 4 1/2 hours later we arrived in Ica.
Originally (...maybe...) one of those oasis lagoons surrounded by palms, where travelling traders would head as a break from the desert, and now purely a tourist trap. No bigger than the oasis you're probably imagining, there is literally nothing there other than a lagoon surrounded on 3 sides by hotels/hostels, restaurants and small provisioning shops; the fourth side being sand. The main activities other than lounging, trips out on dune buggies and sand boarding. A few holidaying peruans less interested in the desert side of things do brave the murky and slightly sulpherous smelling lagoon for a swim. Apparently the place first became popular as a holiday destination due to the apparent health properties of the water.
Well we had to try a bit of sandboarding, and seeing as the easiest way of doing this was to take a dune buggy ride as well (rather than climbing the huge dunes surrounding town, we did just that. Our buggy broke down. So our man phoned for a replacement, which ended up being better than the first one :o). Kara had her eyes shut most of the time! Sandboarding was a little like snowboarding in deep and heavy snow. Probably not helped by the boards, which were very thick plywood versions of snowboards with velcro bindings! Anyway it was a good laugh, but don't think I'm going to do a season in Huacachina.
The following day we went to the Islas Ballestas (one of the places known as the poor man's Galapogos). An early drive bakc up the coast to Parakas, nr Pisco. Purely a boat trip, we saw sea lions, humboldlt penguins, cormorants and a profusion of boobies (wahay!). The odd vulture was also lurking around ready to grab an easy meal. A rather strong smell of the guano that once made the area rich was evident too! A very good trip.
Day 3 was spent lounging. Nice.