Welcome to Huacachina (pronounced wa-ka-chee-nah). This is possibly the most random place I have ever been to.
Huacachina is this man-made oasis in the middle of some sand dunes. It feels like you’re in the middle of the desert when in actual fact you are about 10 minutes from the town of Ica (a dump). Jenny aptly described Huacachina as the size of Sandton City Food Court.
So the main draw card of Huacachina is sandboarding. Unless you like some sort of Shaun White on sand there is not a whole lot of reasons to stay here for longer than 2 days. But the sandboarding is incredibly fun.
Through our hostel Desert Nights, we organised a sandboarding/dune buggy adventure. We were piled into a dune buggy and taken up massive sand dunes. The driver was wearing a Dakar 2012 T-shirt so we decided he must have taken part in event and was now our own personal driver (obviously). The whole experience was like being on a rollercoaster. You fly straight up the dunes and bounce off over the edge. You can’t see past the peak of the dunes so you have no idea what you are facing on the other side plus you go so fast that everyone is guaranteed to squeal like little girls.
In between joyriding we sandboarded down some pretty impressive dunes. We had the choice of going down on our tummy’s or going down the proper way standing up on the boards. Since we were only doing the boarding once we opted for the tummy way. The tummy way involves zero skill. You lie down on the board and some guy pushes you off the edge. It was awesome. I turned to watch the proper sandboarders and they looked like a bunch of morons. No one could do it right and all of them spent more time face planting the sand than anything else. Tummy boarding for the win – it’s faster and way more fun.
At the end of the day we were taken to some spot to watch the sunset over the desert. The day before in the hostel I saw some dude’s facebook pictures of him doing a handstand with the sunset in the background. I thought this looked awesome and totally deep. This is my attempt to recreate my own awesome “look how free in the desert I am” shot:
I give up.