Leaving a seemingly normal asphalt road through the small town of Ica, huge sand dunes appeared as if guarding a hidden secret; the biggest desert oasis in South America. A large lagoon surrounded by palm trees and hotels, it truly was a sight to behold.
On top of relaxing in this beautiful setting, we signed up for a dune buggying and sandboarding tour. The thrill of speeding across the dunes in our buggy, drifting sideways and catching air over the crest was matched by the skill of our driver. Not to mention the amusement of how he enjoyed speeding towards the crowds of selfie taking tourists. Seeing their traumatic faces and mad dash of panic to get out the way as he skilfully drifted past them was incredibly entertaining, at least for us in the buggy!
Filled with ith adrenaline from the ride, we got our sandboards ready and in position. Balancing on the edge of a steep dune, lying on our fronts, head first, go! The ride was fast and smooth and soon after we progressed to standing up and even going backwards sitting down – we were virtually pros by now (well Jason was at least).
We had one last dune to conquer, la duna de la muerte! A steep and massive crater, bigger than any other we had seen. No other tour had come here and for a long time we thought our driver was having a joke… he wasn’t. While everyone stood around hesitantly trying to decide whether or not we had the guts to do it, Jason decided to go for it lying down head first.
Thankfully, he made it to the bottom safely and after seeing him complete it, we were able to get a real sense of how steep the slope was – steep enough for a few of us to lose our cool and choose to stick with the driver.
At the bottom of the crater it felt like you were trapped from the outside world, stuck in a huge sand bowl where no one would ever find you.
Fortunately our driver came to pick us up after the steep climb out, a sly chuckle on his lips.
To end our adventure we relaxed on the sand and witnessed the sun setting over the vast expanse of desert, before returning to the oasis and realising just how much sand we had brought back with us in our boots!