Huacachina

10th February:
I got my foot checked. I have a small hairline stress fracture. I cried when I found out. It’s worse knowing what it is. When I didn’t know I felt like I could do anything. Like I was invincible. They strapped it up and said I needed a support boot but they didn’t have any. I’ll have to try the next place that I go to, which is Huacachina, a little town just outside of Ica.

My bus is a 10pm, 8hr journey to Lima where I will then get a connection to Ica. Another 5hrs. The first bus is fine. I’m travelling with Cruz Del Sur as much as I can. They’re a bit more expensive but they are the safest I’ve encountered so far. You also get to check in your bag like an hour before you depart which is great when my bag seems to now weigh 19kg. A whole kg up from last week. I haven’t been force feeding it new things. I get on the bus and end up having two seats to myself. Wonderful. I half watch the most recent Mission Impossible, for the second time, and then sleep on and off for 4hrs.

11th February:
We arrive in Lima at 6am. I didn’t book my next bus in case we arrived late but I managed to get on the 6.30am to Ica. Again, two seats to myself. This time, and for the first time so far, there are individual tv screens in the back of the chair in front of you, like on those flying buses that are up in the sky. I watch a film called Man Up and realise I really need to. I thought it was just a comedy but it was a rom-com. Gross. Thirty-something year old failing in love, steals a blind date from Waterloo. They spend the day together, he finds out she isn’t the date he was meant to have. They fight then bump into his soon-to-be-ex-wife and pretend they’re an item and talk proudly of their sex life, which is non-existent. Then she leaves and goes to her parents’ 40th Wedding Anniversary, which she is seriously late for, (how anyone can be together more than two years baffles me – Sorry Sal – clocks ticking), then he tracks her down and they make out in her parents bathroom. She is clearly selfish and lacks respect. Next I watch Pitch Perfect 2 which is bloody brilliant. Then I watched a Christmas movie with Robin Williams in it. That was alright. Didn’t see all of it as we arrived in Ica. I hobble off the bus, no more jumping and get a taxi to my hostel.

I’m staying at Banana’s Adventure which is a really cool place to stay. There’s a pool, a bar, a lovely aroma coming from the kitchen. I arrive at 11.30am and included in my rate are some activities.
“There’s a wine tour at 12pm”, she says.
“Great! I’ll do that!”
I drop my bag in my room, not really feeling like I know what the correct time is having travelled over 13hrs to get here through the night, on a broken sleep. I’m in a group with 5 other girls from Australia and New Zealand and we head off on the wine tour. We walk round the winery for a bit and see how they make wine from the grapes. They only make sweet wine in Peru. Tastes like a dessert wine. We only walk around for 5mins and then head to the bar. Would be my kind of wine tour normally but I haven’t been drinking recently and I haven’t had breakfast. Or was it meant to be dinner? What time is it? Where am I? He gives us a very sweet wine and then another even sweeter wine, before bringing out Pisco.. Which is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. And pretty strong for someone that has not eaten in…. I don’t even know how long. We go to a second place just down the road where there have the wine and pisco sitting in 70 litre ceramic containers. The guy puts a long wooden stick inside, pulls it back out, tips and out of it pours the liquid. We end up having several more shots before we are about to leave. On our way our there are a group of locals having a wail of a time. Drinking wine and pisco like it’s going out of fashion. Two of the women must have been in their 60s and probably what Sal and I will be like when we’re that old. Well, and all of my friends really. I seem to be surrounded by like minded people which can be quite dangerous. One of the ladies pulls a girl from our group into the their dancing circle. Soon we are all involved and being given more wine and pisco. People are very welcoming and friendly here. I’ve found that in Ecuador and Peru. It’s really refreshing. You know I’m not one to say no to a drink and especially when in someone else’s culture. That’s my excuse anyway. The lady said I had 5 seconds to drink the shot and counted to two when I had finished it. We danced around for a bit before having to leave and go back to the hostel. They were all hammered. One guy had fallen asleep on a bench. All this and it was only 2pm on a Thursday afternoon. I might move here.

Back at the hostel we have some lunch. The girls are going on the dune buggies at 4pm and try desperately to sober up. I’m sure it would be loads of fun doing it pissed but I’m going tomorrow and don’t plan on being. I have a beer with my food before deciding I need a siesta. What? It’s the heat…

Later I meet a guy called Carlos who is from Chiclayo, which is in the north of Peru. He has very little English. Less than my Spanish, which is improving all the time but we also rely on Google Translate to help us with some words. It’s fun. I have a beer with him and then say good night.

12th February:
I get up and lay around reading my new book which is called “Winner of the National Book Award”. When Sal asked me what it was called it took me about 5 minutes to figure out that was the title of the book and not just an accolade.

We leave for the sand dunes at 4pm. Our driver apparently has 20+ years of experience. He also doesn’t speak any English. Which is fine because all we do for the duration of the ride is pretty much scream. He looks back at us at one point and all I can think is, “What happened to you? Why do you enjoy hearing people scream with fear?” But it’s so much fun. We stop at the top of one dune where he gives us some boards for us to sand board. Because of my ankle, and complete lack of balance, I opt to sit down. It is so much fun! There aren’t any pictures of this because I put my phone in my bag so as not to lose it but one of the dunes was so bloody high. A couple people made it look easy by standing up. I totally could if my foot was stronger, I thought. I don’t know if that’s true but I will find out another time.

I have sand everywhere. No amount of showering is helping. It’s a good place to relax here with my foot. Well, I can’t leave it at home can I, that’s something my Nanny Muriel would joke about. I’m missing my family quite a bit but I’m not wishing away time. I still have so much to do and I have to be in Rio by the end of the month to meet Ria where we will spend two weeks together! Jordan joins us for 10 days too. Can’t wait to see familiar faces. Before then I will head to Cusco on Sunday. Then Cusco to Puno to Arequipa to Arica to San Pedro de Atacama to Salta to Mendoza to Buenos Aires to Igauzu Falls to São Paulo to Rio… In about two weeks. It’s gonna be so much fun.

Hope you are all well and not missing me too much.

2 thoughts on “Huacachina

  1. Glad your still managing to have a good time despite your foot . The dunes ride sounded fab . Loving your blog except for the bit about being together for more than 2 years 😉 -40 years together for us this year !!! ( and not a cross word between us !!!!!!!!! ) . Keep the pics and blog coming . Lots of love xx

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