Peru # 3– Sandboarding in the Desert Oasis!

December 20, 2009

First off, an American girl right next to me said Brittany Murphy died??? WHAT. I feel sad about this.

Next topic of holiday:

Day 2 of volunteering, my team ran out of wire (main resource we used to build the house, besides bamboo) and I decided to go to the market to buy more wire. This was ish a bad idea as I can get lost in a cardboard box and speak only un poquito espanol. I ended up befriending this incredibly cute (que lindo!!) old Përuvian man who helped me buy wire. I was under strict instructions to only pay 4 soles for the wire and the seller told the man it would be 4.5 soles. I had to say no and the old Peruvian man tried to lend me the extra .5 soles! Awww so cute. We also talked for a few minutes but neither of us understood what the other was saying. He thought I was from France. Ah well. Merci 🙂

Huacachina,the Desert Oasis

As we only volunteer for a half day on Saturday, Elaine, myself, and a few of our new-found, fellow PSF volunteers took off for Huachachina, an hour away from Pisco. To get there, we took a local bus to the plaza, then got in the MOST crowded “collectivo taxi” I have ever been in. Literally, 20 people in this small van. I´ve never seen anything like it, it was quite like the infamous clowns in a car trick. Go Peruvians for squeezing like sardines.

The whole point of the trip to Huacachina was to sandboard in the famous Desert sanddunes, but we unfortunately got to the town too late and missed the last tour of the day. Ah well, not so bad. We explored the area and found a restaurant to drink Pisco Sours (the local whiskey drink, made from egg whites, Pisco, lemon and sugar). Lucky for us, Gea (fellow volunteer from Estonia) is the most AMAZING bargainer on this side of the equator. She somehow bargained the drink down from 15 soles to 4 soles and also enticed the waiter, Julio, to show us the real menu.
He brought us two of what appeared to be the exact same menus, one with prices approximately 75% cheaper. I can’t believe they actually do have different menus for white people vs. locals! HAHA, so typical. and RUDE.

Pisco Sours--the national drink of...well, Pisco.

Gea, our fav Estonian traveler!

After dinner, we all played a few card games and then joined the ridiculously loud party at the hostel´s bar (in?)conveniently located right outside our dormitory. I contemplated trying to sleep, but with that ruckus going on, I had to take the “If you can´t beat em, join em” route.

The next day was sandboarding!! This was the BEST thing ever. We took a tour in a dune buggy and our driver was muy loco. We were jumping over sanddunes, literally getting a few seconds of air time before crashing back down and roaring up again at 55 kmph to make it over the next hill. I don’t get scared easily, but I was definitely screaming on this trip!

We then stopped a few times to sandboard down the sand hills (looks just like snowboarding but in the sand!).

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Totally Candid

Future plans: Elaine and I will be volunteering for a few more days here in Pisco, and then on to Arequipa for Colca Canyon trekking!

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