Day 4 – Islas Ballestas and Sandboarding

We were up early for the Islas ballestas tour. The day started with a bus up to the port where we then jumped on to a speed boat. There was a bit of confusion as we had been on the boat for about 10 minutes and then suddenly we were turning back to where we came from. Turns out another boat had broken down and we hadto transfer a few passengers on to our boat. As part o the tour, We saw a huge drawing of a candelabra in the mountain (similar to what you would see on the NASCAR lines I assume) and then on to see penguins, sealions, birds and more birds. This was just a morning tour.

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Penguins and other birds

Once we arrived back at our hostel, we took a taxi to “the middle of nowhere” and managed to get a bus to Ica (just one hour). The buses in Peru are more like what we would call coaches. One great thing about riding on these buses is that at every stop ladies come on to the bus selling snacks and drinks so you never go hungry! Once we arrived in Ica, we got a tuk tuk (the first of many I’m sure) to Huacachina, a small town with a population of about 250 people in the middle of the sandunes. We walked around and found a hostel/guesthouse. Can’t say it was the nicest place I’ve ever stayed but its only for one night.

We booked to go on the sandboarding tour in the afternoon which was great fun. You leave the hostel in a rally jeep which just rags it around the sand dunes, going up and down. You fly out your seat when you go down. Safety didn’t really seem to exist. No-one even came round to check that our safety straps were all in place!

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All strapped in and ready to go!

Once we got to the top of some dunes, we get out and started waxing up our sandboards. There was no real instruction on how to use the sandboard as our driver/guide spoke no english. He just went uno, dos, tres pointing at the three dunes for us to go down and then drove off (presumably to meet us at the bottom). We repeated this 3 times and each time the dunes were getting steeper and steeper. At the last set, the guide was trying to explain something in spanish to us. All I heard was the word “peligroso” which I knew meant dangerous. Then he pointed at me to volunteer to go first on the steepest dune. I had to lie down on my front and hold onto the straps as hard as I could. Then I went! I must have got up to 30/40 mph! If there’s a little bump on the ground, you go flying! The rest of the group followed. Once at the bottom we could hear our jeep struggling to start. We hung around for about 45 minutes waiting for our jeep to appear. It eventually arrived but we had missed the sunset across the dunes, which was a bit of a shame. But all in all, it was a great day. Today is the first time in which I think Wow, I have a whole year ahead of me filled with this kind of fun. How lucky am I?!

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Look at me go!

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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