Thursday, 3 September 2009

Huacachina






Huacachina (pronounced something like waka-cheena) has a great name and is one of the most recognisable icons of Peru because it´s on the 20 (or is that the 50) Nuevos Soles Note. It is the picture postcard perfect oasis, something out of Lawrence of Arabia. There are, however, very few berbers and camels around. In their stead are Peruvians on benders and days out (especially at the weekend) and party backpackers and a few surf dudes looking to surf the massive plunging sands that encircle the tiny town.

It is a town entirely for tourism. Meaning there are no proper shops, post offices etc. just hostels, bars, restaurants and tour operators. The accommodation was mostly expensive by Peruvian standards, and the cheapish dorm beds we found were next to a bar. There is obviously a quick turn over of guests in a generally very anonymous fashion.
On the positive side, we found a place selling 5 soles set meals.

For all of that, the oasis is special and as soon as you climb over the first dune you are in the desert which stretches to the horizon.
We stayed one night. Waka went for a kip after lunch and I climbed a sand dune and watched the continuous stream of dune buggies taking tourists on hair raising drives through the desert; and also the people sliding down the dunes on beat up snow board looking things.

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