Huacachina (Ica) – Perú

The oasis of Huacachina is located four hours South of Lima, near Ica. It consists of a man made lagoon, a few hotels, bars and restaurants and is surrounded by huge sand dunes. We arrived in the morning, checked in our hotel with pool and bungalows and decided to relax for the day. So we ate breakfast, strolled around and in the evening visited two bodegas that produce wine and pisco, the latter being the national drink of many South American countries. It is a colorless brandy, made by distilling fermented grape juice. The most famous pisco cocktail here would be the Pisco Sour, prepared with egg white, lime juice, syrup and bitters.

In the first bodega we were shown how they squeeze out the juice by stepping on lots of grapes in a small basin – everything there was still traditionally produced. After that the juice is being fermented in creepy, big, urn shaped vessels for three months (I think) before it is being distilled. In the end we tried like 15 different wines and pisco cocktails leading to us buying tons of stuff from there – well, mainly Roxana and Marius did…

The second bodega we went to was also a museum. Not one that displays a certain subject – the owner basically collected anything. Pictures of Simón Bolivar, human and mammal skulls, guns, swords, old phones and stuffed animals. In those surroundings we tried even more wines and piscos right out of those urn-y clay pots and they were equally delicious. Back in the small oasis town we went to the best burger place ever where Roxana and me had the best ever soy burger…

The next day started pretty relaxed before we set out to have some late breakfast with “real” coffee (made one of us three really happy) and tasty food. It’s been a nice place to chill out with our phones for like 2 hours (sorry, it’s the new generation – we really like the internet). After that we booked the most expensive sand board-tour in town, thinking you get what you pay for. Ica is basically the capital of sand boarding and lot’s of competitions have been taken place right at Hucachina’s dunes. Our guide was a snow- and sand boarding pro and the equipment seemed good (although I don’t think I can really judge it). After one hour of training we got picked up by a sand buggy and raced around up and down the dunes for a while. That has been lot’s of fun, like on a roller coaster. They took us to four different dunes that all were really steep – too steep for me to do anything decent but sliding down really which was a shame. The last dune led us right back into town was not as steep so I could do some turns which was fun.

It has been completely different to my last sand boarding experience in the Atacama desert where the slopes haven’t been that steep, the sand has been wet and due to the consistency of the sand there you didn’t have to wax the board every single time before using it…

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