Huacachina, Peru- How does this place exist? How come the town isn’t swallowed up? All it would take is one mound of sand to fall over and bury this pond of water. It’s mind boggling. I’ve never seen so much sand. I’m completely surrounded by sand and sky. Oasis. When I think oasis I think [...]
How does this place exist? How come the town isn’t swallowed up? All it would take is one mound of sand to fall over and bury this pond of water. It’s mind boggling. I’ve never seen so much sand. I’m completely surrounded by sand and sky.
Oasis. When I think oasis I think small pool of water, sandy desert, palm trees. In other words I think of Huacachina. I am constantly amazed when I come across a place in the world that matches my ‘post card image’. Those images aren’t actually supposed to exist. They’re supposed to be your preconceived perfect image of some environ or place. Not actual places. That’s what I used to think but now I come across these places and find that they aren’t fictional. That they don’t just exist in my head or on a movie screen. I now confront them. I stand and I stare. Dumbfounded. Then I think, ‘Wow. This place actually exists!’ Whether it be slate gray mountains touching the sky. Ice fields as far as the eye can see. Massive waterfalls. Thick green jungle. Or, in the case of Huacachina, fields of golden sand.
I could just stare but I needed to outside of the oasis and into Earth’s version of a sandbox. I had to go play. Luckily, that’s what this place specializes in – Dune buggies and sand boarding. For 30-40 Soles ($10-$14) anyplace in town is willing to take me out to the dunes for two hours. In the late afternoon I hopped in a buggy and shot off into the sand. The driver gunned the buggy and we sped up a dune the size of a small mountain. We hit the summit in a matter of seconds instead of the hour it took me earlier that day while walking. As soon as we were on top we were plunging to the sand valley below. We took a sharp turn to speed up another wall. Engine off. 180 degree spin. Engine on. Accelerator. Fast down-hill descent. The wind blowing in my hair and small grains of sand pelting my face all along the way.
The only thing that rivaled the buggy experience was sledding down the sand mountains on a plank of waxed ply wood. ‘Hold on. Elbows in. Feet apart.’ Those were the instructions I received before being shoved off the side of a dune to a valley several hundred feet below. Several seconds after I reached the bottom my stomach showed up. Pure adrenaline rush and excitement.
The world truly is a beautiful and marvelous place.