Final days in peru
Our final days in Peru were spent mostly gazing out of bus windows as we made our way back to Lima. Minds wandering, contemplating the scenes flying by us, and remembering the magnificence of Machu Picchu, it was nice to have this down time to let it all settle in. We broke up the trip with a night in Arequipa, a lovely small colonial town with more delicious food, and a short stint in the Pisco growing region of Ica. In Ica we went Pisco tasting and visited Huacachina, a real desert oasis that seems to pop up out of nowhere. It felt slightly disorienting, all of sudden being surrounded by an intense amount of yellow sand. After a couple of Pisco sours and some bantering with the locals, we decided it would be a great idea to go take photos from the top of the dunes. Young men driving dune buggies approached offering us rides but we insisted we would walk to the top. This proved to be quite a hilarious attempt. As soon as we took our shoes off to begin our climb our feet jumped up at the sensation of scalding sand between our toes. We put our socks back on and took off up the insanely steep sand dunes laughing as we tried not to topple over backwards. An hour later, hot and sweaty, we were still not even close to the peaks. Embarrassed and sun-kissed we made our way back down the massive dunes, mostly sliding on our backsides. Sand pouring out from every crevice we sheepishly approached the same men we had denied earlier. They were amused, and gave us a good price to drive to the top for a photo-op. For some reason I wasn’t expecting much, but as soon as the dune buggy kicked into gear Yana and I both had the smiles of children slapped on our faces. Grinning ear to ear the entire ride we raced through the dunes with the gorgeous view of the oasis bouncing in the background.
The story of Huacachina:
“Legend holds that the lagoon was created when a beautiful native princess was apprehended at her bath by a young hunter. She fled, leaving the pool of water she had been bathing in to become the lagoon. The folds of her mantle, streaming behind her as she ran, became the surrounding sand dunes. And the woman herself is rumored to still live in the oasis as a mermaid.”
The trip ended the same as it began, with more salsa dancing in Lima blessed by the company of new friends. We left Peru with heavy hearts and hopes of soon returning.