I had a van transfer from Paracas directly to Huacachina, where I had the sandboarding thing already booked and included in my package.
I had a couple of hours before the sandboarding to walk around this area, it’s very small and touristic – but beautiful. Huacachina is an oasis in the desert, literally. There is this big water pool surrounded by big sand dunes and desert. Apparently is the only oasis in america. Quite cool.
I got friends with one of the artisans there and helped him translate a text from Spanish to English.. quite funny. Then I had a delicious vegetarian burger with fries at Desert Nights restaurant, and for dessert, ice coffee – the best I’ve ever had in my life. So good.
So the sandboarding… was different. It was so much fun to race around in the sand dunes with the jeep, it felt like a rollercoaster. But the sandboarding itself was slightly disappointing, mainly because the boards were so bad, just a tree thing with some Velcro straps on it. No boots or anything. So it was very difficult to sandboard and do the turns since your feet aren’t really stuck in the board, I did 2 times though, and the last 2 times I did as everybody else – just lying on my stomach on the board and going down the dune – it’s really fast and funny!
I know there are “professional” boards with boots, but I’m disappointed that they didn’t even say something about it here, that you have paid for this activity without knowing that it’s not going to be as in the pictures.. well well. It was worth anyways!
I met up with my host Jesus there after the sandboarding event, and with another girl from Spain, Laura, that was staying with him. On our way to his house, we also picked up a Japanese girl and Jill from the united states. So we were going to be 5 girls at the same time at Jesus! No one of us did know about it. In the beginning I felt a little bit weird, mainly because I didn’t feel I could get to know Jesus well if we were so many.. but in the end I’m sooo glad they were there. I wanted to shower when we got home because I had literally sand EVERYWHERE, but apparently the water is turned of after 22, so I couldn’t… and you can’t flush the toilet or wash your teeth either… weird thing to turn of! Haha. Oh and also, the house is under construction, so the toilet didn’t have a door…. also slightly weird to know that people can pass by or enter when you are sitting there… haha. But I took the shower curtain around me so I wasn’t that laid bare.. haha.
Next day we all went for a small walk around the city of Ica. Ica have had quite many earth quakes and all the buildings are damaged and ugly. It is really not a beautiful at all… so much traffic and noise.. I have NEVER seen so many mototaxis in my life! And they honk ALL THE TIME! Hahaha. Amazing.
We run some arrences, and I got an appointment for waxing, finally :) We had lunch at a chinese/Peruvian food place, it was actually really good, quite cheap, 6-9 soles (mine cost of course 9, even if it was without the meat, so typical! This is one thing I’ve noticed here, that they can do the vegetarian option for you, but you pay the same as if it was meat in it.. always makes me mad) but the good thing is that we took half of that with us as a doggy bag and had it for dinner too. But cold, since Jesus and his mother ran out of gas in the kitchen they said.
In the evening everybody left for Huacachina to do the sandboarding, but since I already had done it, I went to a saloon to do my vaxing. Such a nice place, and the guy who did it was so funny and sweet. Also, he sold me under the table a vax thing that looks like a flat deodorant sort of, you warm in the micro for 3 minutes and then roll it over your hair. It’s perfect for traveling. Haha.
Jesus and the girls picked me up on the way back and we got to the house. The Japanese girl, had just found out that her grandfather had died, so she had to go back to Japan tomorrow, after 9 months of traveling. She asked Jesus if she could borrow his computer with internet so that she could skype with her family and buy a ticket to Tokyo, and he said it was ok. But after like 5-10 minutes, Jesus mother comes in and asks me to tell her that she has to end the call, because the internet has a limit and she is the one who is paying. I asked if it was ok to pay her a couple of soles for using the internet but she didn’t let her. Weird.
We picked up two german girls and then dropped of the Japanese girl in the center so she could go to an internet café and then go to Lima to fix everything, the rest of us went to Huacachina for some drinks, but it was quite dead today, still nice to do something.
This morning I went to the other part of the house to ask if I could use the kitchen to do my breakfast (oatmeal, the new thing, sooo good and easy to do – if – you have a kitchen of course!) but this time the mother actually said “No, you are supposed to be in your part of the house and not here, and I’m soon going there myself to eat breakfast”… so now we got it black on white. We were not welcome there. We have had our suspicions about it before, mainly because we couldn’t go to the kitchen (”we are out of gas”), and if we wanted to store anything in the fridge or charge a battery it was like ”um……well…… ok……” but we couldn’t go ourselves to the fridge to put it there, we had to stay at the door while they did it for us, even if the fridge was 2 metres from the door. So yes, we noticed that they didn’t want you to use their part of the house. I think that they earned a small commission for every time they sold a sandboarding tour.. that’s why they had so many couchsurfers there… I don’t know. But it was my first weird couchsurfing experience. Hopefully my last!!
We girls went out to find a taxi to go Cachiche, which is known for being the centre of witchcraft in Peru. While walking outside looking for a yellow taxi, some women sitting outside their house which we passed by runs towards us when we are standing in a corner of the street looking for taxis, and she tells us that this is not a safe area for us to be in at all. The day before two german girls had been sequestrated here… and we saw more and more “tough guys” gathering around us on their mototaxis… but happily the women had called a safe cab for us who picked us up and took us to Cachiche. I had heard earlier that this wasn’t a good area – by other taxi driver – but why doesn’t my host say anything about this??? It’s just too much… It made me dislike this place even more.
So.. in Cachiche then. It is a very very small little village, almost everything in ruins or construction – apparently everything was destroyed in the last earthquake. We went to the Parque de Cachiche where there is a statue of a very famous good witch, Julia, who cured the stammer of a boy, who later became a famous congressman in Lima and to thank her, he did this statue of her here.
Then we went to the museum just across the street from the park, and it looked closed, but they opened up for us and told us a little bit of the story there and a pyramid they have, some paintings etc. The man who owned a museum there was a warlock, but the place was under construction and wasn’t really open. It was nice to hear the legend though, and I think it will be a much bigger attraction soon too when they have fixed it, have a store, a restaurant and some activites… like palm readings and tarot cards.
After that we visited the legendary Palmera de siete cabezas – a young kid comes running to us and offers to tell us the legend about it, I ask how much it costs and he says “nada, solo su voluntad”.. soooo sweeeet, he starts by “hello, welcome to cachiche, my name is alberto and I’m going to tell you a little about the palm tree with seven heads”… such a good strong voice and interesting story.
So the legend says that this tree was a normal straight tree and a meeting point for bad witches who did human sacrifices in return for knowledge about the future. One day one of the witches pulled the shortest stick and was supposed to get sacrified, but she objected and got so mad that she cursed this tree. Now it is a deformed tree, the trunk is twisted six times and is growing down in the sand and surging up in 6 different crowns. The seventh crown they cut every year, because it is said that if they allow the 7th head to grow, the town will go under. Once they didn’t cut the 7th head and the city was flooded. Now they never forget to cut the 7th head.
We gave him one sol each, so he was really happy about it.. The tree is really weird. I can’t understand how this is possible, haha. How can ONE palm tree have SEVEN heads? And under the sand and everything.. amazing. There is only one other like this, but with 3 heads, somewhere in Africa..
After cachiche we went to the town of Ica and had some ice cream, coffee and pizza. Then we went to a ciber café for an hour before going home.. The girls went to Huacachina to sandboard and Jill packed her bag and left for Cuzco with the 18 bus. Buhuuuu….. but I only have to stand one more night in this town before leaving tomorrow at 12pm… and I’m spending the evening alone in this apartment with my computer.. I’ve fixed all the pics, now I just need some internet, haha. Hopefully I will have time in Nazca :) I have also watched like 5 episodes of Parks and recreation, they are sooo funny, love them, so I felt like I had a really great evening anyways :)
When the girls arrived, late, because they had taken a walk there and had dinner – we played a funny cardgame called Shithead, haha, very funny.