May 20, Huacachina Sand Dunes
The village of Huacachina has a population of about 115 people, not counting the mermaid that supposedly lives in the Oasis lagoon.
Huacachina is home to some of the tallest sand dunes in the world and the main reason to visit is for sandboarding and sand buggying.
Which is exactly why we are here, with the added bonus of sleeping out under the stars.
Sandboarding is better done laying down, not standing up – you go much faster. After a rollercoaster drive out to the crest of a steep dune, we are handed our sandboards, instructed to lie down headfirst and pushed off.
The first ride is the scary one, traveling at up to 60km/hour, you just have to hold on and hope. I envisage going head first over my board and being buried under sand. Once you survived the first run, you just go for it.
We have 4-5 runs down increasingly steeper dunes. Don seems to have the nack and manages to achieve the best distance in the group most times. Of course I try with all my will to beat him, but without success.
Don also managed to kill our small camera (second edition, the first we left on a bus in Mexico), sand and cameras do not mix, especially kept in your jeans pocket sandboarding!
Sundowners are atop a wind sculptured sand dune, watching the sun turn the sky red and orange as it dips behind the endless sand.
The sand buggies race us off deeper into the desert, arriving at a large sand bowl where a fire is lit for our BBQ dinner and a-port-a-loo stands at a comfortable distance.
This is our accommodation for the night, simply pick a spot and roll-out your sleeping bag. No tents required, drink plenty (of alcohol) and you won’t even notice where you are!
It was a surprisingly comfortable, if not short, night. Everyone is awake at sunrise, packed-up and back in our buggies heading towards the Oasis for breakfast.
The drivers are much more subdued on the return journey, possibly nursing their own sore heads.