Category Archives: Peru

Hard Hiking

Ivan and I were woken up at 5 am on November 24, 2012.  It was time to pack up our sleeping bags, mats and pillows into our duffel bags.

Breakfast was at 5:30 am.  The group had an omelet, porridge and fried plantains.

We have three guides which were Alfredo, Alessandro and Ronnell.  They’re supposed to stay at the front, middle and end of the group.

The group took off at 6 am.  Today was going to be our hardest day according to Alfredo.


We hike for three hours up which was a hard hike for me.  The group took a short break and then off for more hiking up. 


When I’m going up, I take more breaks since I get short of breath. 


We reached Warmi Wañusca or more commonly known as Dead Woman’s Pass which is the highest point at 4,200 meters (13,776 ft.).  There would have been a great panoramic view but it was very cloudy, so we couldn’t see anything.  It started raining.  I put on my pink pancho.  Bob said I looked like Bubblegum. 


The group headed down to where we had lunch.  Our lunch consisted of stuffed peppers with cheese and quinoa.

It was time to head down to the camp.  Too bad it was raining because all the rocks were wet.  The group started hiking down.  I was afraid I was going to fall so I used both walking sticks.  It was really slippery, so I was going slow since I was being cautious.  I’m glad we brought our gloves since it was really cold out.  One of the guides is supposed to be behind us the whole time since I’m the slowest one.  But, that isn’t the case which I don’t think is right – I guess they figure it’s okay since Ivan’s with me.  The guide waits for us to catch up though.  It took us 2 hours to reach Paqayayu which is the largest camp site on the Inca Trail.

Tea time was at 5:30 pm with cookies and popcorn. 

At 7 pm, we had dinner.  There was a vegetable soup, eggplant omelet, rice with veggies and a chocolate pudding.

Some people were playing cards while Ivan showed the porters magic tricks.

Ivan and I went to sleep early since we were tired from hiking a lot today.


Inca Trail

Ivan and I left with the group at 6 am on November 23, 2012 which was the start of our Inca Trail trip.  Lil Dave was going with his long lost uncle David to the Inca Trail – I’m sure he’ll have lots of bananas and fun.  The bus driver drove us for an hour and a half to Ollantaytambo.

The group had breakfast in a restaurant.  Ivan and I each got a banana pancake which is quite big and filling and muesli with fruit. 

The bus then drove us to Piskacucho Km 82 which took about 45 minutes.  Our duffel bags were weighed.  Our porters would have to carry them along the Inca Trail which they can carry up to 40-50 pounds every day.  Our main guide Alfredo said the porters are called Machines since they’re fast and very strong.

Our group took a picture in front of the Inca Trail Km 82 sign.


We saw the ruins Q’Anabamba.

Ivan and I were listening to music while hiking.  I was listening to one of Fatboy Slim’s mixes and one song’s lyrics are “Machines can do the Work” which made me think of how hard the porters were working.  Fatboy’s Slim’s fun music really keeps me going during the trek.


Later on, we saw the more impressive ruins Q’Entimarka.


We had lunch near the Llactapata Ruins.  Our cooks served up a great ceviche for a starter.  The main course was a tasty fried trout with potatoes.

The group started hiking again and reached Wayllabamba at 3,000 meters (9,840 feet).  The porters were already there with our tents all set up.  The porters clapped when we came into the camp site.  Ivan thought they were being sarcastic.  I’m sure they were just congratulating us on completing the first day of the Inca Trail. 

The hiking today was relatively easy.  It’s great that we stop a lot.  Ivan is great that he stays with me since I’m the slowest of the group.  He makes sure I drink lots of water and eat food.  We got plenty of coca snacks (the toffee ones are the best), candy and nuts.

Here’s a picture of us with our main guide Alfredo.


Ivan always forgets his name and calls him another Italian sauce like Pesto or Arrabiata.

The group had free time before tea time.  Ivan and I put out our inflatable mats and read our books.

Tea time was at 6 pm with crackers, tea and popcorn. 

Dinner was an hour later.  The dinner was a mushroom omelet for the vegetarians and lots of pasta.  Dessert was a fruity paste similar to the one we had at the Arajuno Jungle Lodge.  We were definitely being spoiled with the great food and having our tents set up and put down for us.




Ivan and I were so tired after dinner that we decided to go to bed.


Organic Noodles

Lil Dave and I were up at 9 am on November 22, 2012.  Ivan was up early at 6 am. 

We used the internet and I worked on the blog before heading out at noon.  It was a warm day out.

Ivan and I went shopping for things we still need for the Inca Trail trip starting tomorrow.  We bought panchos and socks.

It was time for lunch, so we went to Greens Organic which is a vegetarian restaurant.  Ivan and I shared a quinoa soup and a mango smoothie.  Lil Dave got a banana and chicken sandwich.  Ivan and I got a campesino sandwich with goat cheese, arugula, tomato confit, artichokes, grilled zucchini, caramelized onions and a quinoa hummus which was simply delicious.


We shopped around the main square buying medicine, toothpaste and clothes.  Cusco is supposed to be a backpackers city, but we couldn’t find any bookstores selling English novels.  The stores did sell English books on Inca Trail, but not everybody wants to read about that.  We only found one little store selling English novels.

Cusco is easy to walk around.  Calle Saphi where our hotel is located is under construction, but part of it is a cute street with balconies filled with shops and restaurants.


At 3 pm, we went back to the hotel.  We packed up our duffel bags with our sleeping bag, mat, clothes and toiletries.  The weight limit is 7 kg (15.4 lbs).  Ivan and I also packed up our daypacks.

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA today.  The only place that I know of that has a turkey dinner is The Real McCoy.  Ivan and I don’t eat turkey though. 

We went to Bambu – Sushi and Noodle Bar for dinner. 


We started off with a lovely fusion salad with mango, cranberry sauce, onions, apples and flat noodles.   Ivan and I also shared thin noodles with salmon and a Nutty Indonesian noodle dish.  The noodle dishes were okay, not that exciting in flavor.



Ivan, Lil Dave and I were up at 6 am on November 21, 2012.  Mel cooked up porridge for breakfast. 


Franco doesn’t like porridge since he says it’s baby food. 

Franco started driving the truck at 7:30 am.  It was another long drive day headed to Cusco, Peru.

Ivan was reading the book Private Games while I was finishing up Pebble in the Sky. 

The truck stopped on the side of the road for lunch.  The cook group made a vegetable salad and a waldorf salad.  The veggie salad was good on the bread with the waldorf salad on the side.  Waldorf salad always makes me think of the tv show Fawlty Towers.  Since our tents were so wet, we laid them out to dry.

We started driving for a few more hours and we were ahead of schedule.  Franco drove us to a nice viewpoint of Cusco. 


The truck was off again to the hotel.  Mel checked us in at Hotel Cahuide at 4 pm.  Ivan and I grabbed our stuff and went to our room.  

At 6 pm, there was a meeting in the reception area.  The group created a t-shirt design with Ty and Bob drawing things for it.  A lady was there with different t-shirt sizes and colors.  Ivan and I tried some on and then ordered our t-shirts.

Our guides for the Inca Trail were there as well.  The group were given maps of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  He told us what we would be doing for the next 4 days and 3 nights.  The money was collected for the porters and if we wanted to hire walking sticks.  Ivan and I decided to each get one walking stick.  I’m pretty nervous about hiking the Inca Trail since I don’t walk the fastest because I have ankles that get sore easily.  I’ve sprained my right ankle twice.  We got our bags which the porters will be carrying.  The limit is 7 kg (15.43 lbs).

Most of the people in our Oasis group walked to The Real McCoy which is a British pub.  It was really busy.  Our group ended up being separated since we had lots of people.  Ivan ordered drinks and food at the bar to try to beat the rush of people ordering. 

It was Pub Quiz night and we decided to join.  Our group named our team To The Max since it’s Harry’s main catchphrase.  His other catchphrase is Rock n’ Roll.  The other Oasis group named their team Nobody likes Pete.  Pete was on our team.  

Ivan and I got red wine with our dinner.  We shared tomato soup, dips with hummus, guacamole and salsa and fish and chips.  The tomato soup and chips were great.  The dips were alright and the fish had too much beer batter.

There were different rounds like Famous Smiles where we had to guess famous people’s smiles like Barack Obama and Julia Roberts by seeing pictures of only their smiles.  The one that stumped most teams was Justin Bieber.  Everybody thought it was a girl! 

There was a Thanksgiving category since the pub host was American.  Our team did great coming in 2nd place – we only lost by 2 1/2 points.  We beat the other Oasis group. 

Ivan, Paul, Sam and I walked back to the hotel. 

Ivan was thinking of watching something on the laptop, but he was too tired.  It was really cold in the room.  We fell asleep around 11 pm.


Wet Canyon

Ivan and I have breakfast at 5:30 am on November 20, 2012. 

The group left on the bus at 6 am. 

We stopped at a traditional village named Maca. 


Women with alpacas and eagles were taking photos with the tourists.  Girls were dancing in traditional outfits around the fountains with the colonial church in the background. 

We saw Pre-Inca terraces.


The bus started driving towards Colca Canyon.  Jesus took us on a 45 minute walk which wasn’t a hard hike.  I felt a little out of breath since it’s really high.  The highest point of Colca Canyon is 3,600 meters (11811 feet).  I do get effected by altitude sickness with headaches and shortness of breath while walking.

Ivan bought a slingshot earlier and he was trying to hit the condors with rocks. 


We saw 2 condors towards the viewpoint which was miles away from us. 

Jesus guided the group further.  He told us that we had an hour to spare and where to meet the bus.  I think an hour is too long unless you’re really keen on seeing the condors. 


Colca Canyon was alright – not too impressive.  I’d rather see the Grand Canyon.

Ivan and I walked up to Condor Cross viewpoint.  There were no sign of any condors though.  Ivan and I checked out the merchandise for sale like socks, rocks and postcards with condors on them.


Ivan and I shared a avocado and cheese sandwich made with a lady in traditional dress.

We started walking to the bus.  I saw two condors up above us, but Ivan had the camera so I didn’t get a chance to snap one.

The group piled onto the bus.  Jesus kept talking on the bus.  I couldn’t understand everything he was saying.  Not many people were really paying attention.  He told us some words, I think Andean.  The only one I remember is caca means uncle.  He told us way too many.  I think a few words would have sufficed.

The bus drove back to Chivay where we had a lunch buffet at Sumac Wasi.  Ivan and I are vegetarians so there wasn’t much choice.  The fried trout was so very tasty.  Ivan asked for more.  It was the most popular thing in the buffet.  Ty told me the rest of the food wasn’t very good.  They brought out more that Ivan grabbed a few.  I went to get some and it was gone.  Jesus said Do you want trout?  I said yes.  The lady brought out the bowl and I took more.  I think we ate all their trout!  Ivan said they weren’t prepared for the hungry gringos. 

After lunch, we drove for an hour and a half to Patahuasi.  Frida our Oasis truck was waiting for us along with the rest of the group. 

Franco started driving us at 2 pm. 

Ivan’s the best DJ on the truck.  So, he played lots of fun music during our drive.  I don’t get it though.  Ivan played a really fun Fatboy Slim mix a few weeks ago and most people didn’t like it.. but most people were dancing the Macarena and to the Spice Girls today.  It’s great to have cool, upbeat music on a long drive since it makes the time go by faster.

It was a bush camp night where we camp on the side of the road.  This time our camp site was in a rock quarry and it was raining. 

Everybody in the group except us started setting up their tents.  Ivan wanted to wait until it stopped raining or until the rain died down.  The truck bitches set up a tent for the group.  Our cool group leader Mel was working on dinner.

It wasn’t raining as hard, so Ivan and I went to set up our tent and put the flysheet up. 


We grabbed our sleeping bags and rolls mats and took them to the tent.  Our pants were wet, so we changed our pants.  Our hands were so cold.

Rocks started falling and Mel advised everybody they should move their tents to the other side where our tent was located.  It was a wise move since somebody could get seriously hurt.

For dinner, Mel cooked up a lovely vegetarian soup which was great comfort food since it was still raining hard. 

Everybody went to their tent early since it was too cold to hang out.

Ivan and I watched a weird movie called Tony and then we went to sleep early at 9 pm.


Hot Crepes

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:30 am.  I woke up at 4:30 am and kept tossing and turning, so I didn’t have a great night’s sleep.

We headed up to breakfast for the scrambled eggs and pancake.  Lil Dave had a banana pancake.

We packed everything up, checked out and held our day pack in the luggage storage at Home Sweet Home.  Later today, we’re going to a 2 day trip to Colca Canyon.

The 16 of us that were going on the trip walked with Franco to the truck.  Ivan and I put our big backpacks on Frida the big Oasis yellow truck.

We walked around the shopping area which is mostly pedestrianized.  Arequipa is a nice city, but there’s not many street lights in the centre.  So, it can take a few minutes to cross the street using the crosswalks.  Ivan bought a pair of swimming shorts since he forgot his on the truck.  We’ll be going to hot springs later today.

It was time for lunch, so we walked to Crepísimo Crêperie.  This restaurant is run by the same owner as Zig Zag.  I had an Andean trout crepe while Ivan had a spinach and tuna.  Lil Dave got a banana and honey crepe.  My crepe was the definitely tasted the best.  The Andean trout has a similar color to salmon and tastes terrific.

We walked back to the hostel.  A group of 16 of us were picked up by Illary Tours for our Colca Canyon 2 day trip.  Our guide was a Peruvian guy named Jesus.  Ivan wonders why Jesus is such a popular name with Mexicans and Latin people.  I think it’s because they’re very religious.

The bus drove us to different places like National Park Pampa Cañahuas where we saw alpacas and vicuñas. 


We also stopped at the Volcano Viewpoint which is 4,850 meters high (15912 feet).

Our last stop was a great view of the town Chivay.


We arrived in Chivay, Peru at 4:30 pm and checked in to Los Portales.

Ivan and I got ready and the group left for the hot springs.

La Calera hot springs was a short drive away.  It’s 15 soles per person for entry to 3 pools.  Two of the pools are outside with one being 39° C and the other one was slightly cooler.  We chilled in the pool that’s 39° C (which was a lovely temperature) and drank a cold beer. 


It’s true that alcohol affects you more at higher altitudes. 


Ivan and I could feel that beer.

Bob, who’s in his 60’s, went to chat with 4 Swedish girls. I call him the Ladies Man while others say he’s Mr. Romantic.

There’s another pool inside with a sauna, but we didn’t check it out.  Sarah, Raoul and Ty said they checked out the sauna and it smells funny.  There’s another pool that’s 1.50 soles to get into, but they walked into that one and it’s nothing special.

Ivan didn’t want to leave the hot springs.  We were only there for an hour.

That night, some of the group when to see the Peña Show called Tusuy Wasi.  A set menu of 20 or 25 soles per person was available.  Ivan and I each got a hot alcoholic drink.  Ivan’s had anise in it and tasted like absinthe.  Ivan and I shared two set menus. 

A band started playing Andres folk music while a masked guy danced a traditional dance with two Peruvian girls. 


Our soups were quinoa soup and asparagus.  The main courses were fried trout.

Lots more dancing happened.  The dancers pulled up guests to dance with them.


One of the band members played the biggest pan pipes I’ve ever seen.  It made a deep noise. 

The guy kept dancing with a mask on.  I asked Ivan if he was really ugly and he was trying to hide his face.  Ivan said yes, he got the idea from the Phantom of the Opera.

Ivan and I shared a slice of chocolate cake (which wasn’t very chocolaty) and fruit salad.

Ivan and I were getting tired and wanted to leave, but we came on a bus with the group.

A guy and girl were dancing.  The girl was on the ground and the guy started whipping here.  We couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t think it was appropriate with little kids around.  More dancers came out.  We were talking to Wilko at this point.  One of the girls picked Wilko to dance with.

The guy dancer got on the ground along with the local girls.  Pete was on the ground near Wilko.  The girls started whipping them.  It was really funny!  The white girl was trying to mimic the whipping, but didn’t make a snapping noise like the local girls who’ve had lots of practice.  The girls then walked over Pete and Wilko while they were on the ground even over their face.  

The group wanted to go back to the hotel.  Jesus said that the driver left already so we had to walk.  We thought he was going to walk us to the hotel.  Once we got to the main square, he told somebody the directions and then he left us.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t walk us back.  Thankfully, we made it back in one piece.


Inkari Stone

Ivan woke up at 6 am on November 18, 2012 since the curtains were really thin in the hostel room.  I went back to sleep and woke up at 10 am.  Ivan only slept 3 hours.

Ivan had the free breakfast which was scrambled eggs and a pancake.

Lunch was at Inkari.  Ivan and I shared ocopa araquepena, seafood rice and mushroom soup.  The ocopa araquepena was similar to the Papa a la Huancaina we made in the cooking class we took in Lima.  Lil Dave had banana rice and a fried banana.  The food was average.

We relaxed at the hostel.  I worked on the blog while Ivan used the internet.

The group met up at 5 pm.  Everybody had a slice of Sam’s birthday cake.  Mel told us about the details about the 2 day Colca Canyon tomorrow. 

Later, Ivan and I went to Zig Zag for dinner.  We shared Andean trout with sesame seeds and a honey sauce and a salad with figs, quinoa, mango, avocado and shrimp for starters. 


We were given cute bibs to wear so we wouldn’t get dirty.  We usually don’t like wearing bibs, but these were too cute! 


Our main course was salmon cooked on a volcanic stone. 


Dessert was a tasty passion fruit dish served in a martini glass.  Every dish was simply delicious.  I wish we had another night in Arequipa then we can dine here again.


Surprise Dancing

Ivan and I had breakfast at 6:30 am on November 17, 2012. 

The group left on the truck at 7:30 am.  It was a really, really long drive day.

We arrived in Arequipa around 5 pm.  It’s the second most populous city in Peru.

We grabbed our bags and started walking to the hostel. 

Mel checked us in to Home Sweet Home.  Ivan and I got a matrimonial room.  It actually has a queen bed and a double bed in it.

There are a few showers in the hostel.  My shower’s water only got lukewarm.  Ivan got lucky and he had a nice hot shower.  I’ll have to use that same shower tomorrow.

Mel and a few people from the group decorated the garden.  We all chipped in money for Sam’s surprise birthday get together. Tomorrow is her actual birthday, but it would be better to celebrate today since it’s a Saturday. 

There was cheese puffs, chips, guacamole and a strong punch Mel made.  Jess and Kate kept Sam busy while people set up the surprise.  Anna came up with some birthday games.

Sam came out and was totally shocked when we yelled surprise at her.  She almost fell over since the floor is tile and she had flip flops on.  Everybody started eating snacks and drinking the lethal punch.  I thought the punch looked nuclear since it was a neon yellow color.  Ivan thought there were 4 bottles of vodka in it… no wonder it was so strong.  I love Mel’s famous punch since it comes with lovely fresh fruit.

Mel told us about a drinking game.  We couldn’t use people’s real name, we had to drink with our opposite hand and we couldn’t point with our finger.  I had a hard time drinking with my left hand.

Ivan put on Gangnam Style and a couple of us, including me, danced the cowboy horse dance. 

The next game we played was Pass the Parcel which is a popular children’s game in England.  The gift is wrapped in a number of layers.  Music is played during the game.  The parcel is passed among everybody.  Once the music stop, the person holding the parcel opens the layer and claims that prize.  The prize was a small bags of M&Ms.  We also had to do something like Take a drink and all the boys take a drink as well or doing I’m a Little Teapot.  I’ve never played this game and it was lots of fun.  Ivan got to play DJ. 


We were having a good time.  The snacks weren’t enough to fill us up.  Everybody wanted to get food.  Mel said that we should meet at Déjà Vu club at 10:30 pm.

Ivan and I went to Istanbul with Harry.  We’re all vegetarians that eat seafood.  Ivan and I each got a falafel wrap with hummus.  It tasted great with a spicy sauce.  Mel and Franco sat down at the table next to us to get some falafel wraps.

We walked across the street to the start of the bars on San Francisco Street.  Lots of people were out tonight.  Ivan and I heard music playing and decided to check it out.  I don’t recall the bar’s name but it had a good special of 3 drinks for 15 soles.

The band was playing rock music and they sounded great.  A few people from our group joined us.  Some of the girls went on the stage and I joined them.  We were dancing around and getting into the music. 


I remember head banging at one point.

Another band came on later, but this guy sounded like a dying cat.  He just kept screaming.  It was horrible so Ivan and I left and went to another bar where a band was playing.  They were quite good.  The bar was next to Déjà Vu.

Later, we went to Déjà vu which is 10 soles per person to get in.  Upstairs it was a covered balcony so it was cool.  The music was generic trance which wasn’t that exciting.  Downstairs, it was really warm with good pop music playing. 

We went back to the bar next door, but they were singing songs in Spanish.

Ivan wanted to go back to Déjà Vu but I thought it was too warm to dance downstairs.  We walked back to the hostel.

We rang the bell to get in the main door.  Somebody came and would fiddle with the lock.  The person couldn’t open it, gave up and then walked away.  Ivan kept ringing the bell.  After 20 minutes, the lady finally got the right key and opened the door.  How annoying!!


Beach Lines

Ivan and I left with the group at 7 am on November 16, 2012. 

The group had the free breakfast at the hostel of scrambled eggs with bread and tea. 

Our truck Frida left at 8:20 am.  We stopped at an observation tower to see the tree and hands of the Nazca Lines.  The entrance fee is 2 soles per person.  I only heard we’d see the hands.. but I actually only saw the tree.  


I should have looked left and I would have seen the hands.  Oh, well.  Ivan wasn’t impressed at all.  I do wonder how they created the lines and what they mean.  But, I’m not really that bothered if I never find out.

There was an option to do a flight to see the Nazca Lines from a plane for $110 USD per person.  Ivan and I decided not to go.  Ivan doesn’t like small planes.  I thought it was too expensive for a 20 minute flight and we both aren’t really interested in it.  9 out of 20 people were going on the flight. 

We drove to Hotel Maison Suisse.  7 of the 9 people left to go on their Nazca Lines flight.  The rest of us had free time. 

It was pretty warm out.  There was a pool at the hotel, but unfortunately a bunch of bugs flying on the top of the pool.  Anna kept scooping up flower petals and dead bugs from the pool.  Ivan and I went into the cold pool.  I only stayed in for a few minutes since the bugs kept circling my head and bugging me.

Ivan helped out with lunch along with a few other guys since there wasn’t a cook group today. 

Lunch was chopped up fruit with granola and yogurt. 

Raul and Ty left to do their Nazca Lines flight after 1:15 pm.  I talked to Bob about the Nazca Lines flight.  He didn’t think aliens created the lines like one of the theories.  He believes the Inca people created the lines while looking at the stars. 

At 2:30 pm, we started driving again.  Franco drove us right to the beach in Chala, Peru.  Mel had kept this quiet.  She said she knew some of us liked the beach and it would nice to see it again before going to the desert. 


The water was really fast and loud.  Mel said if you wanted to go swimming make sure that somebody watches you because the tide can take you far very fast.  A short walk away there are ruins.  A few years ago a group were at the ruins.  One man stayed behind to take pictures and he disappeared.  Mel told us that we shouldn’t go alone to see the ruins.

We set up our tents at the campgrounds of Hotel Puerto Inka. 


The new people Will, Kate and Sam were the cook group for tonight.  Mel helped them make veggie burgers and chicken hot dogs.  The veggie burgers were tasty with the sautéed onions.  I love onions.  I think a burger is great if I taste onion in each bite.

The group talked around the fire.  Ivan and I wanted to relax and went to watch a weird movie called Ecstasy.  It was okay, but nothing really happened in it.


Pisco Dunes

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 6 am on November 15, 2012.  Ivan and I packed everything up.

The group left on the yellow truck at 7 am driving towards Pisco.  Franco drove us to a place where we could do a pisco tour and sample the pisco.  This was a new thing that Mel found out about.  It was a free tour.

Our guide took us around The Tony Labis distillery where they make pisco.  Pisco is a grape brandy.  One area was where women stomp the grapes.  The area right behind was where the grapes are crushed even further.


The best part of the tour was when we got to sample the Tony Labis pisco.  The Pisco Sour was really good.  There was a sweet wine called Perfect Amor which is dubbed the baby maker since it makes you hot and want to have sex.  Marilyn was saying that Ivan and I should buy a bottle since we want to start a family next year.  The Perfect Amor wine is good with a strange popcorn aftertaste – some people said they tasted pretzels.


Mel fixed us up lunch.

Next, we drove to Huacachina.  Here, we got our stuff together since we were going on dune buggies and then camping in the desert.  A few people were staying at the hostel instead of going into the desert.   

The group headed off into two dune buggies.  The dune buggies were big and could hold 11 people each. 


Our driver took off shortly after 4 pm.  He started driving really fast over the tall dunes.  Sometimes it was big scary since the drop was rather steep.  We would stop periodically to allow people to go sandboarding.  Ivan’s tried this before on his overlanding trip in Africa.  He told me a girl broke her arm doing sandboarding.  It looked fun, but I didn’t want to hurt myself.  Everybody in the group did it except the driver Franco, Ivan and me.

The snow boarders got to go 4 times.  The people were competing to see who would go the farthest.  One of the boards was very smooth and whoever went on this board would win.  It was great to watch everybody do it. 

The sand dunes look really cool, although pictures don’t really do it justice.


It was lots of fun going fast on the dunes. 

Our last stop was to watch the sunset.  Then, the drivers drove us to the camp around 7 pm. 


A big fire was made.  There was even a toilet set up with a red tent around it for #2 only.

The group sat around the campfire.  We were given free pisco-cola which tasted great. 

The guys set up a grill over the fire and vegetable and chicken kebabs were cooked for our appetizers.  Ivan and I shared a bottle of red wine that we brought with us.

The main course was chicken for the meat eaters and veggie burgers for the vegetarians.  We also got salad, potatoes and corn. 

The group roasted up marshmallows around the hot fire.  There was loud music playing from one of the cars.  The guys from the tour were dancing with a few girls showing them the Latin moves.  Franco was showing me how to dance, but I don’t think I was doing good.  Then, he said go show Ivan the moves.  He was leading so I had no clue how to teach anybody.  Apparently, it’s all in the hips.

Sometimes the music was good ambient music or 80’s.. but then it would go back to the same Latin music which wasn’t good at all.  Nobody was into it.  Ivan thought it would be nice to chat and look up at the stars without the loud blaring music.

A lot of people were getting drunk. 

Ivan and I were tired around 11 pm.  Ivan asked the guides if they could turn down the music. Ivan got from their Spanish that they couldn’t turn the music down since our friends were still having fun.

Ivan and I decided to grab our sleeping bags and mats and head up the sand dune where it would be quieter. 

Bob couldn’t find his sleeping bag.  I’m not sure why he left it.  It was so dark and a few people were looking for it.  He never found it though and ended up sleeping on the sand.

Ivan and I slept on a slope which made my back hurt.

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