Currently sat in the front seat of the bus (waahhooo), 13 hours into a 17 hour journey from Ica to Cusco! Actually living a luxurious bus life with reclining seats and a fabulous view.
The first of so many types of travel and transport on different vehicles was our flight, handily direct from Gatwick to Lima! After necking a glass of prosecco in the airport, 12 hours on the plane wasn’t so bad with a couple of meals thrown in, some wine, vodka, a nap, a book and a great spotify playlist.
After a reasonable immigration queue (during which a man with 0 concept of personal space proceeded to stand as close as possible to me throughout), we were through to taxis and the start of our adventure, yay. Traffic out of the airport was crazy but luckily so was our driver who swerved in and out of cars, down bumpy back streets and through the city to our one night stay at the Happy Up Here Guesthouse. Our host Ana, was a total babe and provided us with a bed and water which was all we needed before we headed on the next stage of our journey.
Up at 6am for bus numero uno, five hours to Ica. We had a local meat pasty for breakfast whilst we waited to board the at the organised bus station. Our Cruz Del Sur bus (we thought at the time, was fabulous until we got onto this next one), was comfy and we even got served a snack and hot drinks. A relaxing journey enjoying the desert view. When we got to Ica we avoided about 20 offers for taxis and walked 10mins to the National Musuem to learn (mostly in Spanish of course) about the Incas, mummification and rituals from BC & early AD.
Next stop was a fruity frozen drink and some street food (our fave thing to do is just buy random things to try out) – another success was some doughy balls in a sweet sauce and some caramelised pretzel type things.
Our destination for the day was Huacachina so we took a tuc tuc type taxi, squeezed in the back with all bags and headed into the desert for our sandy adventure. There’s a beautiful lagoon right in the centre of the town, a proper natural wonder in the middle of a lot of sand. Apparently the water has healing properties and people would come to bath there in the past.
From 4 – 6pm we were out in the desert in sand buggys been thrown around up and down the dunes! Literally so fun!! We then got to sand board down them face first, I was screaming but the adrenaline was amazing, like a natural made rollercoaster! The walking back up the dunes was tough haha but well worth it.
We saw the sun set before heading back to the hostel to empty our shoes of sand and get some food before the overnight journey ahead on bus numero dos. We ate with a new Colombian friend Hector who helped us with our Spanish and distinguishing between Spanish Spanish and South American Spanish – kind of like the way Americans say slightly different things to Brits but it’s technically the same language! Even for him coming from Colombia to Peru he’d had trouble with people understanding him haha!
We’re now over 13,000 ft high going down some of the windiest roads I’ve ever seen and the views are unbelievable. We had a surprisingly great sleep for 11 hours – as soon as we got on that bus at 9pm we fell asleep after an exhausting first couple o days!
Sand buggys at sunset
Views from the bus journey at 13,000 ft!