This unforgettable activity takes place in the middle of a compact desert in Peru, near the Huacachina oasis, and involves joyriding around in a dune buggy and sliding off boards down massive sand dunes. Your ‘board’ is a glorified piece of wood with small ropes attached for your bindings – another example of the fantastic Health & Safety in South America.
It is a phenomenally good adrenaline fix. Even in the dune buggy ride, it’s like a roller-coaster where you’re hanging on by your fingertips. Our driver climbed the largest dune in sight and braked hard just as we were going over the other side. He then informed us to grab our boards and instructed us to either stand up or luge down. The sand slope was easily over 100m long and the gradient was steep. As the tour leader, I was volunteered by the group to go first. I thought I did pretty well, even flying up into the air in patches, but crashed out near the end. That was rough, the sand was like…sandpaper (more imaginative adjectives are available).
It was interesting to see that the lighter and smaller you were, the faster and more airborne you got. I guess you wouldn’t sink into the sand as much as heavier guys like me. In the distance we could see Cerro Blanco, the highest sand dune in the world, at 1176m long. That would be a decent run to try next time I’m in the Peruvian desert.