It’s four o’clock in the afternoon, five hours after our breakdown, when we’re back on the road. The romantic road along the coast is a thing of the past. We drive a busy highway through a boring landscape that is only interspersed with industrial plants. It’s similarly desolate as on the stage towards Dourados, Brazil. It gets particularly exhausting in the city of Ica, which we have to cross. Traffic in Peru is the worst in South America.
That’s what my experiences of the last few weeks and reports from other overland travelers say. Not only that I have to cross a big city again. No, this time it’s already dark. Even before the city we are constantly in traffic jams.
We finally reach our day or night destination Huacachina alive. Located outside of Ica, this small town offers a feature that attracts many tourists. The remote road, which according to the IOverlander app offers a good and safe place to stay, is unfortunately closed by a barrier.
As an alternative, we find the parking lot of a beach bar. However, there is no sea here, but there is a lot of sand. Luckily it’s Monday and nobody visits the bar. The music is turned off early and we can sleep in peace.
Day 1 without a breakdown
The night is quiet and we sleep well. All around us, in the early light of the fifth hour of the day, we see high dunes looming in the murky haze. We are in an oasis.
But not in one of those that would have pleased Lawrence of Arabia, but one that has been exploited to the maximum by tourism.
Big hotels surround the water as well as the palm trees. On the periphery, the beach buggies for the dunes await guests and eager vendors approach us at every turn to get us excited about their tours of the sand.
Sara from Iran can only smile tiredly. But Leon can get enthusiastic about the buggies.
Clouds make for a gloomy mood and the photos don’t want to speak enthusiastically.
We cross Ica again to get back on the Panamericana. Then we drive stubbornly up the highway. There is nothing worth seeing along the way. Paracas National Park is to the south, but with the gray-on-grey of the day and the fact that Leon is asleep, we decide to drive through.
The only highlight are flamingos which we see on the shore looking for snacks in the shallow water of the low tide. We’ll soon reach Lima, the nightmare I’ve been dreading for weeks.