The next day, I got up early and headed back to the bus station to catch the bus to Ica.
Once in Ica, I had a short taxi ride to Huacachina which is a tiny little town in the middle of the desert. It is surrounded by huge sand dunes which are like mountains that roll into a lagoon. This picturesque lake also acts as the centre of 'the town' (you can hardly call it a town with only 1 shop, a few restaurants and a handful of hotels). The whole setting is amazing and is actually featured on the back of Peru's 50 Sole note!
The whole place feels a little bit like a holiday resort, which it was originally, as the hotels etc were built as holiday town for the Peruvian elite. It is described as a 'tranquil oasis with graceful palm trees, exotic flowers and attractive antique buildings.' It definitely fit the bill and was beautiful.
Lots of people (mostly backpackers) visit there to go sandboarding in the dunes, which I wanted to book for the next day. It all added up to be a perfect first stop after leaving the girls, as I wanted to meet some new people and make some new friends!
Apart from being known for sandboarding, the area of Ica is famous for chocolate covered caramel with nuts and raisins, which were delicious - it was a good job I was only staying a few days otherwise I would have eaten my body weight in them!
The rest of my first day I spent enjoying the sun, wandering around the lake and watching people struggle to climb the boiling hot, giant dunes with their boards...Love a good bit of people watching!