Volunteering in Peru with Otra Cosa Network entails a lot of opportunities to discover the landscape and try fun sports. With a bunch of brave volunteers we have recently decided to try sandboarding and enjoy the surroundings of Huanchaco.
Our adventures before getting to the sand dunes
With a typical Peruvian van, we set off for the half-day trip, listening to reggaeton and singing the famous “Despacito”, just like Peruvians do. We were passing the ancient ruins of Chan Chan and Huaca del Sol y de la Luna. Just before reaching our destination, Conache, we got little lost on the narrow, bumpy dirt roads. Always helpful locals showed us the way, but just before reaching the correct path, we got stuck in the sand!
By uniting our “volunteer power “ we managed to push out the car. But our joy wasn’t flawless: the previously stuck tire got a puncture! We haven’t even reached the dunes for the sandboarding, excitement and adrenaline were high.
To our luck, we found a good workshop nearby and could change the flat tire.
The fun-part of volunteering
We finally arrived to the Laguna del Conache, ready for the sandboard contest. Don’t expect for a minute shelters and lifts or cable cars as you would do in case of snowboarding. You need to climb the steep hill on your own, struggling not to sink in the 30 cm deep pure sand under the harsh midday sun.
The sliding down on the sand is fun experience, definitely worth a volunteer’s day off. By the second slide, you can really enjoy the thing – except if you lose your friend’s phone on the way (and all our sandboarding videos on it) and need to stop to find it. Buried in the fine sand, the two guys managed to find the phone after 5 minutes search and the joyful balance was restored again.
Great Peruvian food, salsa, full swimming pool – all a sporty volunteer can wish for
After a few slides, you feel tired and extremely hungry, so it was time to search for a nice restaurant, if possible with a full swimming pool! Just a stone’s throw away from the pyramid of Huaca del Sol, attractive restaurants lined up on the road, but most of them had an empty pool. (Actually, it’s winter in Peru). Finally, we ended up in Gastronómico Sol y Luna, where a band was playing Latino music and people were dancing, a minute after finishing their dish. The view of the Huaca del Sol was just stunning and we could relax by eating typical Peruvian dishes and chilling out inside or at the edge of the full pool.
After a day full of experiences, our volunteer group was heading back to Huanchaco, passing Chan Chan again and enjoying the unmissable reggaeton. Despite the fact that we could fall asleep in a minute, we couldn’t miss the daily volunteer habbit of watching the sunset at the beach. So, we ended up enjoying the last sunshines with a beer and doing hand- and headstands.
All in all, it was a crazy and exciting day. I think there is a reason why each volunteer wants to have their fair share of sandboarding, in which the adrenalin and adventure meet.
This blog was written by Krisztina Saroy.