Ica, Chincha Alta, and first days in Huaraz

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Laguna shallop, at 14,365 feet

Well, it has been a good long while since my last post, and alot has happened since. After driving to Nasca and staying a night, we had gooten used to sea level again. Driving to Ica, we got to see some of the Nasca Lines. While you are driving the Panamerican north, you can stop at two watchtowers, and you pay two soles. We decided not to do the airplane tour, because we watched some of them, and they are banking at 45/90 degree angles. According to reviews, the planes really aren’t that good…


Driving into Nasca

We stayed in the Hotel Villa Jasmin, which is located inside this private neighborhood. to get in, you need to pass checkponts, which seems overkill. Anyways, Ica is very touristy. Our hotel was full, and we got room service that night. But, unfortunatly, later that night, my dad puked, and the next day, spent the day in bed.    

The next day, may have been one of the scariest days of my life. It started off relaxing, and my mon told us that we were doing a dune buggy trip this evening. My dad couldn’t go, because we were afraid that he was going to barf his guts out. well, we got a taxi and drove to a little town that is built around an oasis. We got on our dune buggy, and realized that when it comes to driving a dune buggy down the street, the buggy always wins. Well, we thought it was just a little diddy around a dune, but we were wrong. I am still shaking to the date. It started off smooth, but then we went straight up a dune, then down, then up again at 75 degree angles. We got to a flat part, then up a dune, then spun around while gong up, then straight back down the same way.


Family pic on a dune


this is our buggy. It was the big one in the group


Looking over Ica

We stopped on top of a dune to take pictures, and when we got out, I was shaking. But we had to go soon, and went over the flat part again, and up another dune, where, we had our first go at sandboarding. If you ever go sandboarding, do it on your stomach, but remember to close your mouth, or eat sand.I must think that at some parts while sandboarding, I must have been going 100 mph. We continued to drive over dunes, and we sandboarded 3 more times, with the last one, beeing at a 60 to 70 degree angle at 120 mph. At the end, we stopped at a plateau, where all of the dune buggy tours end. There must have been 30 of them overlooking the town. When taking a taxi back to our hotel, we made a catch phrase for the duune buggys, ” It is a rollercoaster without the track.”


Hold on!


Mom with the Buggy group



The drive to Chincha Alta was short, but bland, like RN3. the hotel we staded at was HSJ, or Hacienda San Jose, which was an old slave plantation. This must have been one of the nicest hotels we stayed at. Our room had its own courtyard, a huge bathroom, my parents had a king bed, where my brother and I had two twin beds. Before ariving, we stopped at a well known restaurant around town, and it was packed. My parents learned about dry soup, while my brother and I had popcorn chicken. They had dancers, and when we left, all the tables were full.


The singers at the Resturaunt


My mom and dads room


Our courtyard

We had a day of relaxing by the pool, and no driving for once. My brother and I had a good lunch of calamari,  played fuseball and swam. we took a tour of the hotel and learned that they traficked slaves from the coast through underground catacomes to the plantation. After the 1960 earthquake, the hotel changed. Is has a church, but the towers were talled, and the roof was of a different material. The altar is made of wood, to the last detal. The hotel complex had a tower that colapsed and that they farmed cotten and coffee here.


Americans always have this same look. Easily recognizable by our cell phone culture.


The altar inside the church


The front of our hotel


Inside the Catacombs


this is where you would be held if you were a a bad slave

Driving through Lima, was the devil’s den. No lanes, and people not putting on turn signals. We got pulled over by Police when leaving Lima, and had to pay 20 soles for speeding. I guess the goverment doesn’t need to charge alot. Before ariving in Huacho, which is north of Lima, we had to play medics to a family that got in a very bad car wreck. I guess that is what the First Aid kit  and Merit badge are for. We stayed in a hotel, where my mom found a kitten, and really wanted to bring her with us, but wouldn’t travel well.

The road to Huaraz, was only 200 not really windy killometers. We are staying at a very nice and well kept hotel. Yesterday, we did a 16 mile hike at 14,365 feet. It was supposed to be 3 hours up, 2 hours down, but in the end, it ended up being 4 up, 5 down. We took a taxi to our starting point, which was a 1.5 hour taxi ride with our family all squished in the back, and our guide sitting up front. we had to walk down a valley, to a glacier fed lake, where we would have lunch, then return home. The hike up wasn’t bad, passing burros, horses, and cows along the way. The lake itself is a turquoise, with an old ranch behind it. coming back though, we had to hike a good distance down the road to Huaraz, because our taxi driver was late. We waited by a river where there was a herd of sheep. Black, white, and brown sheep. We spent half an hour talking about sheep, before our car showed up. oh, how it felt good to get back to the hotel. As soon as we got back, we washed our hands, got a good dinner and went to bed.


The tallest mountian in peru


At the lake


The glacier that feeds the lake


Two of the many burros along the way


1.5 month old lamb

That has been our adventure the last 10 days, and we are almost ready to head to Trujillo, where we are staying. We have been looking at the Galapagos Islands, and we may be good to go for them. Wel, this concludes this post. Stay tuned for more coming soon, to your nearest computer. 


The Author

I'm traveling in SA for 6 months and I AM PROUD OF IT!


  1. Aunt Erin says

    Whoa! Lots of excitement guys!! Glad you were able to get off the road for a bit and get some rest. Hopefully everyone is feeling good and rested 🙂 xo!


  2. Gregg MacKeigan says

    I will want to hear more about your experiences as First Aid medics! Vaya con Dios!


  3. Great recap, Gavin! The Galapagos would be amazing. Stefan says hi. The guys will miss you and Hayden next week at Scout Camp. Can’t wait to see you back in the neighborhood soon!


  4. Granddad says

    Glad everyone is feeling better. The hotels sound pretty nice now, and you deserve it after so long a trip. The sand dunes looks like lots of fun. There are some in Oregon, but they are not nearly as large. I guess it is fun to be a little afraid and know you will be OK in the end. I honestly have done that a time or two when I was younger. Stay safe and remember we are sitting close to the computer so we won’t miss a thing. We love you all very much. Grandmother


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