My plan was to spend the night at the Huacachina oasis near Ica. I could get there fast via the highway, or I could take the more adventurous route through the desert. Which would probably take a lot longer and as it was 4pm would see me camping somewhere. I had so much fun on the Peninsula that I decided to tackle the desert route to the oasis. I carried enough fuel, food and water to last the 200 or so kilometers so pointed the wheels straight south to Laguna Grande. It was already late so I didn’t stop much for pictures. This one is at the Laguna at the end of the main road. Funny that on Google Maps its shows the whole route as a main road This is not a main road in my book.. The route leads through the dunes and along the shore for a while until you can see Isla Independencia off the coast, then it’s heading inland. Most of the time it’s a free for all, just pick your own line. There were some sketchy bits, steep off camber ascents and descents on rocks covered in sand. A game of balance. If you stick to your line you will slide, if you don’t you stick to the narrow path you will end up off track in even more trouble. The last picture from Google shows that descent to the grey run-off area. Once you leave the coast it sort of resembles a road, but it was in horrible condition. 120 kilometers of horrendous washboard! Well.. to get on that road I first had to navigate around some small dunes that had formed right on the coast and I dropped the bike of course. I rode hard that evening, the bike took a beating. Many times I left the main road to ride on sand which was less horrible, but still very bumpy. One bump (alright jump) tore a strap of the right pannier and there it went tumbling down the road. Turned around to collect it and tied it to the rack, another thing on the fix-list. I regret not taking more time to stop and take pictures, it was absolutely awesome. The rough and remote places always are! I did shoot some videos though (see last post). On the lookout for a decent spot to camp, preferably flat and no rocks, I checked iOverlander for options. Seeing it was 18:30 and with 30 kilometers and half an hour of daylight left I decided not to camp but keep going to Huacachina. Racing to get out before nightfall I rode even harder, poor bike. Came around a corner to fast and stuffed it again in deep sand. Ahh.. easy on the clutch trying to get out. About 15 k’s out I started seeing a lot of trash along the road signaling I was close to civilization. Just as the sun went down I rode into Ica, fkin made it! 10 minutes later I found a luxurious campsite in Huacachina to pitch my tent for a well-deserved rest. After sleeping in I went for a walk, clearly not the only one with that idea. Only a few actually climb all the way up the dunes though, most just make it to the abundance of dune buggies. From atop the dune you can see the less fortunate neighborhoods of Ica and the way I came in last night. After observing the mayhem it was time to jump aboard one of those contraptions myself. After a not so wild ride (someone brought a baby onboard) we stopped next to many other vehicles for some obligatory pictures. Then we got to slide down a dune on a wooden board, stuffing your face with sand before heading back to the oasis. Did a damage assessment on the bike in the afternoon before hitting the pool. Cleaned and fixed the most important stuff and left the rest for later.