After discovering the sweet side of Lima, we headed further south to a desert oasis called Huacachina. This little settlement is based around a gorgeous lagoon somewhere in the midst of the beautiful Atacama desert in Peru.

huacachina

The stunning desert oasis of Huacachina

As we were wandering around this little village, futuristic-looking sand buggies kept whizzing past us full of excited tourists heading off into the sand dunes. It looked like a fun thing to do so we promptly booked some tickets for a buggy tour, with a sand-boarding option thrown into the mix as well.

huacachina sandbuggy tammy

After we’d paid the obligatory local sand tax – which as a UK government official made me wonder if there’s a policy option in here to help bolster Her Majesty’s depleted coffers? – our driver sped off at full throttle, nearly driving into another buggy almost immediately. I knew from then on that this was going to be an interesting ride…

The dunes were huge and when you drive up them you often can’t see what’s coming over the hill, which is perhaps a good thing as it gives you less time to worry about the likelihood of your buggy flipping as it speeds down endless steep slopes. There were many more of those ‘surely not’ moments to come as our driver kept on hunting out the biggest drops. Which meant being thrown around like a rag-doll which secretly I loved as it felt like a roller-coaster ride but in the middle of the desert – some of the men were less keen owing to the fact the seatbelts fastened overhead and clipped in between the legs, making extreme bumpiness something of a fertility issue :-/.

huacachina sandbuggy

Every now and then we were let out of the buggy for some sandboarding which, you may have guessed, is like snowboarding but on sand. I have never been snowboarding (or sand-boarding) so I had trouble keeping my balance standing up. I therefore preferred the much simpler and more fun option of going down the dunes on my belly, face first!

huacachina sandboarding tammy verticals

I managed to stand up on the baby slope…

huacachina sandboarding tammy on belly

…but not as the slopes got a bit more serious…

Chris on the other hand mostly went down the dunes standing up – even though he is a notoriously useless skier with x-rays to prove it – and it was during one of those descents that a mini-nightmare occurred. Being a man with balance issues, he got into the habit of drooping his trailing hand to add an extra point of contact with the sand. On one particularly steep descent I noticed him suddenly fall to the ground and then try and scramble back up the slope looking for something. Of course with every step he took more sand slid down and covered the area making his search futile. At which stage he shot me a nervous look and pointed to his ring finger. When he came to the bottom of the slope he confirmed that he had indeed just lost his wedding ring. Oh well, “it was only a piece of metal”, he suggested as he headed off excitedly to the next slope. Hardly a comment to win him husband of the year 2014!

huacachina sandboarding chris

If your sand-boarding technique is as rubbish as this, best to leave any rings in the hotel safe!

(Un)fortunately within a few minutes I had something much more pressing to occupy my thoughts. We had made it to the final slope, and Meine Gute was it a beast. In fact it was so steep that from the top an overhang prevented you from being able to see the bottom which sent me into a slight panic as my eyes darted around looking for an alternative way down the slope. But in the absence of one, I nervously got onto my board and, after a few moments of hesitation, began sliding down with my feet dug heavily into the sand to slow me down. In fact, so firmly wedged were my feet at first that I nearly managed to come to a complete standstill facing down a very steep drop (see below), prompting those at the top to tell Chris that I must secretly be Spiderwoman. Eventually I realised that going slowly was more scary than just letting rip so I released the breaks and went for it.

huacachina sandboarding steep dune 2

Unfortunately there were no speed cameras to confirm my new world record but take it from me, I reached a top speed of at least 117kph. At least!

huacachina sandboarding sunset

And to top off a fun day we even got to see a beautiful sunset

Have you ever tried sand-boarding, or lost your wedding ring for that matter?

 

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

24 Thoughts on “The day Chris lost his wedding ring

  1. Man, that looks WAY TOO FUN! I’m totally jealous. Shame about the ring, though.
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  2. Oh no 🙁 although it’s quite a nice thought that your love is forever enveloped in the sands of time…. !!!!! Looks like so much fun boarding down the dunes! Tammy you look quite the adventure pin up!!!
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm said:

      Aw, if you put it like that it does sound rather romantic.

      Ha ha, and thanks for the compliment. I probably look less like a pin up on my belly though. 😉

  3. That tour was so much fun – and I don’t think anyone will ever believe just how steep that last slope is until they’ve done it themselves! I was worried people would collide and decapitate each other! But other than that, it was such an awesome day. Sorry to hear about the ring. Are you going to get a replacement?
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm said:

      I was worried people would collide on the other dunes too actually and there were some nasty looking falls, but luckily nobody got injured. And I was just far to slow for any injuries to happen, as I didn’t wax the board before the last dune and as my feet were acting like anchors. 🙂
      Might get a cheap replacement while in SA, and then a proper one when we are back in the UK.

  4. Sorry about the ring. But it’s still a fun experience, right?
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  5. I don’t know which of these things terrifies me more: losing my wedding ring or barreling down steep sand dunes! I’ve only tried to tackle dunes on 4×4 ATVs while we were in Mui Ne, Vietnam and I found the experience terrifying. I actually can’t believe they didn’t have you guys wearing helmets or any kind of protective gear; I would be way too scared of hurting myself to enjoy this, I think!
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm said:

      I think some protective gear would have given me a more comfortable feeling for the last dune. The other ones were quite harmless though. And I was always going so slow that there was no way I could have fallen. 🙂

  6. We didn’t take our actual wedding rings with us – mine because it has diamonds and seemed too flashy, Shawn’s because I feared this exact thing happening to us. But my cousin’s husband lost his when they were in Cambodia with us for Christmas…on our last day together, no less, so it put a little damper on the day. They just got married in June, too, so it was a little hard to swallow. Obviously, it’s not the end of the world, but still sad. Sorry about that! 🙁
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm said:

      It is always the men. I am starting to see a pattern! 🙂 It is a shame, but like you said not the end of the world. Things like that can be replaced I guess.

  7. Note to self – no wedding rings when sandboarding. Well, at least he had a “good” reason for losing it – it’s not like he just haphazardly left it somewhere or something if that’s any consolation. In any case, sandboarding looks like a lot of fun, and with the exception of Meine Gute, it doesn’t look too crazy!
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    • Tammyonthemove on January 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm said:

      Ha ha, yes ‘Meine Guete’ was quite scary, but the other dunes were fine.

      And about the ring, that’s what I thought too. At least he didn’t loose on a night out drinking with the lads. Then I would have been angry. 🙂

  8. Sand boarding looks like great fun and not too cold! That local sand tax sounds very weird, what will they charge for next, breathing the local air?

    I’ve been married less than a year and have no intention of losing my wedding ring. Fingers crossed I never do.
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  9. That last shot is just AMAZING!

    Next time, no rings along for the ride – yikes!
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  10. I have never tried sand boarding and it looks like a lot of un, maybe except the lost wedding ring!
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    • Tammyonthemove on February 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm said:

      It is great fun. I was a bit scared at times, because it was so steep, but when you ho belly down first it is hilarious actually.

  11. Very good, hope to learn more.

  12. Sorry to hear about you ring. But i lost my iPhone on phuket beach. i went for swimming and i forgot i was carrying my iPhone in my shots.
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    • Tammyonthemove on March 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm said:

      Ouch, losing an iPhone is bad as well. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my iPhone with all my photos etc on it.

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