Dune Buggying in Paracas, Peru

We had just ambled past a beach in Paracas, Peru when a guy approached us about renting dune buggies from his shop.

“Twenty dollars per hour,” he indicated. I can’t remember if that was for one or two dune buggies. It did include a guide on his own all-terrain vehicle to show us where to go. It also included gas. Insurance? Haha, what insurance? In any case, this was a deal. We were in.

Matthew and Teresa rode in one while Mel and I went in the other. I think this was the first time for any of us driving or riding in what was basically a roll cage on fat, knobby tires with a gas motor mounted at the back. And rudimentary shock absorbers.

How did it feel like? It was a lot of uninhibited fun, especially in the wide open sand dune park which looked a lot like the moon and not another soul was stirring about. Kind of like a go cart, but out on public roads and sand.

One thing I do wish I brought were sunglasses, as sand and debris were pelting the eyes.

“I see why in Colorado, eyewear is mandatory for riding motorcycles even though a helmet is not,” I said to Mel.

Another thing that could have been better was the dune buggy Mel and I drove. It must have had a carburetor or tuning issue since sometimes when opening the throttle the entire way, the motor would sputter or simply not accelerate as expected. During those times, this sand-gobbling quadracycle felt about as sprightly as the Sears lawn tractor my dad liked to weave around the back yard while I was growing up.

The buggy never left us stranded, however, so we were all smiles.

Matthew with jellyfish on the ground in paragliders in the background.Mel and the dune buggy we rented in Paracas.Chasing Matthew and Teresa in the sand dunes of Paracas.Felix Wong and Mel in the dune buggy in Paracas.Teresa and Matthew in the sand dunes of Paracas.

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