In my last post I explained how I ended up in Peru through my work. It was the best time. Every day seemed better than the last one. One day we were all driven out to some vineyard. It was surrounded by huge walls and as soon as the gates opened, we entered paradise. There was even a hotel with the most beautiful pool. We came here for some teambuilding though. It was terribly hot, but everyone tried their hardest to win all the games they had set up for us. We were rewarded for our efforts with a delicious buffet and of course some pisco sours. I mean, come on, we were at a winery!
The pisco sours were really strong and between that and the sun, I definitely felt them as I walked back to the vans. It was time to drive to a secret location. Almost two hours later everyone woke up from their naps at the edge of the desert somewhere near Ica. We quickly grabbed our things and transferred from our comfortable bus to a rugged looking dune buggy. I strapped myself in and could barely move anymore. Even without the seatbelts I was wedged in between the back of the seat and the seat in front of me. This was not going to be a comfortable ride!
But it was a hilarious and exhilarating ride. Our driver, fully covered with a scarf around his face, hit the gas and we were off. We skidded over the sand and raced up a hill. The vehicle in front of us didn’t make it and had to try again. Then we saw a the edge of a dune and race down the steep hill on the other side. What seemed like a short ride took us to the top of a dune. Some others were already there when my buggy arrived. They were all looking at something and cheering for each other. It was time for some sandboarding.
It wasn’t the highest or fastest sandboarding I’d done, but it was good fun to slide down the dunes and watch the sun slowly set. Just before we’d finished I found out some people were trying out a higher hill and I got one last chance to slide down. Walking back up with the board I looked out over a purple and orange sky. Most people had left already, but I’m so glad I stayed up there for a bit. The sky was giving us a little show.
I ran down the dune to an oasis at the bottom. Some tents had been set up for us and a gigantic company logo was being lit at the side of the dune. People were chilling in the water, having drinks or playing volleyball. Just as I got my drink, a band marched in. They started to walk around a tree, which had been decorated and planted there, and played some very cheerful, local music. I was pulled into the circle as well and started to run around the tree like a maniac, both laughing and very surprised.
We’re still running around the tree and I get a water pistol. Other have bags filled with flour. A huge fight breaks out with people throwing flour and shooting with the water pistols. It was hilarious and it was disgusting. I ate a mouthful of flour and had a thick layer of flour on my glasses. It stuck to my hair and stained my clothes. Nothing could ruin the fun though. We all followed each other like a bunch of kids, with the inexhaustible musicians still playing and dancing around the tree.
The idea of the tree, is that it needs to be cut. As I was having my second drink, which also got a bunch of flour in it, someone dragged me to the tree. And then I was hacking away at the tree with an axe. Everyone gets a turn at cutting, but the person who actually makes it fall down, has to organize the next party. Luckily that wasn’t me. I was watching as it fell and dozens of people ran at it to get the presents in its branches.
Then a DJ started playing and we all danced under the stars at our own little oasis in the desert. The barbecue was fired up and we ate delicious skewers of meat. Then we danced and danced and danced some more. There I was in the Peruvian desert, in a scene which could have come straight out of a movie. The beats were strong and so were the drinks. Slowly the pool emptied and the huge dancefloor filled. When it was time to go we kept dancing. The party never stopped. Even in the van home, we danced to the tunes of the radio, and then started the sing-alongs. After a two hour drive we were back at our hotel, but the song ‘Zombie’ was still playing. We didn’t leave the van until we’d finished leaving the song. Then I stumbled to my bed, exhausted. This was going to be a short night, but it was so worth it!