Diary 15 (or Sand dunes and mysterious lines!)1/10/2001 Its off to Paracas in the morning, a sliver of habitation that revolves around its single pier. After the fishermen have completed unloading the daily catch, its onto the speedboat and off to Islas Barretas. First stop is offshore from the Candelabra, a giant geo-glyph dug into the "dunes" facing the sea. No record or dating is possible due to the paucity of archaeological context, though its is probably a derivative of the Nazca culture. The Islas are home to 1000`s of guano producing birds, still harvested annually for their excrement, a former cornerstone of the Peruvian economy. Sealions also line its shores, a solitary cub here, a cluster of adults here and there, a beach swarming with bodies and echoing with their barks. Returing to dryland its time to ctach the bus to Ica, and hence to Huacachina. I`m going to be spending (but wasn`t planning to) sometime here: an oasis nestles amongst the sanddunes, sheltered by palms, hotels and restaurants. The Casa de Arienes backs onto the dunes and after throwing my bags onto the bed I grab a board and some wax to start the long climb upto the dune`s ridge. It`s time to learn how to sandboard! Not exactly legendary for my sense of balance it`s easier than I ws expecting. After several bruising falls on the flatter reverse slope, I attempt a descent back to the hotel, 150m of blind panic and flailing arms. I`m going back up tomorrow.I was up on the dues practising early this morning, despite a raging hangover and the preperations for an international sandboarding competition going on around me. Time to retire for a couple of dips in the pool and sunbathing by the bar. The contest finally gets underway, the slalom is impressive but the jumping is full of farce, laughter and jibes. Hello to Dan, Sam, Omer, Margot and Scott; all fellow participants in the barbeque, football, volleyball and a mock trial of the local kids. Time for one last go on the boards before dragging myself bodily to the taxi ranks. Back to Ica, and onward to Nazca, home of the famous geo-glyphs: the Nazca Lines. Time to relax in the Plaza after booking a tour for the following day.Pootled down to the airport at 7am this morning, but a series of the standard Latin American problems mean that I don`t actually get on a plane until 11 o`clock. The lines are well worth the wait though, they really are huge, great geometric shapes formed by the simple expident of moving the cover of small stones from the ground to expose the lighter rock beneath. There are many animal shapes too, a hummingbird, condor, monkey, dog, tree, an "astronaut" and several others. The ride was over so quickly though, and I would love to take a hotair balloon ride for the peace and time, but the tiny Cessnas are the only option here. Next: destination Arequipa. My record was 3 seconds on a skateboard, normally terminated painfully against a desk in the Scient offices.  This is a seriously steep slope!  Dan`s a lawyer.