After a first kitesurfing lesson on the windy beach near Cumbuco, it is time to explore the hinterland. I have seen the white dunes rising above the low houses of town. With three companions, we set off in a buggy, drive out of town, and straight into the sliver of sand that separates the coastline from the green interior. Before we know it, the driver starts showing his skills at driving up and down the steep hills, making for an exciting excursion. We stop at the top of a dune, where we can slide down the sand slope to a small lake at the bottom on hand-made boards. We continue towards the west, with always higher dunes, and make regular stops. From the top of the dunes, we see a green landscape stretching south, towards the mountains in the distance. A scenery hidden from view when you are in town.
After a short stretch on an asphalt road, we are back on the sand, and stop at another, even smaller lake than the one before: Banana Lake. I slide down the steep sand, and wonder how the sharp line between a landscape of sand, and the lush green vegetation can exist. Working my way up the dune is a good exercise, and we continue further west. We pass more small lakes, see many birds of prey, always racing up and down the narrow strip of sand dunes between coastline and green interior. Another short stop at the bend of the Cauhipe river offers us a view of a steep sand dune rising from the dark waters. Crossing the river on a narrow bridge brings us to an ecological area with more dunes. From the top of one of them, we again have sweeping views of both the plains with the mountains in the south, and the coastline to the north. Scores of birds of prey circle the sky here. Close by we see the sun set over a landscape of sand dunes.
The next morning, I am up early for a walk through the dune landscape. Unfortunately, we sun rises behind a thick, dark cloud, and it is only half an hour later that the first rays of sun touch the undulating lines of the sand dunes, which are constantly shaped and reshaped by the wind that always blows from the east. The ribs in the sand, the curves casting shadows on the white sand: this landscape never bores. I follow the crest of a high dune, am surprised to find quite a few people walking through the landscape over the dunes from the south: it turns out there is a small village just behind. At some points, where you cannot see the masts of Cumbuco, and only see one sand dune rise after another, it feels like being in an endless world of sand. When the sun rises higher, it is time to walk to the beach and back to town over the hard sand.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Cumbuco sand dunes (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Cumbuco sand dunes.
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