We woke up at 6 am as usual in the tent this morning, just a tad before the sun comes up. The waves were crashing to the right and the sounds of New Years parties were still raging to our left. They went all night long. Fireworks and booze and music and yelling. It was impressive how hard these people partied! Took a morning swim in the ocean before getting suited up for the days ride. It was tempting to just stay in the water as it was the perfect temperature and the sun was starting to heat things up on the beach. Instead, we hit the road just as everyone was going to bed. It was nice to have the highway to ourselves. We left the coastline on the only road south with any semblance of pavement and the scenery went from sandy beach to desolate desert! There was no vegetation of any kind for quite a while. We twisted through some foothills for a while and then we were out on the flat lands of sand. The road signs read zona de dunes. They were serious about that as the sand piled itself into mountains and the wind began to whip across the landscape reshaping it right before our eyes. The wind picked up until we were riding at a 45 degree angle to the road. It cranked up another notch still and the dunes started to cross the road! I literally felt like the bike was being blown across the highway a few times. We passed a large tour bus that sucked us closer as we started to draft on it and then the wind was blocked so we fell into the bus and then when we got around it the bike was blown sideways again. It took everything I had to keep the rubber side down! We managed to crank out about 400 miles today despite the wind and the 95 degree heat. The towns we went through appeared to have survived a war as the buildings were just piles of rubble and the smell of sewage and trash dominated. The landscape outside the cities was otherworldly. We searched and searched for a place to camp but found nothing so we ended up in a hostel in a small mining community who was deep in the throws of celebration for the New Year. Couples kissing on every park bench, tons of beer being passed around in the town squares and music pumping out of every bar in town. The hostel reeks of sewage and there must be 15 motorcycles parked in the lobby! Gonna try to catch some z's before the big push to Lima tomorrow in hopes of diving into the Dakar festivities head first when we arrive.