We decided that the first adventure with all the dogs would be to the beach. I was slightly anxious about forgetting to bring something important, which led to us bringing way too much stuff, but at least I learned for the next time. The most stressful part of packing was food for the dogs. I have recently taken them off processed dog food completely and I am cooking all their food. It is working out great for them but it is more time consuming and a lot harder to pack than kibble. However I managed to pack ziplock bags of sweet potato, chicken, rice, veggie puree and canned sardines. I decided to skip bringing the supplements I use for them and just keep it simple for a couple of days.
My very clever OH has converted the back of our Land Cruiser into a giant dog bed. It is covered with a fake black leather-like material which can be easily cleaned after the inevitable vomiting of at least two of the dogs. The roads in Peru tend to be twisty and that combined with altitude changes always leads to at least one vomiting episode per trip. We tried to put everything we were bringing in the roof top cargo box so that the dogs would have as much space as possible inside.
We left on Sunday morning, we were planning on leaving around 7am but it was closer to 9am by the time everything was packed and ready. We managed to get everyone in the car relatively calmly and we were on the way! We headed first to Camana which is about a 3 hour drive from Arequipa city. We had been told that Quilka was a nice beach to camp on so were planning on heading there. We found the area of Quilka, but from what we could see of it, there were lots of people and it was quite busy. I think there are probably parts that are great for camping but we need someone who knows the beaches to show us where.
We found a place that looked good on the main beach at Camana. However we drove right onto the sand thinking that it looked like a great place to camp and our car got stuck in the sand. We made a huge mistake not thinking about which tires we were using. We tried digging the car out of the sand but it wasn’t working so we just set up the tent for the night there. We bought a great tent that attaches to our car so there is plenty of space for all of us and our stuff. I love love love this tent. Its big, roomy, easy to set up and I can stand up inside it. The dogs also love it because its easy to get in and out of and they can use it as a shade during the day. Its like their own cave!
After getting the tent set up we managed to light a bonfire, toast marshmallows and relax. We actually slept very well that night and the dogs had no problems settling down and sleeping the whole night.
The next day we were lucky enough to see some men working on a building site down the beach so we asked them if they could come pull the Land Cruiser out of the sand.
Finally after getting the car out, we could all relax and enjoy our day on the beach. We decided just to leave the tent where it was and move the car to the road next to the beach. It wasn’t ideal having the car and tent separate but it was fine.
The dogs were actually incredibly well behaved at the beach. We are having some issues with Wilson barking and running at motorbikes and other people. He doesn’t actually want to hurt anyone. He just loves to say HI! but people, understandably, don’t really want a 50kg great dane running at them and barking! However we just put him on a tie out rope for a while so he still had plenty of space but we could control what he was doing. Teddy ,of course, went bananas over all the sea birds. He can’t help chasing anything that moves. He had some off leash time but he is the leader of the dogs so if he races off after something, they all race off with with him! So Teddy was kept on the leash for a lot of the time, but he still had a great time!
We all had a wonderful day, playing on the beach, running, playing fetch, and it was so nice to see all 6 dogs out and playing and getting tired together! Usually we have to walk them in 2s or 3s so it was nice for all of us to be together the whole time.
I bought Lola and Chester new rash guards for the beach. I was very happy with them, they dried fast and protected them well from the sun. I was also so proud of Lola and Chester at the beach, they were having fun playing with the big dogs, no whining, no getting scared. Lola especially loved the sea and I was worried she would get caught up in the waves!
Papi was the best behaved, as usual. His favourite part of the beach was getting to sleep with us in the tent at night! He is a terrible snorer, so at home he sleeps in another room with Wilson. But getting to sleep with us was such a treat for him.
Nala thought the best part of the beach was rolling in stuff and eating as many dead crabs as possible. She was awesome as usual. She always sticks as close as possible to me and I never have to worry about losing her anywhere!
All in all it was a very good first trip. We managed to get stuck in the sand but we got out again! The dogs were great, we didn’t lose anyone, and all the dogs were sandy and exhausted by the time we loaded them up in the car to go home. The only problem we did have was that both Papi and Teddy suffered a little with the sand in their feet. It seemed to rub them between their toes and irritate them. Next time I will find some paw wax to put on before we head out on the sand.
Here we are, all packed up and ready to go home!