Night buses and bathroom doors
So I digress...........
After the more than difficult last day in Ecuador it was a 15 hour overnight bus journey to Máncora, Peru. A quiet beach town allegedly boasting some of the best beaches and surf in Peru. Unfortunately neither would prove to be true.
Arriving after such a long bus journey, with very little sleep, I was ready to relax. Unfortunately the beach was not quite as advertised. I didn't take a single picture of the beach because I was disgusted at the amount of pollution, and the overall poor condition. None the less it proved a good spot to relax and try the famous Peruvian Ceviche. Of course, I am already familiar with Ceviche, just not in Peru.
Máncora was sort of a blast from the past and reminded me of my hometown of Virginia Beach. Every restaurant was stocked full of Surfer magazines, and everyone walked around dressed in surfer attire. The only problem is that very little surfing actually happens there. There is a small area with off shore breaks, which never had anything to right home about. On top of that you can find as many as 100 people fighting for ankle slappers all afternoon. So.. if you like that sort of thing....
Peru travel is almost always better done by night bus, as the landscapes along the Panamerican highway are non existent, and everything is a 10 hour journey.
Leaving Máncora we went to the third biggest city in Peru, called Trujillo. Another long night journey, which got off on the wrong foot. We arrived at the hostel, Casa de Clara at about 7am. As soon as we got to the room Brenda went into the bathroom and found herself locked inside. The owner got nervous mumbling to himself and then finally ran out of the house to find a locksmith. Almost one hour later.. the owner had disappeared, and it was time to take the matter into my own hands. First I was gentle, using my leatherman to try and pick the lock, but later it was time to get more aggressive. It turned out one hard shot and she opened right up. Who knew? Needless top say we didn't wind up spending the night.
Trujillo as it would turn out, is one of my favorite cities in Peru. A magnificent main plaza, great people and restaurants. It is also located withing 30 minutes of the Archaeological site of Chan Chan and the beaches of Huanchaco.
Chan Chan is large pre Inca civilization of the Chimú culture. They use strictly adobe style architecture and are famous for designs and carving in the walls. The city was inhabited by as many as 30,000 people before being taken over as part of the Incan Empire in 1470. Man of the ancient traditions are still used to this day. Including, breeding of hairless dogs which people use to treat arthritis. The theory is that the dogs give off so much heat that you can let them sleep on your knees or hands to help with arthritis pain.
Huanchaco is definitely a better stop than Mancorá, and provides for some fantastic sunset scenery. The locals still use traditional reed boats made from totora, as they have for over 1000 years. The boats are hand made and last an average of 18 months. They are quite the spectacle in the afternoon, standing upright, drying out on the beach. The waves in Huanchaco are substantially better than Máncora, and the fisherman can often be seen riding the waved with their reed boats into shore.
But that was enough for sunny beaches. It was time to head off for another brutually long journey top the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountian Range) in the heart of the Andes.