A surfer comes out of the water as the sun sets over Huanchaco, Peru.
This morning the sun finally broke through the cloud cover that was hanging over Huanchaco for the past three days. I was beginning to feel as though the rain was following me. I love rain. The pounding, downpour, nature at its furious best sort of thing but, I am ready for a bit of sun now. However, the lack of direct rays didn’t keep me from getting sunburnt yesterday. Yes, I was wearing sunblock. SPF 60 even. Remember though, I am two colors: white and red. I’ve even been referred to as translucent on occasion.
But before I jump ahead… a brief update on where else I’ve been.
Last entry I was in Arequipa. The best thing about Arequipa is not the city, but what is around the city. Colca Canyon is breathtaking. The rock climbing was more fun than it had the right to be. Worked my arms off to haul my butt over this one ledge. Easy for you experienced climbers out there, but it had me spouting a few naughty swear words as my hands slipped from their grip.
After finally making it over the lip I am taking a break on a natural seat before going on to finish.
A few random things about rock climbing and me:
1) Damn, that was fun and I can’t wait to do it again.
2) I am uber stubborn when it comes to conquering something and refuse to stop half way.
3) I swear like a sailor when I am frustrated.
4) Bruise count on my legs the following day: 6.
Arequipa, the city, is pretty. I browsed a few museums, stopped in the Saint Catalina Monastary, which was a cloister for nuns. Freaky, concrete construction with a maze of streets and nooks inside. I was thinking perfect horror movie setting the whole time I was in there. The market was fabulous, but I am always a sucker for markets. I love the people behind their booths selling meat, chicken, fruits and veggies. Small booths you can stop for a fresh glass of juice or browse past the herbal section and pick up the latest love potion or headache remedy. Whatever your needs are at the moment.
Another all-nighter on a bus and I arrived in Ica. Ica is a desert town. If you know one desert town, you know Ica. Hot, dusty, raw around the edges. I stopped to couchsurf and my host took me out to do some Pisco taste testing. That was good. I picked another day to go to Huacachina, a small oasis with very large dunes. That was not so good. It would have been wonderful I’m sure, but my experience was immediately clouded when I dropped my new pns camera into the sand. I don’t recommend that. Cameras do not work with sand imbedded in the lens mechanism. I should have brought a baggie. I should have had the wrist strap on. I should have… yeah, my mind works like that. On the plus side there are no photos of me trying to sandboard. This is a good thing. (p.s had the camera cleaned in Huanchaco recently. Lens is working great. Meter is iffy, but I can deal with that for now).
LIVING A CHILDHOOD MEMORY ALERT: I flew over the Nazca lines. Okay, National Geographic makes them look really cool, or maybe that is my foggy childhood memory, but I’m a Tupperware child… easily amused. I had a blast. I was a bit tired, so I kept finding myself dozing off in the airplane, but me and the four Asian tourists had a good ‘ole time. No one got sick thankfully. The pilot liked tight turns. Um, no camera at this point… see stupid dune story above. The monkey is by far my favorite. I guess when I think about it, the thrill is not in flying over the lines, nor are they as impressive physically as most magazines make them look. What is so freakin’ fascinating is that they are there. Someone put them there. They had a meaning, perhaps seasonal, perhaps religious, perhaps an excuse to play in the dirt. I love the mystery.
A side note about the trip: After the flight (@30min) while I was waiting for the shuttle to take me back into town I was listening to another tourist (British I think) say she didn’t find them impressive and she doubted their authenticity. In fact, she goes on to add, they were probably put there for the tourists, because think of all the money the flight companies earn, so obviously it is a fake. Yeah. I kid you not. I’m sure there were a plethora of flyovers in 1929 when they were discovered too. Don’t worry though, she went on to add that the landing on the moon was also a Hollywood production. I love people. They keep life so interesting.
Another side note about the trip: Nazca is a one day visit.
The highest point around Colca Canyon, 4910meters or 16,108feet.
Two bus rides later…
side not on the bus system: I can’t get over the ‘urination only’ policy for the toilets. Yes. Only number 1. No number 2. We are instructed via the onboard safety video, right after the seatbelt is mandatory by law warning, that we are only allowed to urinate, and they mean it, because it is repeated at least four times. Sure, you can ask the bus driver to pull over, so you can go find the nearest bush, but I’ve just decided the best policy is to be temporarily constipated and drink a ton of water once I arrive. A little yogurt helps after as well. Just an fyi if you every find yourself in a ‘urination only’ bus somewhere in Peru.)
…I am now in Huanchaco, Peru. On the beach. Sunny. Slightly burnt. Having random thoughts about moving to a beach town for a few months. I’d probably get bored. But then I went running this morning. Barefoot on the beach. Along the water. Listening to the sounds of the waves. Watching the fisherman out in their reed boats. Harassing the little red sand crabs as I ran by. Learning to relax and enjoy the moment. That itself could take me a few months.
(favorite Peruvian word: chevere = cool)
This is what 4am looks like in Colca Canyon.
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