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Northern Peru: a dessert landscapes with pre-Colombian ruins

Mancora, and Huanchaco Trujillo

overcast 15 °C

I am happy to say that our bus trip across the Peruvian border was uneventful but by doing it late at night and avoiding the money changers I did not have a dime in Peruvian soles. I did have US$ funds but as I found out at the bus station at 6am it was another reason for a taxi driver to take you for a ride – another ride!
We changed buses for the coast as we were all dying for some sun and beach time before becoming landlocked in altitude.
Mancora would be the last place where the sun could warm you as opposed to the chilly coastal air of the rest of the Peruvian coastline. I was warned that it was not a pleasant beach town. The words butt ugly, filthy, unattractive as well as loads of fun, a blast, great times were used to describe this contemporary fishing village. I soon understood the oxymoron of this town and it had more to do with a generation gap then what the eye can see. But a half hour by taxi lay a gorgeous long wide strip of empty beach dotted with low lying expensive bungalows and hotels.

Mancora was indeed awful to the eye, probably fun if you’re 20, but not what we were interested in.
We followed the coast to the beach area of Vishayto where accommodations were more expensive for one night but allowing 2 full days to enjoy this beach. Strangely the beach was also littered with large dead headless seals, sea birds, and large fish. We can only imagine this as a result of sharks but they don’t live in cold waters, and the dead fish were a result of fish nets? I guess?

After our soak in the sun we took a night bus to Trujillo to stay in the coastal suburb of Huanchaco. It’s a tame surfing town and an enjoyable place to catch up on the blog writing, walking the beach front and eating awesome ceviche. Ceviche is lime juice marinated raw fish – you got it. Raw fish, the Latin version of Sushi and I love it, and strangely it did not affect my fish allergy. We found a wonderful affordable hostel in Huanchaco which made our stay very pleasant. The strange looking kayak next to Ariel in the picture is a traditional Caballito boat and it's material and design date back to the ancient civilizations of the area, and they are still made and used the exact same way.
Also in Peru you can find the attractive Peruvian hairless dog, completely naked and sometimes with small mohawk and/or pig nose. Due to their lack of hair they are warmer then other dogs and are used to warm peoples hands and feet so they are quite friendly despite their odd appearance. I did not feel compelled to snuggle up to these creatures at all.

This town was also a great base for exploring the many ruins of the Chan Chan and Moche civilizations which date back to the Inca years and before. These sites were impressive in the grand desert surroundings.
The kids and I debated whether to join Karin and Russ in Huarez, an amazing mountain town in the Peruvian Cordillera. The toss up was Huarez or the poor man’s Peruvian Galapagos called Isla Ballestas 4 hours south of Lima. Since we probably wouldn’t be seeing the Galapagos on this trip I caved and decided on Isla Ballestas near Pizco.

The kids are still fabulous travelers, whining and boredom have not set in although they are still attached to their electronics. I worry about the school situation as a new year has started and we done much work.

Although I am getting ahead of myself I thought I would mention that I was elated by Chris' arrival later last night in Lima. It was so wonderful to see him finally. As I continue the next segment of this blog it won't appear that he is in the picture yet. That come after Lima.

Posted by sostrander 03:58 Archived in Peru Tagged family_travel

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