Lima, Trujillo, to Huanchaco: Oceanside…You Have Been Missed
Lima to Huanchaco: Oceanside…You Have Been Missed.
Take a bus north of Lima to Huanchaco some time in your life. It will blow your mind. Lima is in the middle of a desert. In fact, the whole of the west coast of South America that I have seen so far seems to be a desert. But, the road that will take you into northern Peru out of Lima to Huanchaco is something else. The highway is build on the side of massive sand dunes. Sand bags line the highway in places in order to keep the wind from removing the foundation holding up the highway. The highway cuts into the dunes and follows them on the right and on the left the ocean waves crash up on the sand. It is gorgeous. And it is drier than I could have ever imagined a city like Lima being. It turns out that Lima is the second driest capital city in the world after Cairo.
I am chasing the sun now. I have had enough of struggling for breath at high altitudes. Sea level and I are a better match. I hate feeling old and not having oxygen. I will deal with that when I have to. There is no sense in experiencing that prematurely. And speaking of old, there was a crazy older Peruvian gentleman sitting behind me on the bus. He shouted obscene Spanish things at the blaring movies for the whole ride. It was an excellent source of entertainment for the duration of the trip. I feel like I am mentally closer to him than I am probably ready to be though… I feel jealous of the way he could get away with that.
Peru is too developed for my South American mind. The highway infrastructure is almost as advanced as North America or Europe on the outskirts of cities. There is McDonald’s here to poison the people’s bodies. And there are massive sprawling outlet stores in and around the cities. This is not the woman driving the donkey cart wearing a plaid dress Peru that I had in mind. Machu Picchu has changed all of that. A shame for my experience, but I suspect they like their increased standard of living more than I like my nostalgic views.
Once I arrived in Trujillo at 10pm, I had to walk through semi darkened empty streets with my backpack on and all of my possessions inside of it to sort out some money to get myself the further 12 kms to Huanchaco to finish the Lima to Huanchaco journey. Huanchaco is a beach town just past Trujillo. That walk was testy, but eventually a taxi driver took care of me, sorted out my S/$100 note, and drove me to a guesthouse on the beach. The ocean. Warmth. I have missed it so much. I want to walk down the beach and scream at the top of my lungs, “OCEAN, I AVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH. I LOVE YOU.” I belong at the next to the rolling waves.
I went for beer at night at the liveliest bar and befriended the owner who gave me advice on eating guinea pig. I am curious to try. I spent an hour before bed on the pier with the local fishermen, learning how to net fish. That is a fast process.
p.s. I have been reading ‘Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon’ by Tony Fletcher. It is amazing how one can grow to love a character in a book and even though you know the inevitability of his impending death, you somehow hope the entire time that the words inside will change the story before you reach the end of the book. It is a strange and anxious feeling through the entire read.