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Hola Peru...Its Beach Time!!!

Our time chilling at the in the Northern Beaches of Mancora and Huanchaco in Peru

View Central & South America on chellebelle's travel map.

We left Cuenca early in the morning (6am if I am being precise). It was a long travel day as we were on a bus overall for 9hours and had a border to cross. We were leaving Ecuador, a country that was full of differences and definitely didn't give me the same buzz that Colombia did.
We had no problems crossing the border as the office of Immigration for Peru and Ecuador are in the same building so you literally just have to change lines. There were no fees and no problems as long as you had your travel card they give you when you arrive. It was back on the bus and then through customs in Peru a couple of hours later...an extremely weird concept considering we were already in the country and lots of people had already left the bus.


Mancora was a beach town and it was surrounded by massive sand dunes. I never considered that Peru would be that dry and have so much desert! The beach itself was calm and beautiful. We had a perfect room that had a balcony that looked over the beach and the sound of the waves went through the room and drown out the chaos from down the beach at the bars.
After a delicious welcome dinner at Agua, one of the nicest place in Mancora we were ready to chill out with a few glasses of wine and the anaconda challenge. The next day it was a late breakfast at a place called Green Eggs and Ham. The breakfast was delicious!! We had pancakes with maple, fresh juice, poached eggs (Until you get here you have no idea how hard they are to find anywhere in Latin America as eggs are always fried or scrambled!) as well as hash browns and fried potatoes. The fried potatoes were delicious and both of us were so happy with the familiarity of home that we went back for exactly the same the next day. Both days I managed to run along the beach and noticed that there were about five seals dead on the shoreline well as pelicans.


The reason is the fisherman are killing them as they are eating the fish. At present El Nino is affecting the area so the supply of fish is rather low. I guess it is survival of the fittest in the area and apparently the fisherman are stronger than the seals. The main way they are apparently killing them is via poison which makes a little more sense why they are so swollen and looking like balloons on the beach. In any other country this would be considered unacceptable but here where people rely on fish to live, a blind eye is turned to what is happening.


We spent the afternoon at a cooking class. Our guide, Eli took us to the market, which was full of flies and as always makes you question why you are buying produce from there. We were on a mission to make Aji de Gallina, a yellow sauce two different ways (chicken and vegetarian) on top of potatoes with eggs. The sauce was flavoursome, garlicky and with a slight spice. Lewis thought it was so good he went back for thirds and is yet to find one better! We topped this off with numerous Pisco Sours to help our creative energies flow.


The next day Lewis went on a boys fishing trip. He had a great time and managed to catch the biggest and the smallest fish! He said that compared to at home the fish were pathetic in size. The boys (minus Lewis) enjoyed fresh sashimi and ceviche on the boat with there catch.


It was an overnight bus that night which was ok but nothing beats a real bed. When we arrived it felt like we were entering the desert, Trujillo was so dirty and dry! It appears they don't get a lot of rain here. We were off to our next beach town Huanchaco, a small town just out of the city of Trujillo that is famous for Caballito de totora or reed boats that the indigenous fisherman of the Incas times used. These boats were one of the original surf crafts and are still used by some of the older people in the town today to go fishing.


The problem is that the boats are not being made as much anymore, the young people aren't carrying on the tradition and the reeds are dying due to erosion so are becoming harder to make. I hope the tradition doesn't die out completely as they are cool to see in the surf and are interesting creations. While watching a fisherman organise his boat exciting I was given a dead seahorse as a souvenir. It kinda showed that all though I can't take it with me. Getting excited and enjoying watching someone do there work has it's perks.


The town is also famous for it's surf which is apparently always good and much better than that of Mancora. The town is potentially the place where ceviche originated. Through oral history they say they used lemons from a village nearby, chilli from the river and seaweed from the region. After the long bus ride breakfast was in order and in Huanchaco there is only one place to go; Chocolate Cafe. Lewis went for a simple english breakfast which was great but didn't beat his breakfast in Mancora. I went for the Granola and yoghurt with banana. It was simply amazing and refreshing especially with a green tea on the side. Believe it or not green tea is pretty hard to find here, most of the time you end up with mint as it is in a green packet.


Nearby the town are town sets of ruins, Chan Chan and the Temple of the Sun and Moon. Both sets were created by different groups of people. The Moche people greeted the temples of the sun and the moon around the same time that Teotihuacan was made and well before the Incas. We were able to see the current excavations and some of the stunning paintings.


Chan Chan is vast and over 20 square kilometres. There are 10 cities in the ruins and only one city you are allowed to go through and that has been recreated with fibreglass to give you an impression of how the village was. The village was the capital of the Chimu people that were invaded by the Incas and as I understand it as each new ruler passed away a new city was built for the new ruler. Each city was needed to be more impressive than the last. The city we walked through was full of fish carvings. It was surrounded by massive walls as well.

Our final night before our overnight bus we discovered amazing cake in Huanchaco. The chocolate cake was fresh and we were given a generous serving of chocolate sauce. The strawberry tart was made with fresh strawberries. Both were mouth-watering good. The lady that makes them sells them outside the bar she works at at night. We also discovered Surfer Burger who had excellent burger patties.


It was great to spend some time relaxing at the beach. Both had a completely different vibe but both were great relaxing spots and just what we needed. Both to be honest seemed like they were in a desert as well which we found very surprising. The ground is so dry in the whole area around. If you go to Huanchaco you have to find the cake lady as her cakes are exquisite.


Posted by chellebelle 14:36 Archived in Peru Tagged beach surf town breakfast cooking yellow border class mancora huanchaco sauce reed_boats green-eggs-and-ham caballito g_adventures

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