I am now one week into my South American adventures! It´s been a crazy week, but it feels really good to be back on the road again.
We got to Lima a week ago, and spent two days hanging around the city with some of Alex´s friends from Lima, Ani and Cristina. It was the perfect way to introduce us to Peru, and to get us going on our trip. Our first full night they took us to a series of bars that you would never find in your Lonely Planet. One of which had no sign, and you had to know the address and have to have gate opened by a bouncer. It was a super hip bar with lots of cool artwork. I leanred afterwards that one of the guys we were having a dance party with with a bass player for some Peruvian Heavy-Metal band. The next bar was a converted apartment that was now a punk-ska bar. Based on some of the looks we got when we walked in, I´m guessing tourists don´t frequent these places. The next day they took us out for some Cebice, a traditional Peruvian dish. I don´t know exactly whats involved in its preparation, but its essentially raw fish that gets soaked in Lemon juice, which actually cooks the fish a little bit. But the fish is pretty much raw, and is served with some of the most amazing sauces I´ve ever tasted. If I created a list of the five most memorable meals of my life, this would have been up there somewhere. Despite some hearing some less than favorable thing about Lima, I quite liked it.
We then hopped on a bus to Trujillo, which is on the coast about half way up from Lima to Ecuador. Within an hour in the city, we (including an Argentinian friend we met on the bus named Greg) decided there was not much to do there, so we headed for a small surfing town 15 km away called, Haunchaco. Now, I´ve always hoped I would simply run across someone I know while traveling, but it´s never happened. When we got to Haunchaco, we walked into a restaurant and heard a familiar voice call us over. A guy we had worked with this summer, named Mattieu, was having lunch in the same restaurant. I didn´t even know he was travelling let alone staying in the same small surfing town we were in Peru. We ended up spending the rest of the day catching up, body boarding (surfing in Alex´s case) and building things in the sand. Small world. The next day we explored a place called Chan Chan, which is a huge complex of ruins right on the coast. From what I gathered on our guided tour, most of what they know about it is speculation. But whatever it was once, it much have been quite impressive!
From there we caught a very long and uncomfortable bus up to Mancora, where we are now. It´s supposed to be the surfing Mecca of South America, but unfortunately for the hoards of surfers in the water waiting for a good wave, the water is as calm as can be. I was hoping to try learn how to surf, but that may have to wait. We´re going to go back down through Haunchaco again, so hopefully I´ll be able to catch a wave there!
We have a few more days beach bumming around here, and then we´re headed inland to do some trekking in the Andes. Despite some nasty sun burns and an unfortunate run in with bed bugs, we´re doing well!
Hope winter is being kind,