· by wendy
One of the great things about traveling without a schedule is finding an unexpected gem. Those places that are not given much of a mention in the necessary evil known as Lonely Planet. Our visit to Trujillo was planned mainly to break up a 16 hour bus ride from Mancora to Lima as well as to check out some ruins. LP made mention of a nearby beach town as a possibility for lodging. Beaches always win with us.
We showed up in Huanchaco to find huge waves and tons of surfers. The waves were so big that we opted not to test our newbie surfing skills. Instead we passed many hours by hanging out at the first “real” cafe we’ve seen in a long time. Frapuccinos and wifi were a welcome relief after weeks without either. It’s beachside location didn’t hurt either!
This particular surfer town is also home to reed boats called totoras. People actually use these things. They kneel or sit in the middle while the hole behind them is used for carrying nets and other fishing gear. They use half of a bamboo pole to row. In the afternoon, they give rides to the gringos. Paddling out over the waves and then riding them back in.
As for those ruins, they turned out to be pretty interesting. Chan Chan straddles the main road from Trujillo to Huanchaco and isn’t much to look at from inside the taxi. Once inside the complex, we were amazed by the patterns these people took such care to create.
After visiting four different locations containing similar ruins, we returned to our hostel where we were greeted by a Peruvian asking if we wanted to play paintball. Um, sure, why not. I have never played paintball, but I can tell you that I am now hooked. Shooting at Finns (people from Finland) and Peruvians was quite fun. I especially enjoyed when a Peruvian on my team proudly exclaimed his excitement that it was the chica that took down one of our enemy. The concealed carry classes we took last year are obviously coming in handy.
I thought it might stop by now, but we continue to turn and look at each other and go…“WTF!? We’re driving quads next to an erupting volcano in Ecuador!” or “OMG! We’re eating guinea pig!” or “We’re surfing on Christmas!” or “We’re shooting paintballs in a Peruvian surf town!” It’s all so random and we continue to love it!