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A warpus in Peru

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Leaving Huaraz

    Day 15 of trip - Sunday May 20th


    We actually tried buying bus tickets to get out of Huaraz the day before, after the champions league celebrations & a rather large dinner that we couldn't finish.. but it ended up being a bit too late in that there were lines at all the reputable bus company terminals in the area, we were confused by all the options, couldn't find a direct route to Chiclayo (picked this place to go to next after much deliberation), nobody spoke English except for 1 guy at one of the bigger companies and he was trying to rip us off, we still weren't fully clear on the differences between cama, supercama, and semicama (3 variations of "first class"), were a bit drunk, tired, things just didn't feel right, so after maybe an hour and a half we ended up going back to our hostel and spending another night there.

    Here's a map so you can get a better idea of what's going on. Huaraz is right by Huascaran, the tallest mountain in Peru.. also right beside Caraz. Cuzco is where we started, spent some time in Lima, and we were headed to Mancora, which is not on the map, but is basically halfway between Tumbes and Piura.



    On Sunday we went to iPeru, which was a tourist info office where you could get information and advice about the area in English. We got recommendations on which bus companies to go with in terms of our trip (which would have to be overnight), and it turned out that there were only direct routes to Trujillo, 200km south of Chiclayo, so we ended up buying tickets to there instead. Trujillo was on our radar but ended up losing out to Chiclayo in our initial debate after we realized we could only realistically make 1 stop before we got to our final destination in the northern end of the country. So our plan at this point was to maybe figure out how to get to Chiclayo that very morning when we arrived in Trujillo at 5am - or maybe just stay in Trujillo.. cause.. at some point you just really don't want to be on a bus anymore.

    We also picked up an English-language newspaper at iPeru, in which we found a long article about how the very hike we originally planned to do out of Huaraz was closed because of a big avalanche that happened back in February. This was weird because I did a lot of research for the trip and in no place was any of this mentioned.. Apparently you could walk halfway but would then have to turn back because the trail was impassable.. parts of the trail were dangerous.. and nobody wanted to clean up the mess (state, federal governments, the park, etc.) There was also an email printed from a German tourist who walked through a part of the trail and said that there was toilet paper and garbage everywhere. So.. That sucks for the region, because the Santa Cruz Trek is the most popular multi-day hike in the area... but the article we found in the paper sort of put a stamp on the feeling that the Santa Cruz Trek was just not meant to be..

    Trujillo quickly became our preferred destination thanks to Gary. If you remember, Gary was the American guy from Colorado who was in our Salkantay Trek group, and the last we saw of him he was drunk out of his mind and passed out after speaking in tongues at 4am and being a complete mess. He had a flight out of Cusco at 9am, and we had no idea if he made it.. but then we heard from him! He contacted us on facebook and said that he ended up in a small fishing village just outside of Trujillo and that it was awesome. He then bused it off to the mountains somewhere to the north-east, near the "other Machu Picchu", which was supposed to be far less touristy, not as spectacular, but cool enough, and with less mountains.. or something like that anyway. I totally can't remember the name. It was on our radar but far out of the way.. the bus ride was over 27 hours IIRC. Either way Huanchaco (the small fishing village) was supposed to be really cool and we were looking forward to it. There were also pre-Incan ruins in the region we wanted to see.

    When it was all said and done the whole experience convinced us that the trip was proceeding according to the plans of the prophets.

    We bought tickets to Trujillo and would probably make our way to Huanchaco via taxi or bus from there. And for some reason in Peru all city to city bus transportation that took over 5 hours was done overnight.. So we had many hours to kill. We walked around town a bit and at some point ran into this guy selling pets.. felt bed for the little guys :( but.. maybe they were taken care of okay, who knows. I sure hope so anyway..



    A puppy, turtles, hamsters, parrots, and.. I'm not sure what else



    Here's a bit of a small plaza with a statue of a firefighter holding a baby. It was near the centre of town and very close to our hostel.. I'm not sure why or how but it just feels like this photo captures the essence of Huaraz fairly well



    It was a rather lazy day really: we had some beers, Lomo Saltado for lunch (A traditional & popular Peruvian dish - a beef, rice, veggie stir fry that also contains french fries), filet mignon for dinner, and some casual reading & internet use at the hostel afterwards.. We had to check out by 11am but the guys working at the hostel let us stay there until 9..

    The locals running the hostel were very nice and even eager to learn some English from us. The computer I was using the internet on was even one that they generally used for business related purposes, so that was nice of them as well.. At one point Bjanca showed up and we had to say bye to her because she was going to be attempting a 7 or 8 day long hike through the mountains and wasn't following us north. She was a very brave and confident girl - but humble. Felt very at home in the mountains, which wasn't surprising as she was from Switzerland. It was a bit sad to finally part ways

    At 9:20 or so we took a cab to one of the many bus terminals in town. We departed Huaraz shortly before 11pm and the conditions on the bus were almost equally amazing as the bus from Lima to Huaraz.. and in some ways even nicer.. but the bed could not fully go 180 degrees and was more like 160.. which made it a bit less comfortable to sleep, but considering that it was on a bus and we were still fairly tired, it seemed incredibly luxurious.

    This is a map right on the front desk of the hostel we were staying at; it gives you a bit of a better view of the surrounding region and what sort of terrain it was - one imposing range in the north (cordillera blanca) and a much smaller range in the south (cordillera negra). Huaraz is the ibggest red blob in the valley that you can see, in the right part of the map. We came in from Lima from the right and would be leaving towards Trujillo down into the valley to the left.



    I slept for most of the ride. At about 5am we would arrive in Trujillo and would have to figure out how to get to Huanchaco.
     
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    This is a video of a bus ride through Huaraz on Friday (2 days before the last post, Day 13, this was the bus ride that eventually took us to that lake high up in the mountains)

    gives you a bit of an idea what kind of town it was


    Link to video.
     
  3. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Huanchaco - Part 1

    Day 16 of trip - Monday May 21st


    We arrived in Trujillo (pop. 900,000) at 5am and right away were mobbed by cabbies. Some of them spoke English.. some of them didn't.. Pamphlets were shoved in our faces.. It was chaos. We just woke up maybe 5-10 minutes before this, after 5 hours of sleep on the bus so it was all very confusing. It was also still dark.

    We ended up talking to several cabbies and considered our choices. I saw that a couple other backpackers seemed to be in our situation and so I chatted up 2 gringo looking travellers and asked them if they spoke English... which I thought was very likely, but could have been totally wrong. Turns out they were from the UK and the guy was a Liverpool fan.. and they were headed to Huanchaco too. So the 4 of us took a cab to Huanchaco while me and Tony discussed English football, and then got talking a bit into our travels, plans, past experiences, etc.

    Eventually we arrived in Huanchaco (pop. 38,000) and at the hostel.. It looked to be in very good condition - and turns out they had a private room with 2 beds and a private bathroom available! at a discounted rate! Perfect. We checked in and slept until 10am.

    The rest of the day was very casual. We put on sunscreen, and went out to find a place to eat breakfast. The beach was a short walk from the hostel; the beachfront was supposed to have a whole bunch of restaurants.



    This was the beachfront closest to our hostel.



    A bit closer to the pier. All very well upkept..



    Now looking south



    When Gary was telling us about Huanchaco he mentioned that it had a bit of an artsy edge to it and a bunch of neat grafitti and street art all over the place. We ran into some almost right away.







    We decided on one of the restaurants facing the beach - called "Club Colonial", it seemed to be a bit upscale maybe, but it was one of the only places that had decent sounding breakfast options. I ended up getting a lasagna bolognese and an ice cream + fudge crepe.. Some breakfast.



    It was just about noon and the weather was perfect for beach-related activities. So we did what we wanted to do ever since we finished the Salkantay: Lied down on a sandy beach for a couple hours..





    It wasn't quite tourist season yet, which is why you don't see that many people relaxing on the beach.. there were always at least a couple people in the water surfing though



    After we started getting sick of the sun we enjoyed a couple cold beers and REALLY good french fries on a patio with a roof overlooking the beach. What made the fries so good? Maybe it was the type of potato they used (Peru is supposed to have 3,000 different kinds), because the texture seemed just so right.. or maybe it was just all really fresh. who knows. either way, it added to a very enjoyable and relaxing day.



    on the menu above you can see 2 Peruvian specialities: Cebiche (usually spelled ceviche) and Lomo Saltado
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    This guy (in the red) was a bit slow, but he treated us like Gods. He really wanted to take in everything western/English/Canadian/whatever about us and .. whatever, in the end we didn't really mind. I think he messed up our order once or twice, but it was hard to get mad at him or even at anything in a relaxing atmosphere like that. He was just a part of the experience and that was going to be that.


    Link to video.

    hear all the honking? That's taxis "letting people know" that they are available and are looking for a fare
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Huanchaco - Part 2

    Day 16 of trip - Monday May 21st

    After lunch we just sort of walked around a bit, took some pictures, then had dinner.. I had scallops for the first time and then a fried fish in mushroom tarragon sauce. It was delicious. I'm not even a huge fan of seafood..

    Here's a group of soldiers we ran into. One of them is being extremely photogenic and almost creepy...





    Then we ran into a pelican



    He was scratching his butt



    This house was in between the beach and our hostel and these dogs were ALWAYS up there.



    Looks like a grasshopper or an ant



    We returned to the beach to take some sunset photos.. It was a bit cloudy but interesting nevertheless







    We crashed early and got a whole bunch of sleep.
     
  6. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I find it freaky how the modern world and the world of 100 years ago is so intertwined in places like this.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It was hard to try to put myself in the shoes of these people.. "So this is what my life would have been like if I was born in Peru"

    I wasn't really expecting that from Huaraz either.. It's where all the tourists flock, at least in the region, but the city totally didn't have that "touristy" feel to it.. at all. Yeah, we went just before tourist season started, but there was a giant contrast between Huaraz and Cusco. I suppose it might be because the types of tourists it attracts are hikers, skiiers, etc., not people in high heels who want to see Machu Picchu

    I was really glad we got to experience that "real" side of Peru.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Huaca del Sol y Huaca del Luna - Part 1

    Day 17 of trip - Tuesday May 22nd

    On this particular day we woke up at 8:30am and decided to see some of the ruins that were in the area. Our options were the Chan Chan archaeological site, a city built by the pre-Incan Chimu civlization in 850AD - the largest adobe city in the world, which was first "discovered" by Claudio Pizarro, which was rather close... (If you read the wikipedia article, you'll realize that there seems to be a contradiction in that wikipedia claims that the Chima culture arose in 900AD. My guess is that the city was built right before their rise to power)

    .. or the Temples of the Sun & Moon, built by the pre-Incan Moche civilization - the temple of the sun being the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure in the world, built using 130 million bricks over many years and in various stages, the construction of which was "finished" in 450 AD. (I'll explain why finished is in quotes in a bit)

    We opted for the latter, but first bought bus tickets to Mancora and inquired about how we'd get to Piura from Mancora, as our flight back to Lima was from Piura (about 200km away from Mancora)

    The temples were fairly far away (4km outside of Trujillo, so maybe 15km from Huanchaco) - We ended up taking a public bus/van as far as we could and then took a taxi from there. The seats on the bus were metal and I've got to say it was probably my worst ever experience on a public bus in terms of comfort; I didn't have enough room for my legs for instance, which I attributed to Peruvians being on average shorter than me, but also to an attempt to squeeze in as many seats as possible. The bus ride took us basically around Trujillo - the city of about 900,000 that's about a 10 minute drive from Huanchaco, where we were staying. The ruins we were interested in were basically behind Trujillo, so we had to get around it.

    It was a fairly long bus ride and took us through various parts of town - by a university, by a lot of run down parts of town with shady looking characters, a military base, an airport, and so on.. I sort of knew where we were supposed to get off, but not really; the bus driver's assistant (guy who acts as a stewardess type of guy during the ride, usually hanging off the side) was kind enough to let us know when it was our turn to get off - we showed him a map when we got on the bus to confirm that we were on the right bus and I guess we were the only gringos so he remembered. After that we flagged down the first legit looking cab and got in..

    And it was all good, but eventually the cabbie tried talking to us.. and.. he kept wanting to communicate something to us but we just weren't getting it. He wrote something on a piece of paper as he drove and passed it to us - but it was obviously in Spanish and we didn't get it. We had ideas as to what he was trying to say but couldn't really be sure which one it was. Either way, eventually we were in the desert and then saw the giant temple of the sun. The driver dropped us off at the nearby museum, where you had to buy tickets to see the temples, and found a bus driver who spoke English.. who explained to us that all the guy wanted was to wait for us until we were done exploring the ruins.. We didn't see any other cabs parked there, and he was willing to charge us 20 soles (just over $7) for the whole trip there and back including the wait, so we agreed.

    This is the sort of terrain the ruins were located in - desert with a river basin nearby, as well as some mountains. This is Cerro Blanco, which the Moche culture considered sacred.

    If you look closely you'll notice that there is something written on the side of the mountain, in white. Peruvians just loved putting giant letters on the side of mountains, we saw that sort of thing everywhere.. And I'm not 100% sure but I believe it says APRA - a reference to a political party.



    Decided to upload a better pic of the mountain-side propaganda, just so you can see what I'm talking about



    We spent maybe 45 minutes checking out the Moche museum.. Unfortunately they did not allow photography inside - but it was basically Moche artifacts, plaques in Spanish and English educating us about Moche history & culture, and so on. Very interesting! I'd give you a Moche primer, but you can just read about them on wikipedia if you're interested.



    Afterwards, our faithful cabbie took us to the temple of the moon, which was a very short cab ride (2 mins?) The temple of the sun was the much larger temple, but there was no inside for you to get into.. The Spaniards ransacked the place, re-routed the river to pass right by it (this helped with looting somehow), which accelerated erosive forces, and so on. About 33% of the temple remains. Meanwhile, the temple of the moon was a lot smaller and got covered in sand; it's only in the last couple years that it has been excavated, unearthed, and opened to the public. As such it is now fairly accessible - you can take a walk inside (only with a guide though), etc.

    Here's a look at the temple of the sun from the temple of the moon. Let me see if I can explain this right: the whole area was the capital of the Moche culture, the area between the temples being where most people lived (not in the whole culture/civilization, just the capital). The people who lived there were mostly artisans and such, responsible for contributing to the maintenance, construction, decoration etc. of the temples, as well as providing clothing, tools, and ceremonial artifacts for the priests, and so on. The whole city basically revolved around the 2 temples and everyone living there contributed to its upkeep in some way. There was a part of the living quarters for example where all the pottery makers lived - and all the pottery they made was used in the temples for whatever purpose.

    The temple of the sun was the administrative & military centre of the Moche civilization while the temple of the moon was the religious centre.



    The temple of the moon was fairly interesting. Our guide's English was pretty good & he explained everything very well. This here is a sacrifice zone. What would happen is they would have ritual fights elsewhere - and the losers of these fights would be sacrificed here. They would be tied up and drugged - and later killed. This was all of course done to appease the gods and ensure that the next harvest would be bountiful. (The Incas in contrast did not practice human sacrifice)



    Here is another such sacrifice zone.



    The ritual fight that decided who was sacrificed to the gods and who lived was rather interesting. To beat your opponent you had to get his hat off. Yep, that's it!

    Here you can see Cerro Blanco as well as temple remains being attended to by graduate students (hey, probably)



    Inside were well at times rather well preserved ruins. It was pointed out to us by our guide that the Moche culture viewed then numbers 2, 3, and 4 as significant - which was mirrored in all of their architecture and designs. It is of course easy to see whatever you want to see in a design from an alien culture, but some of those numbers do sort of jump out at you in these designs. That dude in the middle was their God.



    The god in question. I believe he basically represented nature, but could be wrong.



    As you can see the temple itself (or at least the parts that were no longer under sand) was protected by a man-made enclosure. And again, just 5-10 years ago all of this was under sand. (can't remember the exact number)



    Like I said previously, everyone living in the capital contributed to the temples in some way. Each family living there would make adobe bricks and contribute them when the temple was constructed or upgraded. How did they keep track of their contributions? Each family had their own symbol - and they'd mark every single brick with their family's sign.



    Here's one I just had to get a closer photo of



    While we walked through the temple of the moon, the guide would talk and talk and talk. He told us a lot about the temple of the sun (the giant one).

    Why was it so huge? What happened was they built a temple in a very specific and spiritually-inspired configuration. When a harvest season did not go well - or several in a row maybe, the priests decided that the gods were not happy with the design of the temple. The temple would be filled in with bricks, and a new temple would be built overtop/around it. This happened EIGHT times, which is why the temple got so giant. Some of this is attributed to El Nino, but IIRC the initial construction of the temple occured 100-200 years before it was finished, so El Nino does not fully explain when exactly they decided that things got so bad that it was time to fill the temple up with bricks and build a new one overtop.

    Here's a shot from the top of the temple of the moon looking towards the temple of the sun. You can sort of make out what the area looked like ~ 1,500 years ago, when the Moche civilization was in full swing.

     
  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Still reading. Good stuff. :)
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I wonder if I should have posted this in the Chamber.

    It just seems like something to be enjoyed by other fine gentlemen, in top hats, puffing on pipes, wearing monocles, sipping tea, or whatever, instead of screamed over some jerk in a tavern with my pants down

    Ah well.. I'm glad I'm documenting everything because I've already forgotten a lot about my other trips and this way I can go back and re-live my trip whenever I want in a lot more detail than I otherwise could. When I'm done I'm totally dumping this thread to .html, taking out non-relevant posts (no offense but it has to be done :scan:), converting it to some easy-to-read blog format, and putting it up on my government-allocated socialist Canadian web space that will remain there forever.

    Then 10 years from now I can live through my trip again in near-full detail, and hey.. maybe I'll have kids by then or something and this will probably bore them, but eventually they might be interested in travel and I'd love for them to go out and explore the world.. if I ever have kids that is.. which is highly unlikely, but you never know :p

    People like you reading my crap is just bonus, and thanks for going through the time to do that! I get excited about my trips and it probably shows, but it really is a big way of how I live my life, at least right now. I live a relatively frugal life so I can save up money to travel to wherever on a frequent enough basis... Some people say they're jealous, but little do they realize that I might be jealous of their car, wife, kids, iPads, sushi lunch, or whatever.. Sacrifices have been made! Annoying people have even lived with me in my house. Things were not bought.. Relocations to other cities for romantic purposes were not made.. Materialism has not been embraced. That might sound good but I like girls and toys too, dammit! And I might not even have a male genetic successor! Or female! Or a dog.. or a pet rabbit. Eventually I plan on being independently wealthy, but until that point major sacrifices must be made.

    Anyway, I am going to be definitely writing up my trips to Patagonia and New Zealand and maybe Poland '04 and California. Where that happens I don't care as much because it's all ending up in the same place as far as I'm concerned, but maybe if I can inspire a couple here to travel a bit more that'll be some sort of karma I can use in the atheist afterlife.
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Huaca del Sol y Huaca del Luna - Part 2

    Day 17 of trip - Tuesday May 22nd

    A closer look at the excavation work going on in between the 2 temples, where the main portion of the city used to exist, parts of which remain buried under the desert sands. In the distance you can see the Moche river basin, beyond which lies the city of Trujillo.



    Here's the exact route we took from Huanchaco (A) to the temples (B). It's about 22km/14mi. In the south-east corner you can also see Cerro Blanco.



    Huaca del Sol, in the distance





    The whole area in and around the Huaca del Luna was an excavation zone. That's why you needed a guide to see the site..





    This was the most impressive part of the Temple of the moon. 2-3 years ago this was all under sand... so we sort of got there at the right time, but I'm sure that there's still a lot more f interesting stuff under the sand that they haven't gotten to yet



    Each level of murals represented a different aspect of Moche culture. The first row are people being lead to be sacrificed IIRC.. The rest I can't remember and wouldn't want to guess about, but there's definitely 1 or more deities



    We spent at least an hour exploring the Temple of the moon. Our guide talked the whole time, giving us insights into Peru's past but also present culture - such as comments on how silly Chilean Spanish is and how silly the Spanish that's spoken in Spain sounds.

    We got as much out of the site as we could, then checked out the gift shop and adjoining buildings, which were all modelled after what a typical Moche building in the city that used to be there might have looked like way back when.



    Our cabbie suggested a new deal for us. The previous deal was for him to drop us off where he picked us up (in Trujillo, right at the edge of town closest to the temples) for 20 soles (~$7). His new suggestion was that he would take us all the way back to Huanchaco for a total of 50 soles ($~23). From our point of view that was $7 more per person, which was chump change keeping in mind all the hassle we'd save.. I think the guy threw out an inflated number expecting us to try to haggle it down, but we just agreed with the 50. We could have gotten that down to 40, but whatever. The public transit in Trujillo was of questionable quality.. and we liked this guy!

    The only con of the whole deal was that our cabbie LOVED Rod Stewart. I am really not exaggerating - this song was every 5th song that he played. I guess we didn't really mind, but after a whlie it got a bit repetitive..


    Link to video.

    The immense size of the Temple of the Sun becomes more apparent in this video too
     
  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Some more Huanchaco

    Day 17 of trip - Tuesday May 22nd


    It was still fairly early when we were finished with the ruins and got back to our hostel, maybe 3pm. We went for a late lunch/very early dinner (dinner in Peru is eaten at 7-9pm) at one of the many restaurants by the beachfront and I made a point of trying cebiche (aka ceviche), a traditional Peruvian dish - fresh fish marinated in lemon/citrus juices, spiced with chilli peppers, and usually served with onions, sometimes avocado, sweet potato, and many other types of sides.

    Huanchaco had a LOT of Ceviche restaurants (and it was weird, sometimes they'd spell it with a v and sometimes with a b) and throughout the trip I tried to try all the unique and traditional Peruvian dishes & drinks at least once (pisco sour, ceviche, guinea pig, Lomo Saltado, Peruvian potato salad, etc.).. and I already had ceviche once, on the sacred valley day trip, but this was a small fishing village that seemed to specialize in the stuff.. so I just had to try it here.

    I had it with beer and some Lomo Saltado, which I actually preferred... but the ceviche was pretty good. I'd prefer sushi in terms of raw fish, but it was different and good.

    We had the rest of the day to kill in Huanchaco; the next day we would be heading to Mancora, our last stop on the trip. We were basically ready to go home, and had been for days, but were still enjoying all the sights.. The more north we headed the warmer it got, and by the time it was all said and done we would be only 4 degrees (just under 200km) from the equator in Mancora - where the beaches were supposed to be amazing... So while we were sort of eager to get home, we were enjoying the last days of our trip and looking foward to Mancora.

    I had 2 postcards that still needed sending out, so we spent the day looking for the post office so I could buy stamps. We ended up walking all throughout the town but couldn't find the damn post office.. Got some more nice pictures of Huanchaco though

    Here's the church that overlooked the town



    These are fishing boats called Caballitos de totora and have been used for the last 3,000 years or so in the region with the design of the boat pretty much staying the same the entire time.







    Some more graffiti and street art









    Mancora, where we were headed, was supposed to be THE surfing spot in Peru, but.. Huanchaco seemed to be pretty popular in terms of that too. Ceviche, surfing, fishing, and street art were the 4 major things that seemed to define the town.



    The rest of the day was relaxing.. Internet, a bit of reading of Farenheit 451, some more beers, snacks, hanging out in the hammock @ the hostel, etc.. and a bit of an experiment involving a bunch of the coca leaves I still had left from the hike. There were basically 2 full baggies (as I didn't use that much at all on the hikes) and I wanted to get rid of them, because it would really suck to accidentally bring them onto the plane to New York with me... but first I wanted to chew on a whole bunch of them and see what it might feel like like to be one of those Incan priests who were always depicted with chipmunk-like cheeks. Nothing spiritual really happened, but I really got into Farenheit 451 afterwards (reading it for the first time, if you remember), and then had the best shower ever. So not much to report really, but it was a worthy goodbye to the magical Incan leaf.
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Goodbye to Huanchaco - Part 1

    Day 18 of trip - Wednesday May 23rd

    We bought tickets to our final destination on our trip - Mancora, in a tourist office where the English language was not only welcome, but also spoken quite well by the lady working the counter at the time! This was awesome because I could ask her questions about where to go, when to go, what options we had, and so on.. Usually when interacting with people who only spoke Spanish, my options were far more limited than that...

    Our bus would depart Trujillo at 8pm - so we had until about 6:30pm to screw around in Huanchaco, at which point we'd take a taxi to the bus terminal of whichever bus company we ended up going with. We went first class again, of course, since it was so awesome and so cheap.

    What did we do until 6:30pm? We ate quite well, spent some time on the beach ..





    .. looked for that elusive post office, explored a bit more of town, hung out a bit at the hostel ...



    and generally just lazed around. It was a good day!

    During lunch we witnessed a cute little parade




    Link to video.

    Afterwards we went looking for that post office. We knew that it existed and we were sure that we got close the day before, and I really wanted to get those postcards in a mailbox because Mancora was an even smaller town and who knows what sort of post office facilities they had there.. if any? I had mailed out most of my postcards from Huaraz, but 2 remained to be sent..

    We eventually found the goddamn post office (photo by Steve, not me)



    It was closed.. at a weird time. We asked a local.. He told us that "it might be open in an hour or so".. Great!

    We came back later and the door was open. Hooray! Inside was a TINY room, a bunch of random junk, and a very old lady sitting behind a desk. I DIDN'T TRUST ANY OF THIS.

    I inquired how much stamps for a postcard to Canada would cost, bought 2, carefully attached them to my postcards, and even more carefully gave them to the lady sitting behind the desk. She put them in a random looking box on her desk.. which had a bunch of random crap in it.

    We left the place laughing our arses off. One of the postcards DID get to its destination in Montreal.. but the other one? I have no idea because I haven't really spoken to the recipient since. Maybe she got it, maybe she didn't.. who knows!

    Afterwards we found a cool little park/square





    We don't have pine trees like this in Canada, so I took a lot of pictures. I saw some almost exactly like this in New Zealand a year and a half ago, so I guess it's a southern hemisphere species.. maybe?



    It was a cool little square though

     
  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Here's 2 more pieces of street art that Steve photographed that are worthy of inclusion here



     
  15. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Throwing Last minute-ints

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    Amazing stuff. I'm quite jealous, Warpus. Thanks for sharing!
     
  16. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Don't be jealous, get inspired and once you have some financial security, go out and see the world!

    Not nearly enough people do that sort of thing.. It is really encouraged in places like Germany - I run into SOOO MANY German 20 year olds travelling the world.. I really wish that sort of thing was more encouraged more in North America.. I suppose a lot of people end up with huge school debts when they graduate.. families, etc.. which prevents them from being able to travel and see the world.. and there's also a bit of "America has everything I need to see", which I wouldn't even mention, but that's a word for word quote from my last roommate - who lived in California for 10 years and considers himself to be more American than Canadian now.

    And I guess it's easy to say, but it's really not as expensive as you'd think. Save up a bit every month and in a year or two you'll be able to go on a cool trip. I've been trying to tell this to my best friend who continues to complain that he needs a vacation.. ... but he just seems to think it's out of his reach.. I don't think it really is! especially if you go to a cheap country like Peru. I really want him to go on a trip with me - I think it's just something everyone should do at one point or another.

    Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying the pics! There's still a bunch left to be posted from this trip, but I've had one hell of a week...
     
  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Goodbye to Huanchaco - Part 3

    Day 18 of trip - Wednesday May 23rd

    The relaxing day culminated with a 6pm sunset and a double rainbow

    Here's a surfer dude



    The sunset was just great. If you hate sunsets, you're going to hate this batch of pics!





    Sleepy lil' Huanchaco



    Back to sunset pics!







    Sun's almost gone..



    A double rainbow.. It was a lot more clearer and noticable than what you can see in the pic. It didn't quite go all the way across the sky though



    After the sun went down we went back to our hostel. This is me looking back towards the beach



    We called a cab, took it to a bus terminal in Trujillo, and boarded our bus at around 8pm.

    At 5am we would arrive in Mancora.. We did not have reservations anywhere so it was going to be interesting again..
     
  18. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Nice sunsets. :)
     
  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I loved them! We made a point to be at the beach at 15 to 6pm or so every day we were by the ocean.. In Lima there was tons of fog and it didn't really work out, but in Huanchaco and Mancora the sunsets were just BEAUTIFUL.

    Are you finding the thread loading times to be slow btw? It loads very fast for me, but.. that is a LOT of pics on one page... I will probably need a new system if I go ahead with my NZ thread
     
  20. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator

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    It takes a bit to load, but it's not that bad IMHO.

    Due to the lack of anything better to say: Nice pics :goodjob:.
     

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