Posts Tagged huanchaco

Adios, Huanchaco

Posted on March 15, 2011 by 3 Comments

It’s fall now in South America and it will be winter before we could get to Tierra del Fuego. So, in this last of the warm beach spots we decided to take a few days and figure out our plan. It ended up taking us a couple of weeks.

Problem was, we still couldn’t figure it out. So, the decision is to just keep going and see what happens. We may head east for a while – Rio De Janeiro is warm all year.  We may wait out winter near some ski slopes (anyone?) in Argentina or Chile.  Or, we could always turn north again. They all sound like good ideas. This is our idea of planning.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

– Lao Tzu

Another sign we’ve been here too long: Jason started to think some of the dilapidated houses nearby might make a good project.

There are actually some interesting projects that must be some kind of bargain. When he found one in a really great location and asked around, it was insisted that it was NOT for sale. Nevermind that giant “se vende” sign out front.

Oh well, debating the merits of bad bricks over bad mortar wasn’t really in the cards anyway.

Adios, Huanchaco. We may see you again.

 

There’s nothing better than camping when the weather is great.

-Angela

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Work Days

Posted on March 14, 2011 by 3 Comments

We’ve come to really love Huanchaco, Peru. It’s close to ancient ruins and has tons of surfing, but we haven’t done any of that. There’s just too much relaxing in the sunshine to be had and perfect weather to be enjoyed.

Our place has a pool and we have a 5 year old – enough said. In the last week, Bode has gone from floaties to diving in and swimming across the pool by himself.  It has been great.

Since we’ve been here, we’ve met several other overlanders – some in monstrously large RV’s – the biggest we’ve seen since Mexico. We’ve also learned that the French educational system is set up to easily accommodate families that are traveling–for free. What a concept. Hence, several French families have come and gone.

Typically, the Europeans ship their vehicles to Buenos Aires, loop around Ushuia, then continue their way north.

There were some Swiss drivers, too. Everyone is heading north. We seem to be the only ones going south.

We’ve managed to have a few work days while we’ve been here as well. Jason put on new front shocks and fixed the horn. Hard to believe the horn went out somewhere in Central America and we never fixed it. It was way down on the list, but VERY important when driving in Latin America. The new claxon sounds just a little bit different than the old one.

While we were at it, we pulled everything out of the van and cleaned house – including all the food. Two things learned from this exercise:

-Jason had better play that guitar from Mexico more often

-Someone is going to eat those Trader Joe’s canned beans!

“I’ve been wingin’ zingers all day”-

Angela

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Dressing Down and Peruvian Chops

Posted on March 11, 2011 by 7 Comments

Today, I had to ask one of those dumb questions.

Ever since we have been south of the U.S., the typical laundromat as we knew it ceased to exist. For the most part, you have to find a lavanderia in your town and go drop it off and hope for the best. If you are lucky, the place you are staying will do it when they have time.  Since we’re camping in the back yard of a hotel, they have folks here that will do it for about 5 soles per kilo (not bad, but not exactly cheap either.)

Anyway, it occurred to me that every time we drop off our laundry there seems to be an issue when we pick it up. For example, we drop off 3 bags and there are only 2 when we return, etc. Eventually it all gets sorted out, but some times things just disappear into the ether. It never works the other way around – we haven’t ever gained anything new.

So, I had to wonder, how do they mix up all those clothes (they do mix them up) and then somehow know what belongs to whom. Unfortunately, I wondered this aloud.

Angela looked at me like an idiot (i.e. the normal look) and said “Easy. They just pile together all the stuff with a VW on it and it’s yours.”

I walked behind the back fence to all the clothes lines and took a look for myself. Seems about right.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure I didn’t own a single VW themed T-shirt (okay, maybe that one) before we left. One of the odd benefits of running into so many VW clubs and great VW folks on the trip is that they have essentially clothed me for the past year and a half.

Thanks!

Oh, and the chops are coming in nicely – just grayer than I expected. Angela said something like “it’s starting to look like you’ve done that on purpose.”  Tough audience – I’ll have to take that as a compliment. You try living this close for so long…

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Los Vochos de Huanchaco

Posted on March 9, 2011 by 3 Comments

This weekend we went for a walk down the little seawall in Huanchaco and I decided I would take a photo of every vocho I saw. There are far more Veedubs in Peru than either Colombia or Ecuador, so I figured this would be an easy task. Little did I know that 20 minutes later, I would get tired and give up. There are just too many.

A few notes:

The girl is one of those Argentinian hippies we’ve been hearing about. And, yes, she’s cool. She sells corn-based jewelry from her bus. I’ve often heard people wonder aloud how it’s possible to wander the world by just selling bracelets. I still don’t have a good answer – you just can.

The graffiti bus is for sale and around $1000 USD. It’s an Argentinian model with Peruvian plates. And, a big sunflower is a good way to cover up a bad repair job after a major front end collision.

The beetle with the giant speakers on top (a la Blues Brothers) was part of a political rally.

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Carnaval

Posted on March 8, 2011 by 2 Comments

We randomly met some nice folks in Cat and Eric. Naturally, they’re from Austin, TX.

They just arrived, but are planning on staying 6 months. He’s studying for the LSAT, and figured there’s no reason to do it at home when he could do it here. She’s volunteering for a local group, and figured there’s no reason to do it at home when she could do it here. Makes sense to us.

Later, we ran into their group of ex-pat volunteers before the local Carnaval parade. By the time we showed up, it seemed that everyone had volunteered to finish off all the rum and Coke.

It was definitely a small-town affair, but really fun and everyone was very friendly. Who doesn’t like a parade?

By the end (for us), I was carrying a half-asleep Bode back to the bus and we settled in for the night. I later woke up around 5 am and could still hear the street party going on at the end of the block.  Just because it’s a small town doesn’t mean it ends early.

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Huanchaco 2

Posted on March 7, 2011 by No Comments

This is a nice place. We’re getting used to it.

We’ve buddied up to the local pizza guy, Luca. He’s originally from Florence, Italy and moved here about 3 months ago. He always worked in his brother’s restaurant, but  left so he could do his own thing. He set up an unlikely shop in the back of the mercado and makes killer pizzas (2 soles) and pasta (3 soles). It’s the best deal in town.

Bode’s favorite thing here seems to be the snow cones. Angela and I are both amazed at how well his Spanish skills kick in when he wants a treat. Menta is his most-requested flavor.

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Huanchaco

Posted on March 5, 2011 by 1 Comment

So, for some reason I’ve become addicted to using the word ‘chillax’. I hated this word years ago when I first heard it. I’ve never used it since. This week it has been uttered at least 4 times a day. Shame on me.

Huanchaco is a beach town about 10 miles from the much larger city of Trujillo.  On the way here, we were stopped by police asking for our papers and insurance (often) and the last guy warned us that Trujillo was muy peligrosso at night. He even made the “finger-gun” gesture to indicate we might be robbed at gunpoint. You’ve got to love an honest cop.

Despite the night-time dangers, you can’t get much better than a small beach town that’s only 10 minutes from a bigger town that has everything else you might need. They even have a giant U.S. style mall. Actually, it’s nicer.

Anyway, Huanchaco is known for the classic reed boats the fisherman use. By mid-morning, you can see them surf back into shore with the day’s catch. You can even take a ride on one if you are willing to pay a fisherman about $2 USD. It seems more relaxing just to watch.

The street food here is amazing. The kids (not Bode) seem to prefer fried chicken feet smothered in mayonnaise, but we have latched onto the the papas. Mashed potato balls stuffed with olives and meat and fried to perfection. Delicioso!

We were also lucky enough to meet a “gap year” Kiwi family the night we arrived. They showed up 36 days ago planning to stay for only 3 days. Funny how that works.

Bode played with their kids continuously. Before they caught the 2 day bus to Ecuador, they gave us a tour of the best cheap eats in town.

The sunsets continue to be amazing here, but again we have to share it with lots and lots of other people. No complaints.

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