Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jackie Chan Movie Marathon

Saturday August 22, 2015

Our first weekend started with hard boiled eggs, toasted bread, cantaloupe juice, fried plantains and coffee.

The only bus to Chachapoyas leaves Trujillo at 4pm, so we had the morning to explore closer to home. We caught the public H-Heart bus to Huanchaco. These buses are medium size and a man stands at the door and essentially scoops passengers up into the bus so it doesn't have to make a complete stop. Luckily, a group of four is impossible to pick up in this fashion and they had to make a complete stop to let us on. The bus ride was about half an hour long out to the small beach town.

We walked along the beach and Victor Largo, the drag of buildings and restaurants along the shore. We arrived around 10am and almost everything was closed. It was peacefully quiet compared to the noisy streets of Trujillo. The shore around the small pier is littered with giant pelicans and fishing boats called caballitos de tortora ( little horses). The name of these neatly crafted reed boats comes from the way they are ridden, with the fisherman's legs dangling on either side of it like a horse. They only last a few months before becoming too waterlogged to use.

We walked to the edge of town, then headed up to Santuario de la Virgen del Socorro, a beautiful red and white church that sits above the town. Built between 1535 and 1540, it is thought to be the second oldest church in Peru. Unfortunately it was closed, but the view showed how expansive the seemingly sleepy small town actually was. We sat for awhile listening to the songs of a daily mass that resonated up the hillside then took our time strolling back to the shore, coming across several soccer pitches and colorful houses.


The quiet town we had arrived in was beginning to bustle as it approached noon. The town draws tourists (gringas is the term they use for white people, which was the same in Africa) and many surfers. The relatively calm ocean makes this an easy place to learn to surf. As we set out to find lunch, we acquired a dog shadow. There are numerous stray dogs through Peru and while he was cute, we were eager to get rid of him and any chance of a rabies shot.

The restaurants here are accustom to to influx of tourists and hire a man to woo you into their establishment. We were turned off by this pushy approach and instead found a balcony with a view of two competing restaurant woo-ers that provided entertainment. Huanchaco is thought to be the birthplace of ceviche, and given its shore front property this isn't a surprise. The dish is raw fish, onions, spices and a lot of lemon, served over uca and sweet potato. In the US it is often served more minced, with tomatoes and peppers served with chips.  It was delicious. The main course of seafood (we split between lightly breaded and "fish nuggets") was exceptional. Lunch finished with a fruity ice cream.

We caught the H bus back to Trujillo and although it was the same one, took us far longer to commute back. We rushed back to the house to finish packing up for our trip to Chachapoyas. Our travel agent, Lenin, escorted us to the bus station which was modern and clean, and we boarded around 4pm.

We sat on the top level in the front rows which provided a great view of our travels but also a terrible perspective of our proximity to other vehicles, pedestrians and buildings and it often felt like we were going to crash. The way they maneuver these large buses through cities is truly impressive. I should note that they play movies and music on the buses, but at incredibly loud volumes. The four audiology students did not appreciate this one bit.

We stopped for dinner around 8pm and had chicken in a wine cream sauce with rice, jello and after dinner tea with anise cookies. Tea was a licorice-honey flavor and did not sit well with anyone else, but I didn't mind it.

On the road again, we drove through the night and arrived in beautiful Chachapoyas around 6:30am.

DISCLAIMER: Weekend trips were not funded by the generous donations given to Northwestern University SAA to make this trip possible. Individuals paid separately for these events.

No comments:

Post a Comment