Friday, December 13, 2013

From Lima to Huanchaco via Tortugas, Peru

Yeah, Tom’s passport arrived a week earlier than expected so we are ready to move northwards. The northern coast of Peru is supposed to have some of the best surfing around and quite a few World Heritage pre-Inca ruins. On the way out of Lima we want to stop and have our deep cell battery checked and possibly replaced. This battery runs RV electrical and Tom has not been happy with the way it is charging for quite a while. Even with our Garmin, we managed to get lost and as a result when we get there, the place is closed for lunch. When the manager returned after lunch, they tested our battery and sure enough, we do need a new one. It is now 3 o’clock and we debate whether to return to the hostel for the night but decide to try and at least get to the northern limit of Lima. We got a little further than that but not much and our first night was spent at a 24 hour gas station parking lot. It was okay for the night but we were up early the next day and decided that we would stop for the day and night at the first nice looking beach we came to. The little beach town of Tortugas fit the bill nicely. This is a very quiet village, maybe gets busy in the summer judging by all the restaurants that line the beach but right now most are closed for the season and the few that were open, closed early. We had the beach to ourselves for most of the day and got some nice walks in with Winston who has shown that he hasn’t lost his love for the ocean. He ran in and out and frolicked like a puppy. Our second day out of Lima was the longest drive day in a while as we want to get to Huanchaca. The Pan Americana highway is winding with continuous climbs into the Cordillera Blanca (this portion of the Andes) and then steep drops back to sea level. It is also what we started to call “the bread basket of Peru”. We passed by fields upon fields of potatoes, rice, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus. – and those are just the ones we recognized. There were acres of sugar cane, that we later learned is fed to dairy cattle to make the milk sweeter and flowers, daisies are in bloom and plenty of others were budding. Spring is approaching here and everything looks and smells wonderful. Until we get close to Chimbote and then things turn “fishy”. Chimbote is Peru’s largest fishing port and with fish processing plants both before and after town you can smell it long before coming to it. Unfortunately we could not find a place to buy fish as it seems that it is all commercial facilities. Leaving “fishy” Chimbote behind, we are back in agricultural country again with ever larger fields producing a myriad of crops. It is getting late and we really want to be settled by nightfall which comes around 6pm in these parts, so we bypass the pretty city of Trujillo for the final couple of mile to Huanchaco. We will be in Huanchaco a few days so we will come back and sightsee in Trujillo at some point. Our destination is the Huanchaco Gardens, owned by Edwin; this is another hostel with a garden area large enough for several motorhomes. When we pulled in we knew it was going to work great for our stay there. The parking area for RV’s is by a nice pool, although it is still a little too chilly to swim and some great grassy areas for Winston to roll around. We do have to keep Winston on his long tether though because Edwin has a pair of peacocks sauntering around and a pair of quite large tortoises which roam free. But, we have electricity, Wi-Fi and a private room in the hostel for hot showers. This will be a good base to explore Huanchaco, Trujillo and several Moche and Chimu ruins which are very close by. We are only a short walk from a beach which has great waves breaking and Tom considers that one of the days he may rent a wetsuit and go body-boarding. So much to do, in a short period of time, but what fun.

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