Sunday, December 15, 2013

Huanchaco, Peru

Huanchaco’s most defining point is the boats that symbolize this area of Peru. Local fishermen and surfers still use the same narrow reed boats, called cabillotos de tortura (little horses from reed) that the Moche used 2,000 years ago. The fisherman straddle the canoe so their legs dangle over each side, just like sitting on a horse (hence the name) and paddle, kayak-style. These fishermen are the only remaining people on the coast who construct and use this type of boat which are long and narrow with a large curved bow rising out the water. The boats themselves only last a few months because they get water-logged, so I figure they get plenty of practice in making them. Walking along the gray sand beach we see rows of the totura reed boats lined up against the sea wall, drying in the sun. Huanchaco is also a great surf spot. Over the days as we walk Winston along the beach, by late afternoon there are many surfers in the water taking advantage of the breaks from the pier. From now through the summer months of November, December and January, we are told the waves just get better and better leading up to the championships. Huanchaco’s other claim to fame is that in 2010, the Long board World Championships are held here in January, attracting many of the world’s leading surfers. Winston loves the long walks and playing in the waves but is not sure about our hostel camping spot. As I mentioned in my last blog, Edwin has a couple of giant tortoises roaming his property. Winston has never seen a tortoise before and is very unsure of what to make of them. He barks, but they ignore him. He gets as close as he dares and barks. They hunker down and put their head inside their shell. Winston gets closer and closer and sniffs them. Out pops their head and they raise up on their legs. Winston freaks out and runs away, turns and barks and the whole scenario gets replayed! Very, very funny to watch. He is also more than a little nervous about the peacocks, which are quite large and are also not scared of him. He just can’t understand why these animals don’t run away so he can chase them. Even the cat stands it ground and hisses at him! Very perplexing to the Beagle brain. We have chatted with Edwin about the ruins that are around here and Trujillo and have come up with a plan for exploration. We also want to go into the city of Trujillo and explore a little but will probably wait until Sunday and go to mass at the cathedral at the same time. All in all, Huanchaco is an interesting beach town with plenty to keep us busy whilst we are here. And if we get bored, we can watch the resident animals harass Winston!

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