So gas up first thing. Dignified and charming attendant as usual.
I put that pic in for a reason. The below is from the Ecuador Viva guide. All the SA country guides say the same thing, but I picked Ecuador as it’s very poor. Click to read
When I first read this, that the locals are better dressed than us, I didn’t really grasp it and wore my flip flops anyway, for example. But it’s true. The basic standard is much higher than ours. Clean, tidy and new is the rule. You can’t wander around in flip flops, shorts and an old t-shirt looking like a bum, no matter how poor the country – they don’t like it. So it’s a clean tshirt, pants and runners. (edit.13/10. I just got called out on this by email. Yup I still wear my flip flops when I’m in a ‘don’t care’ mood. But for months, never in a city)
Ditto table manners, being loud, the whole thing. The respect/dignity requirement level is sky-high.
Anyway. It’s going to be a long day, although the track is simple
We’re quickly into the desert.
Soaring vultures above the town dump
Love the wings and the powerful, lazy beats
A massive windmill powers this gas station
Small buildings become further apart
We passed an area covered in these woven cube-shaped structures, about 6′ square. No amount of bearing down on the problem of what these may be has come up with anything
Maybe 50 miles further along it becomes barren and the wind picks up. But really just a Lucinda shot
It gets serious. Soon we’re leaning hard into the wind and being blasted with sand. It’s punishing work after an hour or two. For one stretch there’s a wind fence in a valley between two sets of hills
Which get duned over in sections. Very pretty
Dry, hot and beautiful
We pass through a roadside town
Sand, stone, straw and rubber
Further on a fancy lunch stop, for truckers I guess. No-one else around
The hills behind us we ride through a huge oasis
A large bird fishing (successfully). The reflection off the back hides the fact the color is a dark, Schaeffer metallic blue. I sent the pic off to a bird guy I know but no answer back yet on what it is
Through the oasis, we ride through more desert until we approach Trujillo, maybe 25 miles away. A different kind of building starts around us
Through the burbs
On the outskirts of Trujillo there’s a mile long stretch of fortresses. Maybe two acre compounds with high walls and steel doors. Some have observation booths. Very strange, but not as strange as the free-for-all architecture that becomes a feature as we go down the coast
This guy really went to town. Mixed ideas, interesting crenelation (finished) to the right. And he kept the excess rebar up in keeping with Latin tradition
This place is finished. The rooms are in the back half. The second floor deck (the one without balcony rails) are where the dogs walk around. Can you fit a knife between the bricks though?
We’re heading into Huanchaco, another beach town. It’s dominated by this church
The view of Huanchaco
Cruise down towards the beach. And this. I mean what reason on earth what this guy have for making the observation booth this small, and on that little support, if he didn’t think it would be cool and damn the utility. No uptight joyless form-follows-function in Peru so far
On the waterfront we try and find a place that isn’t too strange. We pass on this
And find this cozy little place, parking around the back
Settled in we go for a ride on the beach
There are two very important things about Huanchaco. We’ll see one tomorrow. The other is this
These are caballitos de totora, the first surf craft. They’re used for fishing (still are) and made of reeds from the oasis. The incredible thing is they go back 3000 years (wiki)