I got up early and headed back to the market to see them start setting up at 7:00am. Another great experience, super colorful, tons of life, and some of the friendliest people I’ve met. I’m really starting to love Peru.
I couldn’t find a good coffee of course, but after a fresh juice, a nescafe, and breakfast sandwich I packed up and got on my way. It was again a beautiful morning and the next 30 miles out of town were stunning, all on a well paved road. I arrived at a mining town called Quiruvilca where I stopped to check out it’s market as I’ve had such a good experience in Huamachuco, and am feeling a lot better about leaving my bike unattended after seeing the stalls leave their produce unattended. I still locked up my GPS and my helmet but stupidly left my Spot tracker on the bike.
The walk through town was great and I was greeted by some miners enjoying beers in the market. Was invited over and partook in a round of shots. Again, super friendly people and I’m feeling great, but when I get back to the bike I see my spot tracker’s gone. Doh! I’m sure it was just a teenager that saw a shinny orange box, with a flashing light, and decided he/she had to have one of them. Thankfully, nothing else was missing and once again, the irony is what got stolen is no use to anyone there, but there was tons of other stuff that they definitely could have used or sold but left behind. It’s not really a big deal as the service is up for renewal in a few weeks and I was debating on continuing or cancelling the service, so the decision was made for me. Still, it’s never a nice feeling when something gets stolen and I rode off in a bad mood.
More pics yo’
The road got worse, much, much worse. It took almost 3 more hours to reach Otuzco, the town I had planned on staying the night before, so once again, I was grateful for my decision to stay in Huamachuco. I got into Otuzco at 2:45, in time for a late lunch. I ordered the trout still thinking about the excellent one I had the week before, only to get a tasteless, overcooked piece of deep fried fish in old oil. I asked for the bill and she hesitates and says 20 soles. Seriously? I asked, as this is clearly the gringo price, and she time she firmly says “yes, 20 soles” I hand her a 50 and get 28 back. I question her again and she says “and 2 for the coke”. What? Now I know I’m being ripped off. My mood not improving, I saddle up and start heading for the coast.
I was a bit worried about finding a place to stay in a beach town, 45 minutes from the second biggest city in Peru, that states claim to the longest wave in the world, on a saturday night but figured I could always camp on the beach. I arrived in Puerto Chicama and asked Johnny, the owner of the longboard hostal for a room. He’s full but recommends La Panchita, a hostal around the block and tells me I’m welcome to park the bike in his secure lot. The town has a great vibe and after check into to a room with a private beachfront balcony in La Panchita and park my bike at Johnny’s, he introduces me to a few surfers drinking beer at sunset. I get invited to join and spend the next few hours getting drunk with the locals and surprisingly having a bit of a real conversation. With my little Spanish, their little English, lots of beer, and similar interests, it turns out to be a really fun evening. I hung with them for a few hours and got pretty wasted. Boca, the local surf champion, offered to take me out the next day and show me their longest wave in the world, 2 km long and a ride up to 4 minutes. Can’t wait…
Once again, everything’s about balance. The good with the bad and back with the good.