Friday, September 26, 2008

Chiclayo, Lambayeque, Túcume, Trujillo, Huanchaco. Whew.

We get up leisurely on Tuesday, September 23. After milling around the hotel, we set out around 11:20am. We wander the bustling streets in search of food. We’re caught in the awkward time between desayuno and almuerzo. We walk the friendly streets. A kid offers to give Nate’s sneakers a shoeshine!

Nestled in the hardware district of the city, we find a plastic chairs and broken tables restaurant. We greet (and are greeted) by the beer-drinking locals. Beer drinking? But it’s before noon! We eat the surprisingly delicious food (although Nate says if he has fried chicken one more time…!) for $1 apiece. We head over to the coletivos to Lambayeque. My mind is still thinking in dollars when I hear the price. What? 2? No way! Oh, 2 soles, yea I guess that’s a good deal. We hop in and speed off toward Lambayeque.

What’s in Lambayeque? A giant museum shaped like ancient pyramid tombs of the Lord of Sipán filled with recently excavated treasure. The museum was dark and contained lots of gold, jade, and history. All-in-all it was interesting, but too long. Nate got antsy. Next!

We walked back out to the main road and asked the juice-guy how to get to Túcume. An eager motor-rickshaw-taxi driver overheard and said he’d take us there... for 30 soles. The juice-guy scoffed and told us not to bother with the driver. Not only did he point to where we’d get the cheaper combis, he came out of his juice stall and hailed one for us. Only pay 2 soles each, he told us. Let them off at the path to the ruins, he told the ayudante. What a great guy! He went out of his way to help us (and protect us from people who wanted to rip us off). We waved goodbye to our new friend as the door shut.

Inside the van, we were packed in like sardines. Knee-to-knee with the people facing us, Nate’s long legs had a hard time fitting anywhere! The van lurched and bounced along the road, slowing drastically for speed bumps. Nate’s head was an inch from the ceiling. He looked like a giant in a land of tiny people.

We were let off at an intersection in Túcume. The motor taxis were ready. They pounced, trying to persuade us to jump in their vehicle. We picked one and sped off. Rrrrrrrr… through the bumpy roads lined with short houses. Rrrrrr… out into the countryside with the bright sun shining overhead. Rrrrrr... We end up at the museum and the driver lets Nate hop on the motorcycle for a picture.

We opt for the stroll up to the Mirador instead of starting with the museum. The sun is fierce overhead and we try to keep up by lathering sun screen. The pyramids that were once large and magnificent, are now crumbling piles of dirt. But the view was pretty awesome. We flew through the small museum at the base of the site and hopped in a motor taxi.

Back in downtown Túmume, we hop in a combi for Chiclayo. Two girls realized that we only got 5 soles in change and told us that they owed us a sol. We told the ayudante and he pretended that it was just a careless error. We knew better. The girls stood up for us and started shaming him. They became our unofficial guardians. They got off the combi with us, hailed us a cab, told me to keep my bag in front and negotiated the price down. For every one person that thinks about ripping us off, there are three more waiting to defend us. I like Peru.

It was dark a few moments after we returned back to the hotel exhausted. We ended up eating a disappointing dinner in a LP-recommended restaurant. We walked around to the sounds of a marching band in La Plaza de Armas in search of an elusive dessert place.

Wednesday September 24. Treated ourselves to a posh restaurant with free wifi. Caught the 2pm bus to Trujillo for Alien vs. Predator and Cindarella Man. I asked the driver if he could let us off close to where the colectivos left for Huanchaco so we could avoid the bag-snatching chaos of the terminal that we had heard about. We were dumped on a random street corner and, with the help of two old men sitting there, found our way onto the colectivo. I think the guy overcharged us, but for 40 céptimos, I’m not worried.

The colectivo practically dropped us off right in front of our hostel. Wow. The Pacific Ocean and we have beach-side property! By the time we dropped our bags in the room and whipped out the camera, the sun had set behind the curtain of haze.

Excited to stretch our legs after buses and sitting all day, we jogged down the beach into town. After scoping out all the restaurants, we ended up at El Tramboyo, owned by the enthusiastic chef himself. He had just started up the grill and convinced us both to have parrillada dishes. I chose the mixed seafood, Nate the corvina. Wait… corvina is a kind of fish. Nate ordered fish!! And liked it! It was a lot of food to battle through, but we almost licked our plates clean. Straight from the ocean to our plates, it was delicious.

Next up, dessert. We turned the corner for cake. Nate had chocolate and I had a frozen chirimoya cake. Mmmmm…

The ocean played the soundtrack as we walked back to the hostel.


Peaceful Road Warrior said...

Whoa! Bananas and fish! Nate is expanding his horizons -- geographically and gastronomically!

What a beautiful part of Peru you're getting to see. Thanks for the update.

Y.I.M yesbel said...

Yo soy peruana.My from peru.Que parte te gusto mas de Peru.What a part beautiful of peru.
Gracias por vistarnos.
Tanke for you visit.

ali sa said...

hola yim yesbel, me gusta mucho perú. es que tiene de todo: playa, desierto, montañas, y selva. pero lo que más me gusta es la gente. los peruanos son muy amables y siempre ayudan a los demás. gracias por leer mi blog! espero que te hayas gustado y que sigas con nuestro viaje!