Trip Start Feb 15, 2008
60Trip End May 31, 2008
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Where I stayed
I set off from the bus terminal at Mira Flores down the Av Costa Verde which translates as 'green coast'. Most of it is not green at all, though section by section the councils are transforming the sandy desolate cliffs green with gardens and foliage. The problem is not availability of water, just piping it to where it's needed. Heading further south I passed the constantly improving ocean front district of Chorrillos with new apartment buildings and I was also told that a yacht club and marina would soon be constructed
Punta Hermosa translates as 'Beautiful Point' and if you are a surfer you would no doubt agree. The location attracts surfers from all over the world. There are more rideable breaks than there are surfers to ride them. The waves are consistent with ample pauses between, so getting out is sort of like paddling across a lake. A good wave caught from out the back will give you about a one and a half minute ride, though I was told about a location 10 hours north where you can get an 8 minute ride.
The beach itself is quite attractive, though don't expect white sand. It's sort of grey and bringing it back to your accommodation on the bottom of your sandals is not the best idea. This place is popular, I was there midweek and by 10 am the beach was full of people lying under rented beach umbrellas, kids on boogie boards and more kids building sandcastles. If you can catch a glimpse of blue sky here then you're in luck, the sun came out for only 3 hours that day. I'm told that this is due to the cool, moist air descending from the Andes and resting at the ocean as a great stretch of fog.
On the second day of my stay at Punta Hermosa I took a surfing lesson
My first attempt at catching a wave was almost a success; I managed to stand up though not out far enough out in front of the wave to get a decent ride. The second go I was up for a good 10 second ride which took me as far in as the swimmers near the shore break. Remembering what I'd been told 'cuidado, no choce con la gente' I jumped off but a little late and clipped some boy in the back of the head with the great foam board. 'Mi melon' he said. He was fine though. Just as I was manoeuvring the board around another young boy from the surf school swam up, helped me back on the board and sent me back on my way out the back with a push... Freddy was impressed 'bien Australia!!' I managed about 8 good rides and was totally exhausted by the end of the 2 hours. A bit of Spanish would help when taking one of these lessons though I think that you'd soon work out what they were saying if you didn't speak any.
I stayed at Hostel Casa Barco
That night I ordered Anticuchos again, though this time it wasn't cooked so well and was a bit tough. I also tried a meat dish called Chicharrón which was horrible, there was also this strange looking white stuff that looked and tasted like a bunch of elastic bands called 'rachi'. I later discovered that this was the inside lining of the cow's stomach and like most westerners attempting to be culturally diverse by downing food which in reality they'd rather leave on the plate, I ended up with a crook stomach, though not too bad. Also that night it rained, though for only a couple of minutes which is very rare in this region.