Bit of water, a couple of waves, no fish.
Trip Start Sep 23, 2008
18Trip End Aug 08, 2009
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We consumed a fare lot of fish and the local dug me so much they named a restaurant after me of which Brooke was a little upset with but we discussed it and he got over it)
Grabbed a board and went out to show the locals what its all about but quickly found out that these here gammy shoulders of mine have even less power than the English front row, but looked bloody good walking back along the beach. Brooke looked even better magically turning 1 board into two but having major difficulties when he was only allowed to return one board and forgot how to reverse his trick costing more than a decent bottle of wine. But I paid $700 for smashing a motor bike so only frair the gaffa pay $300 for a new board.
In stark contrast to the odd SUV rolling up and down the beach is the way a significant majority of the locals hunt and gather. As I ran down the beach in an early morning run "guided by a pillar of cloud by day" (believe it or not from Book of Exodus, chapters 13:17- yeah yeah from the book all the christian read called the bible....just wait) with a thick grey mist obscuring visibility to less than 50 metres and and led by, well not strictly like the rest of the Genesis quote states, "and a pillar of fire by night" but by a moving sand of thousands of scurrying fire red crabs. So in all my might I could not but feel like Moses (well at least pretended to cause no one was looking) as he rode through the parting of the Red Sea. I was obviously not leading a bunch of Israelites either (in my mind it was a bunch of South American ladies) and, oh yeah, my iPod blearing some drum and base in the form of Shapeshifter Live, so actually nothing like Moses but it was cool anyway. What was very reminiscent (despite not actually being around when old J.C and his 12 merry men were fishing and making vino tinto) was the way the Peruvians attempted to fish. Down in Taupo the odd lad has been known to tickle trout i.e literally tickle the trout as they are without movement during spawning and just as they start to relax out you pull. Old-school maybe, but successful. These dudes drive down in their motorbikes or cars, pull out their pieces of nylon, throw a bit crab on the end then wind the thing up as if they are wanting to lasso something releasing at the point where they hope it to travel out past some of the waves then spring back ensuring they donīt get their feet wet. So the only fish I actually saw was a dead wash up rock cod and I suspect it was the only thing any of the "fishermen" would have seen. Step up to rods fellas - surf-casters you will be amazed.
The little grommets tearing up the waves at the annual night time surf comp knew what it was all about. Half a dozen industrial spot lights, half a dozen cars with lights on full beam really made for an incredible atmosphere as the local surf comp delivered some pretty cool times and the odd world ranked lad also showing his stuff.
This theme seemed to stick as we headed up to Mancora but of the remale variety as we were met by the World ASP Women's Surf Tour and whilst all the locals were forced to find somewhere else to party the benefits or rather the prejudice of being a Gringo meant we were given full access to women's surfing fraternity. However, with a slight case of coming out both ends (or disentry) for both of us such access was wasted. But to put the name Sophia Mulanovich and CV to the face of the former world champ that sat next to me on the beach talking about her sore foot was worth it. Also what was worth it was having a few of the Glazewski family logging on from their London and Sydney locations to the live video streaming of the competition and not only being able to witness their mentor buffed up giving a wave but also their mentor drafting "Polish Maori 1" into the sand. Actually quite cool as I stood on the beach in front of the video with borrowed iTouch (with wi-fi) and maintained the banter. Ha! Technology man. Incredible.
Crossing the Border
We thought we had this nailed but ended up in Tumbes which is a dingy town (I want to say ass end but I wonīt) where even the cockroaches had decided it was to ming to hang around so after a glorious night in a scummy hotel we eventually found our way onto a bus and passed through the borders. Yes plural which I thought was unusual. Like everything that relates to infrastructure here "why have one if you can have two?" so you go out of Peru hang about in no mans land which in this location is a bustling trading town - Aguas Verde then enter Ecuador (in a previous place of employment such a place would be where I would have been negotiating stashing volumes precious metal as such is usually a location in which tax does not exist - Switzerland is notorious for it so is HSBC but thats another story). This ordinarily doesnīt seem that strange to most of us because crossing the border usually something we take for granted as we sit on the Eurostar or on the plane. However, crossing borders by land is something you donīt often do and like a beehive the hustle and bustle of Aguas Verde is incredible. With no direct road the bus is forced to twist and turn through the congested streets of swarming bees of people (like that linking the metaphor), bikes, lemons, mellons (of the fruit type), briefcases, mannequins, toilets, jandals, pineapples, undies, coconuts (the fruit and the female variety), bananas (yellow and green), rickshaws peddled and motored, restaurants, markets, scooters the worker bees generating the money honey. Amazing.
So so long to Peru "whats up Ecuador?."
There are a number of things the Peruvian people are not: wealthy, greedy, arrogant, selfish...but there are a number of things they are: generous, accepting, nonjudgmental, humbling, warm to provide just a few adjectives. Nothing more optimizes this than by their letting merchants jump on and off the bus selling anything from a pork sandwhiches to ice blocks providing a vital service for us people on the bus but also a source of hope to that their merchant. This is also the case sitting in a cafe or restaurant where one is often offered a number of differing items in a inoffensive manner and at the blessing of the restaurant owners. It called compassion, or perhaps it is their understanding of each other and each others struggle something that generally is not something in abundance in the West. They seem to see and treat each other (maybe not Gringos) as equals and this is something old Mr Gandhi strived for and also did a pretty good job at doing. There is no concept of untouchability. An observation which really made an impression on me especially in light of the racial crap that exisit in UK and NZ...Think about. it. I will get down of my horse now. Hahahah.
Into Guayaquil we arrived expected to get onto a flight directly to Galapagos but not possibly. So after attempting to rent some road bikes we left with the company again taking my name brand and went on a roady but thats all in good time.