Can I hang ten?

Trip Start Apr 23, 2005
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Trip End Mar 31, 2006


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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, August 15, 2005

That was the question on my mind - Can I surf? Itīs always looked fairly fitness and balance intensive and shamefully enough, Iīve never tried (bad form for an Aussie).

Waking up a bit later than expected, we scoffed down some breaky at the hostel and headed into town for a look around. We didnīt hook up with Giancarlo, our surf instructor until about 12pm (2hours late) but thats ok - nothing in this town seems to run on the concept of time and 2 hours late is no problem here.

We donned our wetsuits and big fat 9foot surf boards and headed down to the beach. Giancarlo started us off with some warmups and then, before we got out into the waves, he took us through how to get up on the board once weīd caught a wave. It was like that scene out of point break, except Giancarlo wasnīt a pretty young woman (you canīt have everything).


Ready to go

With buiding apprehension, we paddled out to the break and Giancarlo got behind me and pushed me onto the next wave that came in. The board caught the wave ok and I struggled to get myself upright. Completely ignoring my lessons, I did this awkward sideways slide onto my knees and then wobbled myself up onto my feet. I did it! I was up on the board and surfing and whats more, it was on my first wave! What a feeling! Iīm completely, unconditionally hooked and Iīve only been doing it for 3 seconds. My style may be a bit unorthodox, but it works. After surfing the wave all the way into shore, I headed back unto the surf, my veins pumping with adrenaline and a big fat smile on my face and surfed for another 2 hours, catching 5 more waves.

Absolutely exhausted and with a sore tail bome from coming off on a rock, Glenn and I headed back to the hostel, changed and then headed out to try some of the local specialty and national dish; Cebiche. Itīs made of mixed seafood cooked by soaking it in Lemon juice (so itīs really raw seafood in Lemon juice). The food came with a big raw crab on the top and we tucked in. It was a bit full on eating so much raw seafood and we both gave it a courageous effort. I survived ok, but Glenn got bad stomach cramps and dioreah (sic) for the first time but definately not the last as we both got many small stomach complaints in Peru.


A bit apprehensive about the meal which would take him out for 2 days

Next day, we hooked up with another Aussie and a Canadian at the hostel and headed out to Chan Chan which is the oldest Adobe city (mud brick) city in the world. It was pretty mind-blowing. This place is made up of 7 precincts coverng some 27 square kms. We only got to see one precinct as the others arenīt very accessable and have been heavily eroded over the cities 800 years due to unseasonable rain, but it was still awesome to see the sophistication and sheer scale of the city.

Day 3 was another surf day. Glenn wasnīt really up for it so he stayed on the beached and talked about girls with Giancarlo while I built on my first day by catching my first green wave. I had only been surfing in the foam before and now I could get on the face of the wave before it broke and actually start turning on the fac of the wave. Turning was hard as the 9 foot board isnīt exactly the most manueverable board around, but it was the most amazing feeling to harness and to some point control the power of the wave.

That night we went to a club called Mecano in nearby Trujillo which has a huge locals night every thursday. Glenn was still feelng sick from the seafood and made an early exit. This place was crazy. Jam packed with about 500 Peruvians and playing live music, Latin music and even the odd song I new the words to, this place was absolutely pumping with people dancing. First thing I really noticed was how tall I am compared with the Peruvians. I could stand in the middle of the dance floor and I ould clear the next tallest guy by more than a foot. Second thing I noticed was that my height, white skin and blone hair got me a LOT of attention. At one point I was walking to the bar and couldīnīt move 5metres without being asked to dance. I never did get to the bar as one girl didnīt bother asking and just dragged me to the dance floor. It was a top night and I retired about 3am after my legs couldnīt take any more dancing.

Next day (or thereabouts - Itīs a bit hard to remember the order of things now) we headed up to the very north of Peru to another small village, popular with surfers, called mancora. Saying goodbye to Huanchaco was hard. It had been such a fun and realxinf week and because of the amazing friendliness of the locals, we were basically locas ourselves. It was impossible to walk more than 100m without seeing someone we knew and exchanging greetings or more often stopping for a chat. We had to catch a bus but didnīt manage to get one of the luxury buses with huge layback seats and hot meals. So the 13hour bus ride was pretty uncomfortable.
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