This year for my annual ‘escape November trip’ we rallied a crew of 6 and decided to do something a tad bit different: explore the empty beaches of the longest left hand point breaks in the world, alongside one of the 7th man-made wonders of the world: yep, Peru.
Leslie, Lindsay , Ben, Connor, Shane and I boarded the best of the best airline service Air Canada Rouge (ok fine were budget travellers ) and picked the top notch accommodation in advance -hostels. I had done a bit of pre-planning as Peru is still a 2nd world country, and us gringos were likely to stand out like sore thumbs with our height and blonde hair.
We firgured we’d tackle three key bucket list items in week 1: Lima, a sleepy surf town and of course the infamous Cusco, home of the Incan people and Machu Picchu.
We landed at 3am welcomed by the classic swarm of local taxi drivers shouting ‘hola sinorita’ and all waiting to take us wherever we wanted for ‘very cheap’ . We tracked down a van cab and our driver ‘carlos’ took us through a few short cuts that had us sweating before we made it to our first hostel ‘Kaclla , The Healing Dog’. We were greeted with ‘pisco ‘ the local hairless dog by which the place was named, and some very ‘wholistic hippy decor’. We managed to crashed in our shared room with 6 bunks right away.
We spent the first day touring around the city, hitting the inca markets and diving right into the Pisco Sours and Cervicas . We ran into our surf guide Alberto who is going to tour us around for the third part of our trip in the north, and Leslie and I played around in the waves for a bit in the afternoon. The rest of the night was spent eating Ceviche, pizza, and of course, myself attempting to talk in three different languages to our hostel mates about international politics (please note I am NOT bilingual ) but after a few cervicas I can do anything 💃🏻.
Day two we had the morning to explore a little longer in Miraflores , then our driver Pepe from Bravo Surf camp came to pick us up to take us to the next part of our trip: Local surf town and home of Isla surf break. As we drove outside of Lima we got a good glimpse of the ‘real Peru’ , the San Cristobel slums which spread up and across the sand mountains that surround the city. Athlough, poor each building is painted in bright, vibrant colours that depict its own form of beauty.
Once we escaped the beeping horns and loudspeakers of the city we pulled off the highway and arrived at the back end of Punta Hermosa where Abraham and his crew of local surfers live at Bravo Surf camp. This place had far more of a local vibe, surrounded by derelict buildings and stray dogs chilling on the dirt streets. As Ben would describe it ‘straight out of Call of Duty’. We were greated by Abraham and his crew, and walked into a seriously legit surf hostel. There must have been 70 boards stacked and photos of the famous Peruvian breaks lining the walls.
It’s pretty early spring right now and it showed as most of Punta Hermosa was shut down and abandoned except for the random restaurant or shop selling surf brand knock offs and beer. We ate lunch at this amazing chicken restaurant then headed back to the hostel to catch some waves.
Since it was just Ben and I surfing the first evening Abraham took us to a beach break down the road that ‘barrels’ . The surf was pretty small but for the two of us it was a good introduction to some of the tougher ocean waves we will be surfing later on the trip. Both of us came to shore pretty humbled by the experience !
After Dinner at the sushi joint, a game of pool on the third floor pad and some Canadian gibsons shared with all the folks in the hostel, a few of us decided to wander out in search for snacks. We ended up at the local store where we got a case of beer passed to us ‘thought the bars’ , some street meat from the local vendors and for me, a good snuggle with the local owners kitten. About 6 Dogs followed us back home to the hostel all looking to join in the party.
The next two days we all surfed our brains out at the local break ‘isla’ , ate cheap local food and passed out Happy at about 830pm ready for our next adventure: The Andean mountains and Cusco. Stay posted!