Surfari in North Peru

So these past few days have been an adventure to say the least. The WIFI has been less than par in most places so this post is really a 3in1, so excuse the extra length ! 

Part 1: Northern Peru. Huanchanco, Chicama , Pacasmyo

It’s day two of the third part of our adventures in Peru, the ‘surfari’. Ben and I said goodbye to the rest of the #6kooksinperu crew and flew North to Truijlio yesterday to meet our surf guide Alberto from Team Surf Peru. 

To be honest I had no idea what to expect about this part of the trip other than we would have a Spanish speaking guide, surfboards, a van, meals and lodging included and he’d take us to the best breaks in the world. Yesterday we were completely dead from hiking Rainbow mountain and staying up a bit too late on our last night with the group. We arrived in Huanchanco to some of the biggest waves I have ever seen. We checked into our ‘local’ hostel, grabbed some food the suited up to try the left and point break. We were humbled VERY quickly. The currents are very strong on these point breaks and my duck diving skills are sub-par, so we got downgraded to the smaller break past the point. We stayed down there for an hour to ‘shake the rust off’ and played in the small waves. 

This morning Alberto, our drill sergeant surf guide got us up bright and early at 6am because the waves were good in Chicama, the town known for the longest left hand point break in the world. As we drove into the small beach town we passed hundreds of small shacks, and unfinished houses surrounded by stray dogs and children playing in the street. It really made me feel like the luckiest girl alive to have been born in a place like Canada with all the opportunities I’ve been given in my life. I thought about what it would be like to live in a place like these small, poor towns in northern Peru. Sure the surf is amazing, but life is much slower here. 

As we drove into Chicama and saw the wave for the first time I was completely blown away by how long, clean and uncrowded it was. It was like it wasn’t even real, something straight out of a surf documentary you only watch online. It was a Saturday, and the only people in the entire town I saw were local surfer and other tourists suited up with their surfboards walking out to the break. The current is very strong here so Alberto has hired us a boat to pick us up and drive us out to the point. This morning was epic. I caught three of the longest waves I’ve ever seen, let alone ridden, but my skills have a very long way to go. My goal this week is to learn as much Spanish as possible and be able to rip one of these left handers like the locals. We’ll see how far I get ! ✌️ For now! 

Part Two: The Definition of ‘Unfamiliar’

I’m pretty sure we take advantage of word ‘familiar’ in general life. For example, you look familiar , do I know you? Or Sounds familiar, I likely heard the song 2 minutes ago on the radio. 

This reference is completely redundant when you visit a place like North Peru where nothing is familiar. 

It’s been a solid 4 days now and I’ve bought a ‘how to speak Spanish book’ lonely planet edition , and I’m struggling to put one word together in a sentence. 

My good friend Ben has been sick with a stomach bacteria and we spent 3 hours in the hospital last night with him trying to figure out what was up. I’m a silver lining kinda girl, but when your good friend is sick in a VERY unfamiliar place, defining ‘unfamiliar’ as : language, people, pharmacies, doctors, streets, general hygiene, food, washrooms etc etc, One can feel quite helpless. Should we jump on a plane? Should we wait it out? Should we get different opinions than the one from our surf guide who is definitely not a doctor or well versed about medicine?? The whole thing sucks but at least Bens been a trooper. I’ll keep y’all posted as we track on. 

Part 3: Expect the Unexpected

If you have a hobby that is out of the norm, expect for it to take you to the most exceptional places.

One day left in this wild and crazy country!

(Oh and Ben recovered after the IV drip and a few extra trips to the pharmacy ,and yup, do things yourself if you are never 100% sure) 

I’m sitting on top of the ‘hospedije delphins’ staring out at the sunset over the pacific in Barranca,Peru. Over the last 9 days we have seen and surfed almost all of the famous Peruvian Left hand breaks: Chicama, Huanchenco, pacasmyo, Mancora, Lobitos and now Bermijo. We have driven for over 24 hours across the land of sand mountains, partied in the surf town of mancora and dropped our steepest waves in Lobitos. We have one stop left on our surfari before we board a plane back home.

I definitely extremely happy about it, yes sad to leave the perfect waves but so, so, so happy to make it back to all the comforts of home. Peru is a very different place than all the places my travels have seen, the people are very friendly, and if you like seafood and chicken then this is the place for you. But I can’t help but feel so far from home down here. The term ‘gringo’ is very real, and having blond hair and a friend who stands higher than 6′ it’s inevitable that we stick out like sore thumbs. The culture is generally very slow, eat, sleep, own a store, surf or work a trade that is valued locally. I’m learning Spanish, I’m also mixing it up with French every sentence , but it’s coming along. I can officially read 3/4s of a menu and order in Spanish , although last night’s meal was definitely not what we had expected haha. 

I’ve learned so much with surfing as well, how to read the waves, where they break best at various tides, how to keep your head down when you want to catch a slow, fat wave, and how to keep it up with a steep drop. I can not only turn backside now, I can keep my eye on where the wave is breaking and stay or go where I need to on the wave to get the longest ride. It’s a rush, like any of the crazy sports I do, but it is a far more satisfying feeling knowing that I’ve conquered such a powerful, inconsistent gift of nature that has so many variables at hand.

We’ve also seen so much of this incredible country, deserts, beaches, cities, small towns, cloud jungles, ancient ruins and never-ending sunsets. It’s sure been a trip of a lifetime, and one I will take away from feeling incredibly grateful for everything and everyone that I can call my home. 

Peace out for now friends- until the next adventure 🙂 

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