Thursday, October 8, 2009
Change of pace
Hola buen dia! So as always a bunch of time has passed since the last blog. One reason for this is I've been staying in a place that has no electricity or water, much less internet access. So I left Lima on my last blog and I decided to head up north towards Lobitos/Mancora area. This particular area I missed on my way down and the family I met in Lima said I could stay in their house up there and there are supposed to be good waves. So I drove and drove and drove and got stopped by police after police all telling me I needed something and trying to get money. I did spent a few days in various towns & even spent a day hiking to some old pyramids which was pretty cool (well really HOT actually). Eventually I landed in Los Organos where this amazing house they own is and all I had to pay was for water to be brought & electricity. The only problem with this spot was there weren't any waves nor people so I would be hanging out in this lovely tahitian style house with a nice view solo and no surf nearby. So I spent one night there and decided to drive 30 mins north to Lobitos to check the surf. This area is really small and remote, all dirt roads leading to who knows where but I managed to navigate my way there. As soon as I drove into 'town' I drove right past a friend I had made 7 months earlier in Nicaragua. She was riding her bike & I passed her and we both couldn't believe it. Anyways she works for this local voluntoursim organization that works with local kids teaching them life skills, surf & water safety and English. I decided to rent a room in her shared house and stick around for a few days to see what this town was like. The surf in Lobitos is pretty epic really, though the local crowds don't use the world wide known surf "rules" in the water so the lack of respect is something you do have to adjust to. I wasn't really that excited about fighting for waves, I had been solo for a long time and getting aggressive for cold lefts wasn't really in my motivation. So I decided to dedicate my time to a new project that was starting up with my friends Organization. They were just beginning, the day after I arrived, to build a surf shack for the kids. One of the volunteers is an architect so he drew up some plans and they had already bought materials. Being that I could help in translating, as the lead architect has limited spanish, and I could be a helping hand I decided to help out on a daily basis. A lot of manual labor involved, digging holes, carrying cana, carrying rocks and carrying more rocks, sawing, hammering, etc. One day we hired a mule for 50 soles to do 6 trips to this spot we found nice large pieces of rock to be our floor. We found relentless winds on a daily basis and found it really difficult to work with kids in a foreign language when in reality you need skilled labor to build a shack that isn't going to fall over. And the kids weren't that exciting about collecting stones, the one thing they could do. They want to saw, hammer, paint and do all things they can destroy :) Beyond the project the house I have been staying in is very basic....VERY basic. There is no electricity which is alright but there is also a water problem in Lobitos. Meaning they have a busted pipe and water shows up twice a week in a truck to fill up tanks. So for our house one of my chores is to go into a tank in the backyard with buckets to fill and then transfer that into a trashcan inside our bathroom for "showers" and into the kitchen to wash dishes. The "shower" consists of a hanging plastic water bottle with holes on the bottom to act as a shower....so you pour water into the bottle and it drizzles out for 30 seconds at best. Challenging at times but for 4 dollars a night and a few of the point from the front porch, it's not that bad. It's been really nice for me to sit still, not spend money on gas or get hassled by police and do something with some meaning with the community. I've been invited into families houses for ceviche and rice and more rice. So after a week or so of working and surfing on the daily, I decided to pick up and go do something away from the beach and away from my car. One thing I learned upon arriving into South America is that it is a HUGE continent and I can't just drift aimlessly like I did in Central Am. I spent 7 months drifting planless through central america so if you look at that size in comparison to South America, I would be drifting for years. I mean, Brazil is basically the size of Australia. So with the LOOooong drives, expensive gas in Peru and wanting a different experience I ditched the car in Lobitos and took an overnight bus to Trujillo which is where I am right now. I'm headed up to Hauraz in the mountains which is supposed to have amazing rock climbing action, something I've always wanted to try. So this bus/back packer thing is totally new to me & is already bringing on a completely different experience to traveling. SO I am off now, with my heavy packs to go do some site seeing and going on my first 'tour' on this entire trip to pass time until I have another overnight bus to the Cordillera Blanca region! I have some other exciting plans coming in the near future as well but I'll wait for them to pass and blog about them. Hope everyone is doing well!!!