Trujillo is considered the most dangerous city in Peru. There is a lot of crime there, mostly thefts and burglaries, but crime nonetheless. We didn’t stay in Trujillo, and we don’t have much to say about it. Instead, we stayed in a little beach town called Huanchaco, about 20 minutes by taxi, or 45 minutes by bus, from the city center of Trujillo.
The surf was small, but pretty decent in Huanchaco, which is great for Mr. Crankypants. He’s a big ol’ baby when he doesn’t surf for a couple of weeks, but I get it, I’m an unhappier and much more obnoxious version of myself without running. In fact, my return to running program hasn’t been going well at all so after 2 days of pain, I’ve decided to put it on hold until I return to the states where I can get proper physical therapy and really stay off my foot. So you can imagine how nice I was during the week in Huanchaco while Zac was surfing it up. Not very!
After the first few days in Huanchaco, Zac said that there was an excellent swell moving in to Chicama (Puerto Malabrigo), so we headed up there for a night and Zac was finally able to surf the longest wave in the world!
Getting to Chicama isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but it’s kind of a pain. We took a 45-minute bus – the A bus – (1.5 soles each) from Huanchaco to Trujillo, and used broken Spanish and no map to find our way to the Santa Cruz station, where you just ask around for the bus that takes you to Puerto Malabrigo. This 2-hour bus (5.5 soles each) was pretty comfortable and easy to find. After about 3 hours total, we found ourselves at this place:
The longest wave in the world is actually in Puerto Malabrigo, about 2 hours from Trujillo. It is common for people to refer to this wave/beach/town as Chicama, but it’s technically Puerto Malabrigo. So when all your surf friends talk about the longest wave in the world in Chicama, you now know that it’s really in Puerto Malabrigo.
While Zac surfed, I attempted the final run-jog that put me completely out of commission again, but I brought my camera and snagged some good shots. I also found a lot more restaurants and markets and other areas of the town that even Zac didn’t know about! (He’d been there before.) That’s the nice thing about running – you get to see so much of the world that many other people never see. Let’s just hope I can return to that world by 2014.
Chicama is a tiny town with nothing to do but surf. Sitting on the beach would be nice, but it was pretty chilly.
After Chicama, we headed back to Huanchaco for a few more days, mostly just to relax because it’s so incredibly cheap!
This is a small surf town with incredibly cheap accommodations (like $8-$10 for two), and relatively decent weather. We originally stayed in a hostel called My Friend Hostel, for just 20 soles a night (total). But, we didn’t have a toilet seat and the hot water wouldn’t work, so we headed over to Oceano. It was AWESOME. It was really nice and clean, much more like a hotel than a hostel. AND they let you use their kitchen. It wasn’t a great kitchen or anything, but we definitely saved some money and got some much-needed veggies in our system.
Huanchaco is definitely a touristy place, and the weekend brought hoards of Peruvians from the surrounding cities. The weather was only so-so in October, but we had 5ish hours of sun everyday, so it’s much better than Lima’s current weather. The nice thing about this town is the street food! They didn’t have anything epic, but we were able to find anticuchos, brochetes (chicken and veggie skewers), papa rellenas (fried beef-stuffed potatoes), carrot cake, the best picarones (sweet potato doughnuts) ever, and tamales. Each item is only about 1-2 soles! We plan to spend another week there when we head south again, supplementing with lots of market vegetables. :)
Now we’re up in Mancora for a week, Peru’s most popular beach. Pictures and updates to come!