Got across this photo as I was going through the mess on my hard drive a few days ago. It’s over a year ago since I sat on that beach in Huanchaco, sipping beer with my new found friend Lovisa, watching surfers play around on the last few waves as day light was fading. I was yet only a couple a weeks in on what was gonna become one of the longest trips in my life. Free, young and excited.
The entire Peruvian coast is like one big, stretched out desert. The ground is so arid that in some locations nothing at all seems to grow on this land. Isn’t it fascinating how on one side of the Andes we have the super extremely lush rainforests of the Amazon, and on the other side an environment that supports like five thousand billion fewer life forms? Hehe. Four years of geography studies at uni have turned me into a bit of a geek, indeed. It has to do with a cold ocean current and a wee bit of rain shadow however, for those who’s still reading ;)
Aaanywho, this doesn’t mean the beaches aren’t an excellent location to hang out with new friends at sunset, with a cold beer in your hand. To laugh at shitty surfers (I suck myself but whatever, minor detail) and secretly admire the professional ones. To explore old, sandy Inca ruins, get food poisoned, collect sea shells and blow soap bubbles.
Ryan and Lovisa, and the beer.
Riding the last waves of the day
A surfer with fan club in Mancora, Peru.
Fishermen in Mancora.
Sweet Lovisa, tired but happy.
The hospitality of people around the world never stops to amaze me. How some people simply can be so full of goodwill towards someone that starts off as more or less a complete stranger. In Lima I met Eric, a happy and energetic mountain guide from Huaraz. One long bus trip, a bumpy car ride and a 3000 meter rise in elevation later, we arrived in his home village in the Andes.
Indigenous mountain people still make up a big part of the population living up there, including Eric and his family who speak Quechua and still practice a pretty traditional way of life. The way the women dress adds a lovely touch of color to the scene, and the surroundings are absolutely stunning with several white 6000m+ mountain peaks rising towards the sky. I fell in love within about two seconds.
I was ridiculously lucky to have brilliant weather almost every day since it’s in the middle of the rainy season, with no guarantees of a blue sky whatsoever. I was also lucky enough to get to spend one week in this rural home, as well as to get to know a bunch of additional awesome people through friends of Eric.
However, I always thought photographs say more than words, so here we go:
November 15, 2012.
Made it to Madrid, after losing and later reuniting with my backpack in Stockholm. Driven by boredom and several hours to kill I took the metro into central Madrid where I found a city centre more or less occupied by policemen due to massive riots the day before, in the wake of the economic crisis. Street artists in every corner, the one more creative than the other. I spoke fluently in Spanish to one of the locals. She was an infant. After almost getting attacked by SpongeBob and having some weird Asian food that made me wanna puke I took off to the airport again. A liiittle bit too late as usual. But I made it.
Lima. After five minutes of walking around in Miraflores, the area where I stayed (together with about 200 percent of all other gringos) I was sun burnt. Check. The rest of the weekend consisted of great food, great people, many cervezas, a rooftop birthday party and much more. But the traffic and pollution soon reminded me it was time to move on. I could hear the mountains calling.