November 7-9, 2016
We took a bus to the coast to spend a couple of days in the beach community of Pacasmayo.
November 7, 2016
We’ve parked the bikes for a bit and most of our travel will be buses and planes. Our first bus trip to the coast was 193 kilometres of windy descent down to sea level.
Amanda writes: We had planned our travel to include a couple of days off in a beach community that Andrew was keen on visiting. As Wikipedia tells us Pacasmayo is a city and port of around 40,000 people, in the La Libertad region of Peru. It is a very popular surfing location for locals and international surfers. Pacasmayo hosts big national and international water sports competitions. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are also becoming popular and the development of water sport tourism is a big part of the municipalities projects for the area. It has small but beautiful malecon (promenade), a pier which is part of the history of the area, nice beaches and wonderful 19th century houses. The economy of the city is driven by artesian fishing, tourism, and notably, the presence of the second biggest cement company in the country. Pacasmayo is a touristy town so a bit more expensive but it was nice to be back near the water again after not seeing it for a while. It was also pretty nice to travel only with a backpack instead of all the bags and bikes. We checked into an ocean front hotel and relaxed for a couple of days.
We weren’t disappointed at all by the water and sports. Upon arrival we instantly saw a kite surfer so Andrew was pretty excited. After meeting the kite surfer he even offered Andrew some gear to borrow but without a wet suit it would be super cold. We were quickly reminded that the further South we get, the colder it might become. We enjoyed watching surfers and kite surfers and walked around the bustling little city. We also learned what happens when you kite in ‘off shore’ winds. For anyone interested off shore means that if the shit hits the fan while kiting you’re going to get carried out to sea rather than back into shore. This happened to one kite surfer and his kite was rescued by a boat which was nice. However upon his arrival back on shore he needed to negotiate a finders fee to get his kite back. I suppose in the big scheme of things it’s a small price to pay for your safe arrival on shore and getting your $1000 kite back. Also along the shore was an interesting pier that was quite weather beaten. I learned that it’s said to be the longest pier in Peru with a storied history. Constructed between 1870 and 1874, it initially clocked in at a whopping 743.4m. Today, it stands at 544m after a chunk was swept out to sea in 1924. In the ‘40s, two overloaded train cars fell into the sea from the pier as well. It was cool to see that it still had the tracks on the pier.
And while the beach life was nice it was also a bit shocking to see how barren and dirty the land side of things was. I haven’t seen this much trash since Mexico. The landscape is nothing but sandy desert and it’s not very pleasing to look at. It felt like we’ve left the lush greens of Northern Peru near the Amazon and headed to a poverty stricken 3rd world country, which I suppose is what we’ve done. Same country, just different regions.
So for 3 days we just relaxed knowing that starting tomorrow we’ve got three days of busy long travel back to North America to see friends.