My overnight bus from Ecuador stopped around six o’clock in Máncora, a small beachtown in the north of Peru. Together with my English busfriend Huw I caught a moto rikschaw to the Psygon Surf Camp where I would stay for the next few days. The hostel was a relaxed place though and the owner was a very nice Peruvian who, as it turned out, lived in St.Gallen for about eight years.
As it was too early to check-in I put my wetsuit on, grabbed one of the camp’s boards and went surfing. The famous point break was working nicely and two and a half hours later I dropped dead in my bed. After a few hours of sleep I had a look at the town. Conclusion: If you don’t surf, don’t even think of coming here. The beach has been washed away in front of the town within only a few years. Several concrete constructions intended to form a beach promenade are being slowly taken apart by the waves washing up to them. What is left of the beach is littered with all kinds of stuff, including the odd dead animal and a twenty minutes stroll takes you through the whole village.
Although the wave and its consistency are great, the fact that it’s a single break means that it usually gets crowded and apparently, the locals can be rather territorial. So, after three days I wrapped things up in the surfcamp and took a bus to Trujillo and from there to Huanchaco. That’s a nice little beachside town, blessed with several beach breaks and fishermen that still use the traditional straw boats to make their daily catch. I stayed at the Frogs Chillhouse Hostel for four nights. The place was great, but its coolest feature was the terrace offering amazing sunset views.
Huanchaco is also a good starting point for a little surftrip to Puerto Malabrigo, known for the longest left breaking wave in the world, called Chicama. With the right swell, the legend goes that the wave can break for as long as four kilometres, although nobody has ever been ridden it for that long. It wasn’t the right time of the year for Chicama to show off all of its magic which would be between March and October. Nevertheless, it was impressive to see the waves go and even with the swell coming from the wrong direction, it still broke way longer than anything else I have seen so far.
Two travelers I met in the hostel told me about their experiences in Huaraz, a place high up in the Peruvian Andes which at first I wasn’t sure if I should bother going. As it was more or less on my way to Lima and because of what they told me, I was sure that I have to see it with my own eyes. So stay tuned for some gorgeous hiking…