Travels

Huanchaco, a place to get lost in peace

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Written by Aldo Pancorbo.


In the morning, while MD was still sleeping, almost always by the punch of the previous night, he went for a walk on the empty and sunny little streets. The streets of Huanchaco (comes from the muchik Guaukocha, which means "beautiful lagoon with goldfish") is a good stage to walk alone or do it with someone in silence. You can even hear the murmur of the sea and the squawking of seagulls thanks to the absence of cars and mototaxis. And if one does not like to walk and still wants to travel a great stretch, in Los Pinos street there is a lodging where you can rent bicycles at 10 lucas for the whole day.

“This place is perfect for getting lost in peace,” I thought as I walked on my Yankees.

All streets run perpendicularly on a main avenue that is a few meters from the beach and extends along the coast. Around this avenue, in front of the boardwalk, there are a number of restaurants, bakeries (“Fito Pan” and its delicious buttered bread), lodgings, discos, pubs as well as municipal offices, as well as being visited by most of artisans, residents, backpackers, cars, taxis and the “Huanchaco”, a line of buses of white, yellow and red colors that come and go from the city of Trujillo (it would be the “10” or the Covida for the Huanchaqueros) .

And if one is not located by land, don't worry! You can also do it by air. It's a matter of looking up, heading east, and spotting the sanctuary "Our Lady of Help." She is the patron saint of fishermen. The temple, which is in front of the cemetery, is a landmark if you are new to Huanchaco. It was built on Huaca Chimú in 1540 and is considered the first Christian church of indigenous people in the colony since colonial times, in addition to serving as a guide for fishermen who throw themselves into the sea with their totora horses. These are rafts built with a reed known as totora that, according to legend, were used by Naylamp, a mythological warrior from ancient Peru, to arrive at the north coast next to his entourage and give rise to the Lambayeque culture.

At noon I was with MD and F. in the square and together we went to visit Choco, who lives in front of the comic. He, who looks like a direct descendant of the Moches, always received us at home with a clean smile while accompanied by his future wife, a beautiful young Dutch woman, and his daughter, Catalina, born weeks (which he sponsored as “La Cholandes”) who was wrapped in a turban on his chest as if he were his new transplanted heart.

The good Choco, while inviting us a glass of cocoa water and a salad with noodles and vegetables, told us about his projects: to remodel the first floor of his house so that it becomes a lounge for tourists and intervene in a reality show for a foreign producer, in which he was to appear as a seductive Huanchaco patch of Europeans, or something like that.

After dreaming with our eyes wide open in Choco's house and saying goodbye to his beautiful family, we climbed the Huaca Chimú, from where you can see the spa in its maximum dimension.

When we went down, we had two options: the market, which is on the way to the church and where you can tear some of the huanchaquera soul, is a must for cheap and copious lunch (different menus are found from 3 Chinese lucas ), and thus save for the chela. Or "La Charapita", which is also on its way to the sanctuary, is a restaurant that we met thanks to the popular Choco - a real chichero, although more of a joke than a jora - and to say the name does not specialize as more than one would think of dishes jungle, but rather in marine dishes, rice with seafood, ceviche and the cashmere sweat - the croaker of northern Peru being highly recommended.

In addition to its modest prices (a well-taipe dish has a minimum price of 5 lucas), it also offers chicha de jora in poto. Chicha de Jora, which is made from fermented corn, was the favorite drink of the Incas.

There were days when we were so impossible mission - not to say always - that the twine was not enough for a good lunch. Then, we were going to the market with our chicha de jora in a liter and a half plastic bottle, which we only got 2 Chinese lucas in a house that was in the middle of the street of “La Charapita”, next to a cabin from Internet.

Choco, with the wise look of a pre-historical man, told me that there was no chicha de jora like the other, that they always prepare it differently. After thinking that there could not be a Choco like another Choco, I said goodbye to him, but not before giving him my novel and giving him two more copies to give them to the Huanchaco Library (a place made of wood with the physiognomy of a bar of the far west, where one can sit and read books for free and take a book for 3 or 4 days leaving their ID. And where they screen movies on Fridays, also free).

After a nap on the benches of a park and the respective bath in the sea, we were preparing, F., MD and I, to find a good place to suck a well-frozen Pilsen Trujillo and observe, in the words of the thin Spinetta, how The day sits to die.

We walked lax along the main avenue, while some Trujillo families and one or another tourist tried to fish leaning on the railing of the pier. Finally, we landed on the second floor of a cevichería, where we steeked our elbow and enjoyed the sunset, with the foreground image of the cattails embedded in the sand and the still shadow of the surfers waiting a good wave, while some traveling musicians rehearsed Creole waltzes.

At night, we had two options: go to the city, to the Trujillo Book Fair - the initial excuse of our escape from Lima, where the day before we had presented our novels - and share flattery with other writers, journalists, editors and intellectuals and, if it turned out, sell some books. Or stay in Huanchaco and go to a campfire. A prolific friend and writer, Tim, who came from Pimentel, had invited us to a campfire with his nice companion, Lesly, her two friends and her little daughters. However, before we could decide where we were going, we found ourselves looking for firewood and stones to build the base of the bonfire on the sand. In the firelight, between chela and chela and laughter and laughter, after meeting two young mothers, single and wrestlers: Vivi, a pisqueña who worked at the Naylamp hostel as a cook, and Jesus, a huanchaquera masseuse, one with ethics and that "he only did professional work" - as he always responded to our suspicions-, while F. lay lost among the rocks in his introspective incontinences and MD buried the chelas on the shore so they would not heat up, I had a revelation: that night we had Decided by true literature.

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