huanchaco - exactly what i was looking for

  • grafiti on my bedroom wall
  • my bed - so long since i slept in a double bed
  • caballitos
  • more caballitos
  • they even have a monument for these things
  • fishermen on the caballitos
  • the new sexy lady in my life
  • oooooh, it feels so good!
  • every hostel needs a resident tortoise

I arrived in Huanchaco at about 10pm on Thursday the 9th of July, and while the taxi driver (who brought me from Trujillo where the bus stops - a big city a few kms away) drove me to my hostel I already knew I was gonna love this place. My hostel (The Naylamp) is right across the road from the beach, and last night while I caught up on some emails in the courtyard, I sat in a hammock and listened to and smelt the sea. Even at night you could tell this village has some real character behind it too - some locals claim surfing originated here because of the "Caballito de Totora", a reed surfboard-like boat the fisherman use when fishing and then "surf" back to shore.

When I arrived in the hostel I chatted to the dude working at the door, who also surfs, and he told me in the morning he would take me to his mate's surf shop and will get me a sweet deal on a board. I struggled to get to sleep last night just out of sheer excitement over going out and getting a board today and hitting the water. The room I'm in is small and not too cheap by Peruvian standards at 35 soles (7 pounds) but it's my own room, and has a double bed, which I'm no longer used to sleeping in. On one of the walls there's a big grafiti sketch of a little green dude, smoking a massive reefer and with the words "Engineero de vuelo" (Engineer of flight) on his hat.

Woke up this morning and for the first time in about a montha and a half, made my own breakfast as opposed to eating in a restaurant in a hostel. Felt great to do that, although every time I cook these days, I worry for thext few hours after giving myself a serious case of food poisoning back in London a few months ago. After breakfast I headed down to the surf shop with the dude. He forgot to mention that his buddy is like the top surfer in the area, who's won a few titles, and basically is a bit of a surf celeb around here. After showing me a few boards, some new, some old, I decided on a new board they had, which was given to him by a sponsor. I know buying it off him meant he made an absolute killing, but hell, I got it for cheaper than my ancient board back in the UK. Also, these guys proved to be an excellent find. Not only did they guy throw in the fins for free, but also told me that while I'm in his town I can borrow his wetsuits and leashes, but also that I won't pick up any crap in the water and him and the local surf crew wil be taking me to a few spots around the place - including Chicama, the world's longest left. I also explained to him that I'm not exactly a good surfer and that it's been a while so I'm a bit worried about taking out a brand new board right away. So he said I can borrow any of the other boards in the shop until I feel comfortable to take out my new baby!

So, board purchased and dropped off at the hostel, we headed back to the surf shop and I sat and watched some local surf DVDs until the guys felt the tide was ready for a session. Eventually the time came, and I was feeling pretty nervous about going into the water with dudes who clearly eat, drink and sleep surf. Also, the one guy had said I wouldn't need a full wetsuit, just a shorty, which proved to be bullsh!t as the water was absolutely freezing. I realise now this was a prank as the rest of the guys who were in the shop all went in with full wetsuits.

My arms felt like jellow after about 2 hours and i couldn't feel my knees cause of the cold. At this point I decided to be a wimp and headed back - don't want to over do it on my first day when I plan on being here for at least a week. Cooked my own lunch and ate it watching the sets coming in. Pura vida!!!