Peru´s Northwestern Coast

As I hurried north trying to make up for lost time, I stopped in a few places along the west coast of Peru. It is warm and dry here, a nice change from the wet and cold of the Cordilleras. I have to admit I took the bus a few times. Just too many trucks and buses for my taste. I got a little sick, I think, from inhaling too much diesel exhaust.

One stop was Trujillo, a town Pizarro founded which he named after his hometown in Spain. It has some nice colonial buildings and a fine main plaza.

There was a group performing some folk dances in the plaza:

Continuing north on the Pan-American highway, it was hot, windy and dusty, with lots of traffic. I had my iPod in every day.

Further north I stopped in the town of Chiclayo. Here are a few random shots. This photo is of a small demonstration promoting women´s safety.

This guy was selling Chiclets in the main square.

Some kids in the market. I like the expressions captured in this photo.

This one is interesting. It is a painting of an Inca royal. They wore the gold piece covering the mouth to prevent people from seeing their teeth. They were supposed to be semi-deities and they felt teeth were too human-looking, so they covered them up. I guess even gods can have bad teeth.

I rested for a couple days at the beach resort of Mancora. Here´s a few pix of some locals.

Cultual differences again

We discussed in a previous blog post the fact that different cultures develop different norms and acceptable behaviors. It struck me as curious when I went out Saturday night in Mancora how young the kids looked. I realized most of them could be my children. Is there anything wrong with a 40-something clubbing with a bunch of twenty-somethings? I always thought older people who tried to make themselves look younger and fit into the younger generation were a bit pathetic.  I hope I am not one of those people.

What do you think–is it OK, or even desirable, to go for the liposuction, botox and facelift while wearing Sean John and Billabong or should one grow old gracefully and just be old in the traditional sense. I think things are changing. Just because you are retired doesn´t mean you sit around or play golf all day. Didn´t George Bush Sr. jump out of a plane not so long ago because he wanted to try sky diving? Why can´t older people, as long as they are physically able, do the same things as younger folks?

On the other hand, has anyone seen Girls of the Playboy Mansion? There is something sad about seeing Hugh Hefner putz around in his bathrobe talking nonsense to his three platinum blond, brainless girlfriends. There must be a point where you just have to give it up and be old.

And another thing–Is it just me or do young people look younger than they were a generation ago? I mean, I was clearly the oldest person in this club (except for one guy who must have been in his 60s. He looked more out of place than I did.) But these kids looked like adolescents. There was a group of them smoking a hookah and drinking beers. They told me they were 15 years old and had come up from Lima. How´s that for a cultural difference? I was told most of the kids come from well-to-do families and the parents just want to get rid of them for a weekend so they pay for their trip. The bartender said legally they should not be drinking, but there is no enforcement of the law. Anyway, the bartender did not look much older than 18 himself.

Here´s the group of kids. Is it wrong for them to be partying until dawn even if sanctioned by their parents and society?

A few more pix. Mancora is popular with surfers and kite surfers. I tried surfing but just took pix of the kite surfers.

After Mancora the road hugged the coast all the way to Tumbes, 30 km from the Ecuador border. A nice ride. Little traffic, great weather, flat roads and a tailwind. It doesn´t get much better than that.

Final thoughts on Peru

As I leave Peru I am once again in awe of a country that has so much to offer a visitor. I regret I cannot spend more time here, as I feel I only scratched the surface in understanding this place. I met another cyclist who said he was going on a three month tour of Peru. I told him that´s a minimum. I was here a month and that was way too short. There is so much I did not see: The jungles of the east, the highlands in the north and central part of the country, the deep canyons around Arequipa, and numerous archaeological sites. I kept telling people I need to come back and spend another couple months and do some mountain climbing , white water rafting, and canoeing in the Amazon. There is enough here to keep one busy for a long time. If you get a chance, go to Peru. You won´t regret it.

12 thoughts on “Peru´s Northwestern Coast

  1. Capt. Don Kilpela Sr November 28, 2007 / 3:55 pm

    How about this Kevie: at 77, I am usually the oldest person anywhere we go. Old people eat early (we eat late), sleep early (we stay up late), and read little (we read much). I guess that makes us forever young. Best of all, however, is that one never thinks of himself as old… until, of curse, one encounters a pretty lass who walks right by without a glance. Ouch!

  2. Kevin Koski November 29, 2007 / 1:08 am

    I think that´s the right idea. If you always consider yourself young then you will act and behave young. But you must dispel any preconceived notions you have about how “old” people behave. There are limits, though. Please don´t start skakeboarding through Copper Harbor in your baggy jeans that show off your Calvin Klein boxers.

  3. Kimberly December 1, 2007 / 2:43 pm

    Age is but a number of a time spent on earth…have you seen kids–whether 5-15 without “youth?” I have. Youth is not “wasted on the young” just belittled by them. You truly are not wasting YOUR youth. Bravo!

  4. bwwarner December 1, 2007 / 3:04 pm

    Kevin – looks like you are still plodding along across the world. I think the saying about being as old as you act or feel is about spot on. It is not uncommon for me to be the oldest or youngest in a group. My wife and I travel in circles where sometimes we are on one end or the other. I enjoy the interactions we have when in both situations, it seems most generations have something to offer. Keep your tires aired and the wind at your back – or get a Corvette!

  5. David Rae December 1, 2007 / 6:16 pm

    As a generalisation I would say that young people between say 11 and 20 grow up faster now than they used to. These days there is a lot more peer pressure and lifestyle glamourisation via TV,magazines,internet.
    As for “oldies” fitting in with the younger generation ,as long as its not offending anyone then people should do whatever activities they like to do whether its with younger or older generations. As people stay healthier for longer there is a much wider range of activities possible for those who don’t close their minds to it. I don’t think I would make it up Everest but I’m thinking about Kilimanjaro !
    Back in EG for last trip and been catching up on your posts. The lines at Nazca are they white stones that are used to mark them out?
    Went to an exhibition at the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) about the wildlife on Bioko. There are 9 sub species of monkey on the island. Due to hunting for bushmeat they are all pretty much enroute for extinction. This includes a type of Red Colubus which is only found on Bioko. Its in the top 25 “worlds most endangered species” list. Also I found out there are 4 species of turtles breeding right down at the south end of the island. They are not doing too badly as there are no (decent) roads which limits access for the hunters.
    Tony Houlberg says hi. He is going to be back in Quito just after Boxing day but I think you are going to be past there by then ??

  6. Kevin Koski December 2, 2007 / 10:44 pm

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Dave, good luck on Kilimanjaro.

    The Nazca lines were created by simply removing the dark colored stones on the ground of the desert to reveal the light colored earth underneath.

    Tell Tony I said hello. I am actually in Quito now and plan to be in Colombia for Christmas.

  7. Nicole December 3, 2007 / 7:10 pm

    Hey Kev,
    I just seen you sign in to yahoo, so I figured I’d better read this blog immediately before you give a piece of your mind. And you really can’t afford to do that…lol.
    This was one of your better blogs. To comment on your “aging gracefully vs looking like a desperate idiot fighting to stay young” dilema, haven’t you and I already established that you’re pathetic and repugnant? Furthermore, when it comes to Hugh Hefner and his blond bimbo brigade, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.” I mean hell, wouldn’t you rather be putting around a fabulous mansion with a bunch of half naked, beautiful women instead of slaving away on a bike with your head in a cloud of diesel fumes? As far as Bush senior sky diving, he was probably hoping the parachute wouldn’t open so he wouldn’t have to put up with George Jr. and his mother…I mean wife, Barbara.
    Anyway, keep writing good blogs like this one. Chat with you soon.
    Love Nik

  8. Kevin Koski December 5, 2007 / 2:30 am

    Thanks for the comment, Nicole. Very witty.

  9. Katrina December 6, 2007 / 3:00 pm

    I guess it’s ok to hang out with a bunch of 20 year olds. But do you really want to?


  10. jojo January 20, 2008 / 4:20 am

    Hey Kev,
    Beautiful shots of Peru. I just said to myself aloud as I read your last comment,”I’m sure I’ll never get to Peru”…but you never know. Too bad. Wish I could see this whole world….
    Anyway, the show is called “The Girls Next Door” and I guess I’m a bit embarassed to know that. I watch it quite regularly ,until all of the sudden I say to myself “what are you doing?” and I turn the channel. Tells ya what’s on T.V. these days. I get a kick out of it. But really, it’s really all so sort of sick…all they do is party and play and shop and eat and drink and have sex with Hugh. I would think it would get boring. Then I think, well at least they have a committed boyfriend…………
    I went to a bar about a month ago after our work Christmas party (there were going to be a few people there who weren’t drinking, and I always feel a little better when I have an ali ) and it was probably the first time I had actually been in a “bar” bar for a couple of years. I looked around to see the same people who were hanging out in the bars when I was really bar hogging it back in the early 90’s after my divorce from Mark Kastamo…sorry to say it looked pathetic. But hey, everybody goes to bars. there’s one on every corner.
    As for age, well I’ll be 48 in a month(as you will be in a few)and I’ve just started wearing anti-wrinkle cream. But I think we also have good genetics, thank God. I don’t know. I feel young. I got asked out by one of our patients recently, he was 76. Not that I wouldn’t consider it ever. He just wasn’t my type……
    Keep on Truckin’

  11. christine September 24, 2010 / 5:03 am

    Hello…anyone knows where is Tony Houlberg?
    María-Christina Roger from Ecuador

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