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Wed May 28 2014: The Extraordinary Life of a 3,000 year Old Seahorse

Another long riding day: 11.1 kms. 16 minutes by Google Maps. We'll have to leave extra early today... :)

We've decided to head to the beach instead of staying in the loud and noisy city of Trujillo. The road leading out is lined with garbage and once again we're reminded of how unkempt this country is compared to where we came from. Huanchaco is where we're headed - a nice beach resort town where the locals and gringo tourists spend their weekends and vacations. It feels a bit silly to pack up all our bags and suit up like we normally do just to ride down the street.

All the restaurants on the main street hire hustlers who stand out in the street and try to steer you inside

Caballito de totora - literally translated "Small horse made of totora (a reed)"

These "small horses" are all lined up everywhere on the shores and are the official symbol of Huanchaco. They're traditional Peruvian fishing boats and their images are plastered liberally on billboards, taxis and storefronts. They've been in use by indigenous fishermen for over 3,000 years, originally made and used by a tribe called the Uru in a time well before the Incas. Although seemingly unchanged from the olden days, we peered inside one of them and noticed that these Caballitos have a modern twist: the insides are stuffed with styrofoam to make them more bouyant!

Another kind of Cabillito de Huanchaco

Neda is soaking up the sun

We find ourselves continually extending our stay in Huanchaco... or delaying our departure into southern Peru... We don't really feel like moving much. Every day we tell the hotel that we're going to stay another day. This lasts for over a week. We are definitely feeling a little burnt out and like last summer, we are thinking about going back to Toronto to visit our family and friends for a little while. On social media, I scroll through pictures of everyone's Victoria Day weekend vacation shots. The weather is getting nicer back in Toronto, and the skies are blue - quite unlike the grey and white cloudy skies that we've been traveling under for the last few months.

A line of little green Peruvian ducklings crossing the street

Picture perfect! A couple poses on the beach for their wedding shots.

Surfing and fishing are the two most popular past times in Huanchaco

In the afternoons, the Caballitos take to the water dragging fishing nets behind them

We watch them come in one by one, the bellies of their horses filled with their daily catch

Locals and tourists in the know intercept the fishermen right on the beach and buy up all the juiciest fish
before they take them to sell to the restaurants and markets

Our dinner is cooking while we wait hungrily. Seafood pretty much every single day! Paradise!

Huanchaco has its fair share of tree-hugger restaurants serving up a variety of Ovo-Lacto-Vego-Hempo food. Neda is in heaven and wants to sample everything. I stare at the menus looking for anything that resembles red meat. No joy here for me.

Boxercise class right on the shores of the beach

Horses at rest watching another Huanchaco sunset

"El Muelle" otherwise known as the Huanchaco Pier is the centrepiece of the town

The pier is the busiest place in this small town, and locals and tourists both pay a small fee of a few cents to stroll up and down it. Many of the locals make it worth their while by fishing off the pier. I eye their homemade gear of green translucent line wrapped around small wooden boards with skepticism, but the buckets sitting beside them full of small and medium size catch speak otherwise to their success rate. I watch this woman above reel up a small fish, she smiles and shows it to me and tells me that it's too small and then throws it back in. It will be a bigger fish to fry some other day.

As soon as the sun begins to set, the pier gets more and more busier

Love the west coast sunsets! But the weather yields some good, some just okay.

El Muelle lit up in the distance

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