Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Trip to Punto Hermosa

Having wanted to go to the beaches of Peru for sometime now, Mel and I decided to take a bus trip down to Punto Hermosa just south of Lima for the day. So we packed our backpacks and headed to the bus stop on the side of the Pan American Highway.

Punto Hermosa is approximately one hour via bus towards San Bartalo and is a straight shot down the coast of Peru. Along the way you are reminded that Lima was planted in the middle of a desert. Vast sand dunes line the road as we zip through the spaces between barrios. Shanty villages spot the horizon with their vibrant blues, greens and yellows. The homes align themselves in perfect rows up the steep dunes where the only method to reach the different elevations are steps that look like they could have been used to scale the Great Pyramids.

Further down the road the scenery changed as the sand seemed to fade away and the shanty villages crept closer to the main road. From the bus it was apparent that the major industries in Lurin were lumber (what looks to be palm) and auto repair. Small cevecherias were spread sparingly between the little businesses for locals' nourishment.

Finally we arrived at Punta Hermosa, a small beach town with dirt roads and modest houses. After being dropped off at the guarding post, we decide to walk down to the locally renowned beach and try our hand at the local ceviche.

Punto Hermosa has a very unique personality. It draws you toward the beach with the down gradient of its unpaved roads and lures you even closer with the its romantic outside dining over looking this small ocean. People laid out on what is the first sand covered beach we have seen here in Peru (most are covered in smooth stones), as the Peruvian Ice cream vendors pushed their bright colored carts around on the horseshoe shaped sidewalk cupping the sea. As we sat outside eating our ceviche, we were able to see surf lessons are delivered to kids and families enjoying themselves in the Pacific.

After our long lunch at La Rotunda (and two large Pilsens, as no lunch is complete without), we decided to move back down to ground level and take in more of this beautiful, unique town. At the far reach of the beach were resorts, or large house, or extremely condensed towns, or who knows... that could been seen. Surfers still in the ocean tried to catch meager waves as the gently rolled in. People began to make their way up the concrete steps off the beach and into the small eateries surrounding the beach. Here they ate their anticuchos or ceviche and beer. And this is where we found ourselves eventually: a no named, small eatery located twenty yards from the beach, having a final Pilsen for the night.

With plastic beach chairs and umbrellas covering the four outdoor tables, we sat down and ordered a small portion of fried yucca and another beer and quickly made friends with the neighboring table of Peruvians. As with most random conversations we have, this one was full of cheer and laughter. It could have been from the jigsaw speech of their broken English or our broken Spanish, but it made for a wonderful final event for our visit to this petite seaside town.

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