We arrived in Lima just before midnight on the 1st and got through customs, immigration, and to our hotel by about 1 am. After a long awaited horizontal sleep, we headed out with our friend Luis to find cell phones and internet access. Nextel phones was a relatively simple affair but had to use Luis physical address as we don't have a postal address in El Nuro. Unlike the states, you don't get your phone immediately at the store. We will have to pick up our two days hence in Chiclayo.
We went to Claro to get the device we needed to connect to the internet. Once again, Luis stepped in as they required proof of income to be sure we could pay for it. The internet access is provided by a modem that you plug into the side of your computer. It's pretty cool to be able to use the internet while we were traveling in the van!
If we ever decided to run off, Luis would be in trouble!
Later that afternoon, Edinson, my Spanish teacher, came by the hotel and shared dinner with us. Not long after dinner, Georg showed up and we were able to go over the house plans with him and ask questions from our long list. Georg has the contacts and he was very helpful in giving us advise.
Thursday we were up early and on the PanAmerican Highway north. The entire coast of Peru is a dessert so we traveled through expanses of sand dunes. At different points along the way the sand had blown onto the highway and workers were shoveling it off by hand. I imagine their jobs are secure as drifting sand seems to be quite a problem along the ocean beaches. As it is still winter here, there has been some misty rain falling and some valleys were green. We had some beautiful views of the ocean.
Along the way we encountered two groups of pilgrims walking along the side of the highway. They were wearing purple robes and carrying a statue of Jesus. They were also carrying small backpacks and sleeping rolls. They told us they were walking to Piura which is more than 1000 kilometers from where we encountered them! Many of the religious take on these pilgrimages as a penance or in the hopes the Lord will grant them a wish. For example, if a member of the family gets cancer, other members of the family and friends may take on a pilgrimage.
We stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Chimbote a little after one o'clock. Chimbote is a fairly large city and port along the coast. It wasn't very clean or prosperous and apparantly the crime rate is quite high as well.
At about 4 in the afternoon we stopped at a hostal in Huanchaco. It was still overcast but the surfers were still out trying to catch a wave or two. We'll head out to dinner here pretty soon, and will probably turn in rather early. Tomorrow will another early start.
The long reed canoe like boats leaning up against the wall are used by the local fishermen. They sit astride the boat and fill it with their catch.