I was invited to spend a weekend with a local family in the town of Chiclayo, located about a six-hour car-drive away from Chimbote where I am currently living. The town whose nicknames are “The Capital of Friendship” or the “Pearl of the North” with its many lovely parks, shopping centres, prestigious universities and clean beaches (where recycling is normal, hurray) will make you want to stay longer than you planned…
Peru is not necessarily a place you would choose for its marvellous beaches. Greece, Croatia, Bali, Gili, Thailand, The Philippines, Polynesia, the Caribbean, Japan or Australia are more likely to attract your attention as a beach life lover. However, the renowned Máncora district up in the North of Peru does have its charm which might draw you in, be it the whale watching, swimming with sea turtles, hot springs, wild little foxes or mangroves.
As the world has plunged deeply into the Covid pandemic and started questioning various phenomena (political, medicinal, ethical, existential), many people opted to leave big cities for smaller ones or – even better – for the countryside, in a need of being closer to nature, in an understanding that life in harmony with nature is something deeply inherited, something where our roots origin.
Pokračovat ve čtení „Peru Rural – How I Learned to Play Bingo and Saw the Chickens Die“
When I first heard about Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and magic realism, I was at Grammar School and interested much more in JD Salinger, Virginia Woolf and stories like Flowers for Algernon. How could I know back then that one day I shall be living out magic realism, in South America, namely, in Peru?
Due to the pandemic, travelling has become a rather complicated issue. Certain countries won’t let you in, others require expensive Covid tests. Some people are afraid to travel as they could get stuck in a place due to a quarantine, others are in panic due to prejudice, thinking that foreigners coming to their country could bring diseases. Thus, the decision of many is to explore the places in the country where they are currently living, be it their homelands, to which they have returned for a save anchoring, or a foreign land, where they got locked-down or where they resolved to stay – for various reasons.
Living in the industrial town of Chimbote, as a poetic soul, you surely feel the need to get out and explore. And in the Santa Province, which is unknown to tourists, but popular among archaeologists from all over the world, there is a lot to see.
I thought no other market in the world could beat the Chinatown markets across the globe or the food markets in the metropoles of Southeast Asia. Then, I came to Peru…
Tourists often come to Peru with distorted ideas concerning what the country is like. Narratives such as The Celestine Prophecy (no, you really can’t get to Iquitos by car, which is not the only delusion of this reading), the “phenomenon of shamanism“ (which I wrote about HERE) and the visits merely to touristic Cuzco (and Sacred Valley) or the bohemian and luxurious districts of Barranco and Miraflores in Lima, offer a certain picture of the country which is pretty far-fetched compared to the grey reality of every day.
As most world travellers and bloggers – due to the world pandemic panic – headed back to their home countries and the safety nets of their comfortable housings and loving family arms, I became a castaway in a country whose language I still barely speak and where the quarantine rules are so strict I sometimes find it hard to understand what are e.g. people from Central Europe, who can still (even during the lockdown) use their cars and go to the countryside, woods and parks to connect with the nature, complaining about…