2. loka, 2017

Relaxing on the beach in northern Peru

A gentle breeze is swaying the palm leaves slowly, and bringing foamy waves onto the white sandy beach. frigate birds are reaching to the skies, high above our heads, whereas a flock of pelicans is flying in an impressive formation, as close to the sea surface as possible. A long tailed lizard is sunning itself on a sun scorched rock without moving a muscle, not unlike us laid on our reed mats on the beach, in a north Peruvian village of Zorritos, situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. 

We have left Lima and it’s noisy, chaotic traffic behind us, and are glad to have got out of the way of the riots that ended up turning violent. The police were ripping the protesters signs, and even used water canons and tear gas against folks from the local university. The sea breeze feels ever so refreshing after the polluted capital city. This is pretty much paradise on earth! We observe the antics of nearby crabs, as they peek outside their hiding holes in the sand with their pinhead-like eyes. If we move even slightly, they crawl straight back to their holes. We stay still for a while, so the crabs feel brave enough to come out on the sand and start making tiny balls from the sand. They make dozens of sand balls in no time at all! The purpose of this activity remains a mystery to us. Do they do it just to pass the time? Or to protect their eggs. Do they mix their waste in with the sand? Or are they about to start a footie match?

When we decide to get up and cool down in the sea for a bit we’re in for a surprise! A large seal swims by, right next to us. It even greets us with a horn-like “honk” as it swims away.

We’ve enjoyed a few leisurely days at Swiss Wass, a campsite run by a lovely Swiss couple. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the rare opportunity to access facilities kept up to European standards. Clean toilets, a warm shower, roomy washing machine and working internet connection are all luxuries that are hard to come by in South America. Much to our delight, the campsite plays host to other likeminded travelers too, overlanders from all over Europe. Although we all come from different countries and backgrounds, we immediately feel a certain connection to these people, couples and families traveling the world in their own respective vehicles. Some of us are traveling along the Panamericana towards the north, some towards the south and now that we’ve met, we’re all happy to exchange information and experiences on road conditions, border controls, shipping experiences and their varying levels of success, and recommendations on sites worth a visit. We also exchange funny stories from along the way.

We meet some brave young families, traveling with children of different ages, who get homeschooled by their diligent parents. A few travelers are lucky enough to not be tied into a schedule of any kind, having already retired or otherwise cut their ties to the stresses of working life completely, by selling all they’d had and becoming travelers for the rest of their lives.

We make some plans and refine our schedule too, while booking a boat ticket from Colombia to Panama. Our time away is not without an end date, but just now, we’re happy. We’ve got a while yet to see and experience more places, but we’ve also got a home to return to and many loved ones waiting for our return.