Published: May 23rd 2012May 23rd 2012
Where did we last leave off? Ah yes, I was waiting for Caesar to come grab me for a glass of wine.
The past 3 days have been fascinating.
So, finally knowing where I was headed, feeling still not completely at ease, but knowing the answers I seek lie on the path I'm headed down (whatever that may be), I had some wine with Caesar and continued chatting away about philosophy and life. A lovely last night in a beautiful place I hadn't yet enjoyed a second of.
The next morning I woke up, renewed and ready to move on. Caesar was also leaving Vilcabamba that day, so he said he would give me a ride to Loja. As I was waiting for Caesar, I was looking at some jewelry at the front made by a local artisan.
That's when I saw it. My tooth. Or what I once thought was a tooth. I mentioned it briefly when I mentioned my tree necklace breaking. I had worn them together for 6 months. The ¨tooth¨ had very jagged edges, like mini teeth sticking out of it. Whenever I felt alone, or needed strength, I would grab it tight. I had given it to Yannick at my first Shambhala (music festival), as he needed it then more than I did. He then passed it on to a friend of his who was going to India. That necklace, it's powerful.
I hadn't seen a necklace anything like this again, ever. And there she was. I couldn't resist and got it. Apparently it's not a tooth at all! The fish it's from is from the Amazon, its scientific name being Baku, but its local name is Matacaiman, or crocodile killer. It has three of these spiky things on it to protect the little guy from crocodiles and other big fish. So, armed with my matacaiman for strength and protection, and my rose quartz for guidance, it was time to move on.
So I spent the next hour in Caesar's car, enjoying beautiful sights of mountains as we drove up and down the twisting roads. We said our goodbyes in Loja, me thanking him profusely, and then I went to buy my ticket to... Peru. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I went on a weekend trip to Ecuador. I realised that every time I leave Peru I regret it. I have nearly 2 months left of adventure, and I thought I needed to move on to see more things. But it's really not how many different places you see, or how many people you meet, it's about the places that really call to your heart. Peru is where my heart waited for me for 2 years... and I'm not going to leave it so fast.
When I went to buy my ticket I found out I had to take a bus first to Piura in Peru, then to Zorritos. Note: Zorritos is a mere hour north of Mancora. Yes, I took a 12 hour bus to Vilcabamba only to come back down here. I'll be in Mancora soon, wouldn't you know it (4th time in Mancora in 2 and a half years.)
Anyways the bus only ran twice a day, and it wasn't going until 11pm. I had 10 hours to kill in a city I knew nothing about, and I'd given the bus company my backpack, containing my tour book, so I didn't have to carry it all day. I went to the centre and wandered for a while, cracking up at hilarious signs - pizza cones, vegetarian pizza containing ham and pepperoni, etc. I'd been wandering for a good 5 hours when I saw my first gringo of the day. We passed, my headphones in, and gave each other a polite smile. Then I stopped, and thought, ¨Wait a minute.. I have 5 more hours to kill, nothing to do, and no one to talk to...¨ so I turned around and hollered back at him, ¨Do you speak English?!¨
And a friendship was born. For the next 5 hours Menno from Holland and I chatted away, sitting at a cafe sipping on beer, sharing travel stories, followed by an epic adventure to find vegetarian food for me. We were getting so lost, being such tourists pulling out his tour book to try and figure out where this restaurant was. Finally we succeeded, and I gave him a high five. Seriously we'd been walking for an hour, half of the time in the opposite direction... the place was about 3 blocks from where we started out. So we walk in and... they were about to close. Really?! Sigh, we continued on. The whole city of Loja seems to go dead and close by around 8 oclock, so finding me food was no mean feet.
Another hour later, starving and unsuccessful, we went to an expensive Italian place - the prices being exactly what we'd pay back home, but we had no other options.
But oh god was it delicious.
Finally I left for the bus station and hopped on. 8 hours later we arrived in Piura, me being completely groggy and out of it from a combination of lack of sleep and valium for attempted bus sleeping, and I asked a cab driver how I get to Zorritos, a tiny town an hour north of Mancora. He took me to the airport where I got in a collectivo, so a big van they put people in. I was in and out of sleep but before I knew it (or 5 hours later...) I arrived here.
Tres Puntas Hostel, Zorritos. What a sight. There's a beautiful bridge made out of trees, and it's epic, plus I camp right out there on the sand. It's so calm here, and is exactly what I needed for a couple of days. The hostel is a few kilometers out of town, so it's completely peaceful. I can cook (badly) for myself saving (a little) money here, too. The sunsets and views are gorgeous. I actually noticed right away next to my hammock a million ants enjoying the leaves on the small tree beside me. It reminded me of going to the bug zoo in Victoria a year ago with Cam, Randy, and Kyle, and how my favorite part was the ants. Intricate paths they wove, eating and carrying a ton of little pieces of leaves. I like the ants.
When I first arrived I was starving and needed to go into town to get some veggies and such. Well, the road outside of the hostel is the highway. Mototaxis don't go by terribly often, especially later in the day. So who should stop and pick me up? The police. The freakin police gave me a ride into town. They were awesome.
Today I learned that all the construction here is for a swimming pool that's going in. I guess they've been talking about it for 12 years. The reason there is the money now, the guy who told me this guesses, is because of the hairless dogs here in Peru. I guess the President of Peru gave Barrack Obama a hairless dog; they run around everywhere here. I'm told Obama's daughter was allergic to dogs so that's why the President of Peru sent him one. So now the dogs are incredibly popular, and they go for 6000 Euros each! So the owner here sells them, and, well... pool!
There are about 7 other guests here, and I'm the only camper currently. There's a tent next to mine, and the woman in it stumbled upon this place walking up the beach... a year and a half ago. So she thought she'd stay. But she's currently staying in a room, as are two couples.
I met the older couple from Australia last night, and we chatted over dinner. They had a tour guide with them, a Peruvian man, and they creeped me out when they mentioned they had a tarantula in their room earlier. I commented that I'd been warned about snakes at night here. The Peruvian guide said that he'd never seen a snake here... but then again he'd never seen a tarantula. Then he told me that what I really needed to worry about were scorpions. So I went to bed, with all 20 dogs who live in the hostel area howling away, rather frightened of what might await me by my tent. But all was well, no creatures to attack me... for now.
Then there's the family I met today who live in a huge 5th wheel - a man from the States, a woman from Poland, and their two kids - age 1 and 3, born in Ecuador.
The guy brought the fifth wheel and the truck down from the States - an epic journey. He had to drive it from Oregon to Florida, before shipping it to Colombia, then driving across Colombia for 8 days. He was telling me how he had to drive uphill for 2 days straigh, and then downhill for another 2 days straight. His brakes definitely caught on fire, and it was just him and his 2 and a half year old little boy. They invited me over to their beautiful trailer, and just kept giving me snacks, tokes, and chatting away with me. They met while traveling 8 years ago, and, well, now they're living here for a year, on the beach, with their two children who were made on the road. Then they're going back to Ecuador to live. What a beautiful life.
Anyways, it's almost time for sunset so I'll leave you there. All my l***ove!
***UPDATE: I definitely saw a tarantula last night.