Recharging in Huanchaco
I have a confession to make: I don’t think I’m cut out for ongoing travel.
Wah-wah, I’m traveling through South America and it’s wearing me down.
Okay, hard is probably the wrong word. It’s exhausting. I remember now why I like to travel expat-style, using one place as a base to explore the surrounding areas. Four months of decision-making and hostel-staying and money-spending was slowing me down.
But I’ve been doing this long enough to know better – there are solutions for this travel-weariness that I seem to have lost sight of.
Rule #1: Factor in enough time to relax.
Rule #2: Move slowly.
Rule #3: Go to the beach.
You can replace ‘beach’ with whatever word describes your happy place – ‘mountains,’ ‘treehouse,’ ‘potato farm,’ I don’t care, just make time to do it.
Finally, in Peru, we got to the beach and I was relieved. Back at sea level, my lungs cheered and I no longer felt like I’d aged 50 years in a few thousand meters. We had nothing to see, nowhere to go, and no agenda.
Huanchaco, Peru is about 15 minutes from Trujillo, a major city on the north coast.
We didn’t go into Trujillo’s city center once. Why bother? we said. For four nights, we bummed around this sparse, dusty beach town. Jared surfed. I paddled around once, but mostly read books, walked aimlessly, and caught up on writing work.
Oh – and we ate.
Peru’s gastronomical scene is booming. I’d missed out in Lima, where I came down with gut-blasting diarrhea and nearly shat myself on a crowded bus.
Sorry about the graphic imagery. It’s one of my specialties.
Luckily, I was largely recovered and ready to try again in Huanchaco. Right across from McCallum’s hostel was a new restaurant called Saksay. It wasn’t in the guidebooks because it was so new – a brightly painted blue and purple building staffed by a German-trained cook and Monik the pastry goddess.
If you ever go to Huanchaco, for the love of god, go to this restaurant.
2016 EDITOR’S NOTE: I think this restaurant has shut down and possibly re-opened under a different name, though reviews indicate it isn’t nearly as good. RIP Saksay 🙁
For 10-15 soles (roughly $4) you can get the menu of the day, which changes according to whatever’s fresh. It often includes a drink like fresh apple juice or a passionfruit cocktail. And dessert – agh, the dessert. It’s so good it hurts.
Four days later, I was back in the game. Ready for our destination. Prepared to take on the road.
Which was really easy, considering that our next destination was Mancora, Peru: another beach.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.