Peru - "El Brujo"

In reading/seeing my previous posts, you can judge that my main purpose for going to Peru was to surf. However, the country has a unique history and culture... and I felt that I needed to visit a couple places with historical significance (since I didn't have a chance to go to Machu Picchu). I was also exhausted from surfing non-stop and needed to relax my body. Lucky for me, there was a major archeological site close to Chicama called El Brujo.

El Brujo is a series of temples built on top of each other and then covered with dirt. If you were driving or walking past it, it would have just looked like a hill. The reason Peruvians built temples on top of each other was to signify a change of government... and so that they would literally be ruling on top of their ancestors (the ancestors would be buried in the temple underneath). The temples served as the main worship area and the rulers would stay there. If you've ever seen the Mel Gibson movie Apacalypto, you will also know that the temples were used to conduct a massive amount of human sacrifices. Blood was very significant to Peruvians.

Inside the temple were intricate carvings and paintings (I also saw a mummy). However, the most interesting/spectacular thing to me was El Brujo's location. As you drive you through the coastal areas of Peru, it feels like you're on the surface of the moon. The coastal areas get about a half of inch of rain per year and there is absolutely no life... just a lot of rocks and sand (A LOT OF ROCKS!!). Every 50-100 miles though, you would come across a stripe of green that would stretch from the coast to the mountains. This stripe of green is where the rivers would come down from the Andes mountain range (it was also where all the towns were). The archeological site of El Brujo is situated on a patch of desert between the ocean and a lush green area (where a river comes down). It was striking to see the contrast of desert, green farm land, and bright blue ocean in one area. These are a few photos I took from El Brujo (what you can't see is all the wind that was trying to blow sand inside my camera and face).

Peruvian Gold - "Beer O'Clock"

Every night around 6:o0PM, the guests at Chicama Resort would gather on the deck area for "Beer O'Clock". The second (or third) surf session will have just finished, the sun is about to set, everyone is in a good mood (but exhausted), and beers/stories start flowing. It was one of my favorite times of the day because you could relax and reflect on a day of surfing amazing waves with new friends. Also, you just happened to have an amazing view overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

These are a few sunset photos I took... I don't have anything else to say other than "ENJOY!" & "VISIT PERU!"

(recommend to click on the photos to view in full size)

Peru - "The Surf" - The Cape

Just around the corner from Chicama is another amazing point break called "The Cape". The Cape will always be bigger than Chicama, but it is usually less powerful (and less crowded). Local fisherman claim that you can actually get a ride from the Cape all the way through Chicama... which would equal a ride of about 2.5 miles long. I didn't see this when I was there.

I liked having the boat driver take me to the Cape first, where I would catch my first "warm up wave"... and then drift over to Chicama to catch my second wave (which is just out of frame to the right). The only problem surfing at the Cape was the gigantic jellyfish floating around.

If you look out into the distance, you can see a little stump of an island. There is actually another point break off that island, but no one seems to surf it.

(recommend clicking on the photos to see them in full size)

Peru - "The Surf" - Pacasmayo

In disbelief that we have the entire place to ourselves.
Everyone I've spoken with claims that Chicama is the longest left hand point break in the world... however, some locals informed me that you can actually get a longer ride at Pacasmayo (which is a 45 drive up the coast from Chicama). It is RIDICULOUS that one country can have so many epic waves within a short distance.

One of the guests staying at Chicama Surf resort had the brilliant idea to organize a small dawn patrol mission to Pacasmayo. I was lucky enough to be included in the group and had an awesome time hanging out with them. The great thing about Pacasmayo is that it will always be about twice the size of Chicama... and on this particular day, the surf was 6-10ft. We had it all to ourselves for over 2 hours (unfortunately, there was no boat). Pacasmayo is a lot thicker and more powerful than Chicama. Also, the paddle out is a bit "sketchy"... you have to paddle through an area of jagged rocks to get to the point. When we first arrived, the tide was high... so most of the rocks were covered by a thin layer of water. It wasn't until later in the afternoon (on a lower tide) that we realized how lucky we were not to ding our boards or heads as we paddled out.

The cool thing about catching a wave at Pacasmayo is that when you're on the wave, it feels like you're going further out to sea. The wave just goes forever. I actually got longer rides here than Chicama.

(recommend clicking on the photos to see them in full size)
I couldn't capture the entire length of the wave with my standard lens. The wave starts behind the lighthouse and finishes to the left of my frame.

This guy offered surfers rides from the town (where the wave ended) to the top of the point. 
Talk about a sweet parking spot (our surf mobile is featured above) 

Peru - "The Surf" - Chicama

View from Chicama Surf patio. This was the view I had every afternoon after 3 hours of surfing in the morning.
Had feet torn up by reef, gave myself 2 black eyes when surfboard hit me on separate occasions (same eye), got stung in the face by a jellyfish, body is exhausted, face is sunburn, missed flight connection in Lima (was stuck there for 10 hours)... if I stopped there, it might seem like my holiday to Peru was a disaster. However, it was actually one of the best surf trips I've ever been on. I stayed at a resort on Peru's Northwest coast called Chicama Surf. This resort is situated right above the longest left hand point break in the world- Chicama. The general rule of thumb for Chicama is that the bigger the wave, the longer the ride. When I was there, you could get rides over a half mile long on the sets (with an occasional barrel on the takeoff or on the inside)... locals claim to have ridden waves over 1.5 miles long.

It's funny how great waves, great food, and a friendly atmosphere can make you forget any problems you might have had.

The resort at Chicama was very nice... friendly service, good food, and comfortable lodging. Since the wave was so long, they actually had a boat in the water that would pick you up after each ride (and take you back to the point). The first day I was there, I was anti-boat (thought it was cheating). However, the current was very strong and the walk was very long... therefore, I succumb to temptations after the first day and started using the boat. This might be one of the first trips where my legs got as much of a workout as my arms.

Another thing you'll notice from the photos is an absence of people in the water. Regardless of how famous Chicama is (within the surfing community), not many people make the journey down there. On the smallest day of the trip, it got a little crowded (happened to be a Brazilian holiday)... but nothing too bad. The wave is so long that it helps spread the crowd out.

(recommend clicking on the photos to view in full size)
Looking at Chicama from one of the 2nd floor balconies at Chicama Surf.

The guy walking below didn't use the boat... over a half mile walk to the point.
As you can see by the lines of white water, the wave peeled forever.