Sunday, 25 January 2009

The day after the night before

I had planned to visit to Chulacanos, East of Piura leaving a little earlier than 10.30 am. It is the first town before crossing the Sierras towards the interior jungle so I thought that as well as offering some contrast to larger city of Piura, I might get a change of scenery.

I left late due to the previous evening's combined effects of too many drinks and a late night. Juan had enticed me out for a drink in town and and we spent a pleasant couple of hours chatting in the bar and then there were a couple of professional singers who livened up the place. On leaving Juan suggested we check out Queens, a disco in Miraflores, near where we live; so why not?

Entrance was only 15 Soles, about $5 and included a drink. It was an extensive and buzzing venue and seemed to comprise mainly couples dancing to vibrant Latin beats. There was ample use of lasers and smoke machines and and, of course, the dancers were mainly young. Earlier, Juan had explained the difference between enamorados and novios, the latter implying a wedding in prospect, the former, something else. Difficult to tell but probably there were some hot dates hereabouts.

I suppose my inhibitions had somewhat drifted and as the occasion took hold I began to dance. Usually this is the point where my family leave the room but it couldn't have been too bad because I soon attracted a couple of partners and we continued dancing for about 15 minutes until they found something better to do. Juan left me to it and I stayed a little longer, but realising my judgment may be erring a tad I walked the short distance home arriving at about 3.30 am.

So the next day brought a fragile beginning and after some fruit for breakfast I took a taxi to the bus station and paid my 3 Soles fare to Chulacanos, a ride of about an hour. It was headlined as the Tourist Bus, but I think this is speculative because as far as I could see I was the lone tourist in Chulacanos that day. I was pleased to notice the change in the scenery and we headed out of Piura. The scrubby sandy soil gave way to a richer brown and the recent rain had given it a greener effect feeling somehow more familiar. There wasn't much to see but we passed, small buildings with different livestock and the odd grove of trees. Eventually I spotted the mountains.

On reaching Chulacanos there were an enormous number of motor taxis. I avoided them and found my way to an extensive market and I grazed on the spectacle as I walked through each section. Later I came across a row of cycle repair shops and some ceramic stores where I bought a couple of small pieces. The ceramics here are of good quality and very cheap but the problems in carrying much with you or shipping it out seemed insurmountable, at least to the vendors. Generally one cant find much of high value or the means to ship it.

I had wanted to go to Vicus where there is an archaeological site but in the Plaza I met a nice man who described himself as a journalist. He told me there really wasn't much to see as most of it was underground and there wasn't the funding to develop the site. His journalism was the production a small weekly magazine, revistilla whereby he chronicled local events and accused the mayor of corruption. He mentioned that there had been a recent medical mission from USA visiting the town offering free services to families and he enjoyed the fact that my name Alan, is the same as president Alan Garcia and was set to impress his wife that he had just been chatting to 'Alan' in the street.

Finally, before leaving I walked a little way out of town to get a photo of the mountains and stopped by a street vendor who had a little petrol generator to power up her liquidizer and was selling freshly pulped pineapple juice, delicious and refreshing!


snoopdoug said...

Hey Alan you're clearly loving it out there. I think being that far from home reduces the punishment for the crime of Dad dancing to a dismissive shoulder shrug. Lovely update keep them coming.

malarkey said...

Thanks for the encouragement to not lie!