Twirling in the mess of year-end (with novels and excerpts of philosophers set astrewn past us), I set sights on Áncash, a region of Northern Peru where the Andes become the second highest chain in the world, after the Himalayas. Such is the kind of things you may expect from Peru.
In fact we have not yet arrived to Áncash – for now still in Huanchaco (the name brings to mind its namesake Juanchaco in Colombia – the two towns share the fact of being located on the Pacific Ocean, yet seem to be extremely different in climate, population, food, activities, weather). We’ll start tomorrow our ascent in the direction of Áncash!
For four days we have been immersed in the mist, the intensity of waves, the harshness of the desert, the suaveness of the accent, the weird cold (even in summer) of the northern Pacific coast of Peru, the region of La Libertad, near Trujillo, Huanchaco:
days of reading Paradiso, of visiting ancient cities (Huaca de la Luna y del Sol is a Mochic city+palace built between the first and the ninth centuries CE, Chan-Chan is a chimú city built between roughly 900 CE and 1400 CE, Huaca Arco Iris – so named because of the rainbow patterns all over is from a similar age), of eating ceviches and many other variants of seafood – apparently ceviche has been a staple here for millennial times, of walking by the rough and cold and misty sea, of taking ever-honking combis, of trying to read a bit more of The World as Will and Representation, of remembering how brutally modernistic and just surprising and readable Vallejo’s Trilce is, in the city where he grew up, …
of trying to find books (not so easy here so far, although we already found a very pretty local bookstore with very good editions and translations to Spanish), of having to not try most of the dishes that look so inviting in the menus
of reading, of swimming (yet the knee’s wound reopened thanks to a rock in the Ocean and I had to go to a local posta médica and have a sampling of the public Peruvian medical system – better, much better than expected, and certainly much better than what you would probably get in a small fishing hamlet in the Colombian Pacific coast), of
of tasting and sampling more than tastebuds can manage normally
of never really understanding fresh days and warm nights – I can undress and read and be comfortable at night (open windows, breeze), something hard in places like Bogotá yet when you go to the beach in the afternoon you feel you need a sweater
of listening to honking ever-honking cars – the worst drivers this side of the Ocean, I believe, and a way of dealing with transport that brings back the dark ages of Bogotá and Chía, with overcrowded minibuses blasting sound and with helpers screaming the destination at the top of their lungs, trying to fit 25 people in the space of 10, and the driver honking nonstop and in perpetual competition with all other combi drivers
of admiring the Mochic sense of naturality and beauty that seems to perspire from their representations of sex in their ceramics (interpreted as connecting our world with the earth, with the sea, with water, with the world of the dead, with the bringing of life – the ceramics represent all sorts of variants of reproductive and non-reproductive sex acts – with a common denominator of liveliness – the couples do not seem tortured, possessive, they seem to enjoy themselves – pleasure and its connection to life is perhaps the main point here)
of and Zariski schemes and two-cardinals cooking up