Huanchaco – the birthplace of surfing

Huanchaco wasn’t in any of our plans, but after bumping into Slovenians in Machu Picchu we hoped to meet them again (for a beer or two 🙂 ). Meeting in Lima wasn’t possible so we decided to modify our plan. And it was a good decision.

Together we went to Chan Chan. This is an archeological site from the time Chimor empire (900 AD – 1470 AD). Once it was a huge palace, today you can see walls, beautiful ornaments and tombs. The best thing was hiring a guide who explained everything. A few fun facts: the palace was built like a labyrinth. How did they find the way out? By simply following the birds (ornaments on the wall). When the king died,they left the palace a built a new one. They sacrificed people, 4 times per month, but only the strongest and the healthiest. Their favourite game was similar to today’s football and the winners (as a reward) – you guessed it, were sacrificed to the gods.

Chan Chan
Chan Chan

Huanchaco is a small beach village, with good ceviche and great waves for surfing. It is supposed to be the birthplace of surfing.

Caballito de totora boat - one of the first surf crafts
Caballito de totora boat – one of the first surf crafts

This is it. We’ll try to ride the waves for the first time in our lives. On the beach the instructor showed us how to stand up on a board. After a few repetitions on land it was time to get wet. We paddled out and tried getting used to the board, catching balance, paddling, turning… So far, so good. 🙂 Then it was time for catching the wave, standing up and actually riding the waves. The instructor held our boards, waiting for the right wave and then pushing us to get some speed. »All« we had to do was to paddle and to stand up and catch our balance. Believe it or not we both stood up the very first time.

Ready? Let's do this
Ready? Let’s do this

After about one hour we had enough (it is hard if you’re not used to paddling). Jure was already on land, but I wanted to try once more. I caught an amazing wave, stood up and rode to the beach. Actually on the beach. I was so overwhelmed by how good and long the wave was that I forgot to jump of the board. I broke 2 fins. Ooops. 🙂

But still, we were both proud to be so good on our first try. Beginners luck, or how it’s called? 😀


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