Well after booking tickets back to the United States, I have about two weeks left in Peru. So, I could rush down to Machu Picchu (40 hours by bus!) or I could actually explore northern Peru. First stop after Zorritos is the hot all year round Piura. Described by most as a stop only to change buses, i’ve stopped to try the renowned food. The Piurans claim Lima stole their traditional food.
The city itself does not contain a lot of things to see, with only the requisite church or two and otherwise a bustling downtown where people were working. I was underwhelmed with the chavelo (yuca, green plantains and a dried meat) at famous Los Santitos in town so I headed out to Catacaos, a town known for it’s arts, crafts and Criollo cuisine. I got lost, found the regular market and enjoyed a ceviche snack, and finally found the artisan market to buy souvenirs. I’ve always said my family and friends are getting presents from my last country, and this is it.
Next up was lunch. The tourist information office suggested one place, and I was mildly concerned when the cab driver told me that place was too rustic and took me to a place instead that he pointed out “had more families”. I assume I lost something in translation. Luckily I didn’t need to worry.
Sadly, that taxi incident was probably the best of the interactions I’ve had in this town as most of the taxi drivers are double charging me. It infuriates me more that they know it, they know I know it, but what do you do then? It helps to know the exact rates things should be and just plant that in their hand before walking out.
I’m a speed shopper and rushed back to Piura to try some of the famed ceviche. The darned cevicherias are only open for lunch between about noon to four. Don Pedrito, what Gaston Acurio said was the best he’s ever had. I don’t know about that but it was good. I could’ve used a bit less lime and more chiles. It was a bit hard to find as it had moved to 280 Roma from its listed address in an article as 132 Roma.
The accommodation in Peru is proving more expensive than I thought. So while I am occasionally still able to get my own room, sometimes the bathrooms are shared.
Onwards I go through this desert wasteland that is the northern Peruvian coast. The bus rides are through dusty empty lanes and the cities are not on the gringo trail, for better or worse.