September 14-15, 2016
Over the next two days in Colan Sylvie and I slept late and went out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We watched the sunsets from our guesthouse while enjoying Peruvian beers and reading our books.
Both days we walked 40 to 50 minutes to get to an expansive beach that stretched as far as our eyes could see...in both directions. We had our own beach…well...almost! The only other forms of life sharing our beach were the hundreds of birds flying ahead and a handful of stray dogs that would routinely stroll by as if saying, “howdy, welcome to the neighborhood”. The strays here in Latin America have been among the best-behaved dogs I’ve even seen. I have never heard a dog bark, beg for food, or show any type of aggression. Although the water was very nice Sylvie and I spent the majority of time on the beach talking and reading our books. There was a nice cool wind the first day that made the temperature quite moderate but the second day the wind wasn’t as strong, causing us to really feel the sun’s heat.
For every meal we ate we enjoyed our privacy, as we seemed to be the only people eating at the restaurants. In fact, we never saw more than a dozen people outside at any one time. Sylvie and I couldn’t help but feel this city was some type of ghost town. We took a walk and explored the city, off the beach, for an hour or two. What we saw just further confused us.
We came across half-constructed houses, abandoned exercise equipment, and paved roads just terminating into unpaved dirt. There were structures that resembled the front of houses, but lacked roofs, other walls, and even floors. Some of these structures had cows just chilling inside. We saw children playing by themselves in streets. The construction of some houses seemed to have halted altogether—an exposed wooden frame filled in with straw.
What made this city so odd were the scatterings of newly developed structures interlaced with the decrepit and incomplete construction. There were parks sprinkled throughout the city. Parks had lamps, drainage, proper foundation, and even landscaping. The houses lacked all of these things. The only grass we saw in the city was in the parks. One park even had a soccer field with turf. I think the city was given government money and had a large development project. Unfortunately most of the city’s ‘new’ construction was largely unused. New houses with benches outside being unused while houses that were falling down right next-door were in full use? As Sylvie and I took a dirt road back through a desolate field we saw an old woman hacking up some wood. The visual of the lone woman on the abandoned field in this ghost town left shivers running down our spines.
Back in town we enjoyed our first good salad since arriving in Latin America. Even though the lettuce was minced up iceberg we had avocado, cucumber, tomato, and broccoli—all toped with an amazing citrus vinaigrette. Unfortunately the pizza we had that night wasn’t that good. It was room temperature—they had simply melted cheese on an already-cooked piece of pizza dough. We fed some stray dogs the remainder of the pizza we couldn’t stomach.
One night we watched the movie, Birdman. What a god-awful movie. It was one of those films that tried to be deeper than it was. It did, however, deliver on some unique cinematography and fairly good acting. The storyline unfortunately was laced with logical inconsistencies and the plot…well it was just plain out retched.
We were happy to have found this sleepy town of Colan, Peru. We can easily say that this is the most isolated and off-the-beaten-path place we’ve been to so far. We were able to find one place in the entire city that had wi-fi. They had to turn it on for us and it used a phone line, but it was blazing fast compared to what we’ve had to endure in the hostels. We were able to book an overnight (17 hr) bus ride to Lima. We paid a little more ($53/per person) to get the executive class. After a van to Paita, a bus to Piura, and a taxi to the terminal we were able to board our bus leaving at 5pm for lima.