Today I set off from Hostal Casa Fresh in Huanchaco, a cool and chilled surf town just north of Trujillo. I had a day off yesterday and enjoyed the time off visiting the Chan Chan ruins (the historical capital of the Chimu culture – 850AD to Inca conquest in 1470AD) and eating delicious cakes. The number of cakes I ate really brought it home just how addicted to sugar and all things sweet I really am. But it’s hard to get myself to stop snacking when I am managing to cover the distances day after day.
Anyway today’s run was slightly different to normal because I had company. Richy, the chap who runs the hostel, and Kevin, his friend, accompanied me for the first 15km of the run. It was really nice to have some other people to run along with especially as they took it in turns to push the stroller. This was the first running on this expedition I have not had to push the mighty chariot. Both Richy and Kevin are similar to me as they have thrown in City jobs for a life pursuing happiness rather than pure financial gain. It was really refreshing to hear their thoughts and perspectives and gave me motivation to continue down this avenue!
We stopped for breakfast on the outskirts of Trujillo and then parted ways. They got a taxi back to the hostel and I hit the road south. My original target was about 40km further south but as usual this changed. Today’s running was as beautiful as it has been through this part of Peru. On the right the land sloped down to the sea and on the left the sand stretched back to the base of huge mountains that grew as I got further. By the time I finished the setting sun was creating some amazing shadows and I was starting to worry that there could be some hills ahead.
As I drew closer to my end spot I realised I had more juice in the tank and decided to kick on to a town called Viru. The only problem was that Viru wasn’t where it said it was on my map. I arrived in a rather shabby village with no accommodation and no camping options. The main hustle and bustle was at the back where a line had formed about 400m long, zigzagging around parked cars and along the pavement. I asked around and the only accommodation turned out to be in Viru which was situated about 3km off the highway. Having covered 60km I decided an extra 3k wasn’t going to kill me!
It turnout out that the detour was kind of worth it. The town of Viru is definitely not pretty but it has character. After I found somewhere to sleep and got some food in me (I missed lunch today) I went for a saunter around. There seemed to be two main squares. One was filled with wooden stalls selling all sorts of goods from fruit to beauty products. As it was dark lights hung down from single wires and in some candles flickered. The street had been paved in the past but today it was pot holed and uneven. The other square was your more typical town square but what made this one special is that a group of about 40 school kids where practising some traditional dancing. It was a scene that you would never see in the UK which is sad. South American culture has definitely maintained their connection to the past in a way I think we have forgotten. I am very tempted to just wear my kilt when I return – I think I might have the legs for it after all this running!!!