Day 61: Huanchaco – A Mysterious Day at the Beach

Coincidentally, I ended up in a beach town called Huanchaco instead of Trujillo after I was struggling to find an affordable hotel. Since I was already close by to the ocean I decided to follow the coastal highway and surprisingly discovered this surfers paradise.

It was strange to leave the more than 4000 m mountain ranges behind to be all of a sudden at sealevel.

I found a great layed back zen hostel which provided surfgear and yoga lessons and was looking forward to spend some time here.

The town as such was actually pretty touristy with loads of different kind of accomodations and restaurants but due to low season almost half of the places were completely empty. Unfortunately, the weather was not showing its best side and fog and rather chilly temperatures were determining the atmosphere.

I enjoyed it very much though and went for a day walk up and down the beach which was a great change to my usual daily routine, the biking.

I realized how much I missed the sea and its smell and told me to not want to miss it again in future.

Sadly but also at the same time exciting, I discovered plenty of rotten cadavers of dead animals, amongst others dolphins or small whales, pelikans and even large sea lions. Small red crabs played the biological police and were all over the scenario, cutting small holes into the cadaver resulting in ugly bleeding “wounds”. Sometimes the wind direction would be changing and I suddenly smelled the rotten cadavers which urged me to almost throw up. It was disgusting but stipulated me to find out more about this surreal scenario and beach cemetery. Were those animals dying a natural death or was there another reason for it?

I checked the rotten surroundings of the dead animals but could not find any outer impacts like shark bites or other possible injuries from predators or human impacts like fishing nets.

Was there industry in the surrounding areas possibly releasing sort of toxic waste into the sea? I could not see anything…

There was plenty of plastic along the beach and it would have been interesting if they possibly died because of their diet. Only an investigation would have been giving results…

Or did they simply die a natural death? But why did so many different species look for this section of the beach then? Sounded not an option to me.

Leaving the place half sad and half curious I still spotted lots of wildlife (alive) and especially majestic pelikans with their enormous wingspan of more than 3 meters.

I asked myself where this waste of plastic would be leading to. Sad to see this beautiful environment and especially wildlife threatened by the human “misbehaviour”!

A homeless dog was joining me along my walk, making a peaceful birdwatching impossible. When not chasing cars along the road at the other side of the beach, Trujillo (the name I was giving him or her) was more than excited to chase anything which was moving.

When I thought to have found a nice companion I was disappointed when he left me alone with another dog which was apparently not so friendly. He decided spontaneously to chase me, barked and showed me his long, sharp teeth. Not such a great situation but luckily after slowly continuing my way he got bored and disappeared.

A strange day came to an end and many questions remained unanswered…