Low-key in Lobitos
We surfed half of a nice 6-foot swell in Chicama before packing up for a tiny town further north, called Lobitos. It’s known as one of the best waves in South America, which means that although the town is incredibly small with very little tourist infrastructure, there are still crowded lineups. But the waves did live up to their reputation.
There are five main breaks all within walking distance of each other, but even more farther afield if you’re willing to invest a little more time hiking. We caught an amazing 6- to 8-foot swell while we were there. The waves are super fun and challenging; they can get quite long, barrelling and then opening up into a fun, rippable wall. Our favorite breaks were La Frontera and Piscinas. From La Frontera, we could watch the crazy fast barrels that some kamikaze surfers were getting at El Hueco.
Unfortunately, we surfed so much during our time in Lobitos that we ended up being too lazy to hike around to take more pictures of the location and the waves up close. Our only photos are from the cool, broken-down mansion called La Casona (Surf Point) that’s been turned into a hostel, where we stayed. The house has been decorated in a cute and quirky way, with lots of found objects, antique items, and murals.
La Casona was also known by locals as La Casa Del General, because the town was previously a military base, and the general lived in the house that’s now the hostel. Before it was a military base, it was an oil outpost, and there are still oil rigs offshore, and working oil pumps on land.
Conditions were primitive at La Casona, with no running water (cold bucket showers only!), but we loved it there. Not having running water gave us a greater appreciation for how much water we used when we showered or had to bucket-flush the toilet. Using a bucket, you’re conscious of exactly how much water you’re using, as opposed to having water run straight out of a tap down the drain. The mural included a sobering reminder of the importance of water to human life:
I got another reminder of the importance of clean drinking water when I contracted a bout of amoebic dysentery and had to go to the hospital 14 km away to get diagnosed and buy antibiotics. I’d been using the cistern water to brush my teeth, instead of our bottled drinking water, and I may have gotten sick that way. It’s so hard to tell; it could also have been contracted from eating out, or inadvertently swallowing water while showering. A 3-day course of anti-parasitic pills put me right again and I was back in the water in no time.
After a couple of weeks in Lobitos, we decided to head south again, to surf Chicama and a few other breaks around there, before we head back to Lima to sell Berenjenita. We’ll try to insert some more photos of the surf from now on…