Hunachaco is a beach town near Trujillo. With a mere 1.5 soles 0.46 ¢ you can hop on a bus and ride straight to Huanchaco. The ride will last about 30 minutes and will take you through one of the oldest ruins of the world, Chan Chan, built by the Chimu people cerca 850 A.D.
The Chimu people were later conqured by the Inca around 1470, yet the ruins city still stands. The people of Chimu were master fishermen who accordingly worshiped the moon and the tides. The the fishermen on their boats would come and go with the rise and fall of the tides. They called their boats Caballitos de Totora Little horses of Totora reed.
Huanchaco is small beach town that is full of culture and history. Today it is most popular amongst traveling surf bums who ‘worship everything and value nothing’. There is a palpable tension that exists between the natives and those that come to surf. Something which has created an intent to treasure one of the most ancient traditions of the world, Caballitos de Totora.
This is Palomo (left) and Alfredo (right). The two sit side by side on the wall which runs along the side of the main beachfront drag. Alfredo provides the 750ml of Trujillo beer, and accompanies Palomo as he makes miniature models of the Caballitos de Totoro. Palomo sells them for 3 soles each, .91 ¢.
Palomo was excited as he explained that the boats are used to fish, fasted with reeds that grow just a few kilometros from the coast. Using his models as a referenced he showed me how the boats ride the waves to sea and require no motor. The boats leave at 4:30am and return in the afternoon with their daily catch. Alfredo interrupted.
The Chimu people, explains Alfredo, should be considered the first surfers in world history.
The boats have been used since the Chimu people almost 1,000 years ago. The sailors on their caballos horses use only the tidal waves to take their boats out to sea and back each day. Alfredo explained the boats first set out to sea as the tide begins to lower, and ride the waves back in with the return of the tide. The Chimu people, explains Alfredo, should be considered the first surfers in world history.