March 19th

We stopped in a town calledChiclayofor the night, and the next morning continued the road up toPiura, where we met Jose Juan’s mom for some lunch. After a few days of being inPeru, I figured my system could take the typical food here on the coast, known as CEVICHE: Fish or seafood, “cooked” in lime and hot peppers served with red onions. They have these “conchas negras” which are like black clams I guess you could say, and they are absolutely amazing! To my surprise, my stomach was fine and I was more than happy, not just because of the aphrodisiacs ahahahaha. Just kidding.

So after this, we took off for a little town inland called Canchaque. We were going here for Jose Juan’s grandmother’s 92nd birthday.

The road to Canchaque was quite something actually! We got some rain the day before, and because of this, the roads were turned into rivers, which we had to cross in order to continue our route. There were several locals there guiding cars through the river. The water was up to the windshield and they were telling JJ to not look at the water but straight ahead so he wouldn’t get dizzy. Water started coming into the car through the windshield and also where my feet were in the front seat. Next thing we know, the car just completely stops. We were in so much water and there was no way to turn the engine back on. So, about 8 men started pushing the car across, all the way to the other side. And then, the engine was able to start again! The air filter was soaked but we just took it out for the rest of the way. We finally arrived to this beautiful little town up in the mountains at about 1000m altitude. This is when I met the whole family and experienced what a “Quema” really is. When it is someone’s birthday, the night before is called the “quema” which literally translates to burning….of the liver ahahahaha. There was sooooo much food, and drinking, and dancing with aunts, uncles, cousins! His grandmother stayed up until 3am! She cooked, she had a lot to talk about, she still travels toMexico,Ecuadorand withinPeru: really quite something this woman, unbelievable. The next day most of the family had to leave, but we stayed and hung out for an extra day, we walked around a little, ate, talked and left after breakfast the next morning to head to the coast.

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