August 10 and 11, 2015, days 15 and 16 of my Dragoman tour, and we’ve finally reached the Peruvian coast and my first ever beach camping experience at Waltako Beach Resort. When I say resort, I’m not referring to a place full of tourists, bars and swimming pools of various sizes. Instead, our modest group of 14 Dragolanders have a quiet stretch of beach to camp on to ourselves, with our hosts Vanessa Malaga and Rodrigo Jaramillo Quiroga.
Husband and wife, Rodrigo and Vanessa own a narrow part of this land where there are some private rooms in the style of huts, a swimming pool, outdoor toilet and shower facilities for us campers, and their own private home. The beach in front of all of this is of course public property.
We arrived on Sunday evening, just in time to pitch our tents as the sun started to set, casting the sky an array of colours.
We were treated to some amazing sunsets over the next two nights sitting on the beach, with not one sunset being the same.
The stars at night were also spectacular with a visible Milky Way. My SLR managed to capture some great pics of the night sky.
On Monday, after a visit to where you could swim with giant turtles that were fed to come to the pier (no I didn’t swim with them, I’m saving this event for when I go to the Galápagos next month), we had four hours to look around the town of Mancora. My room mate Lindsay and I decided four hours was too long, so we took a tuk tuk back to Waltako, a journey past desert landscapes that lasted forty five minutes and cost 60 Peruvian dollars ($20 USD), to relax by the pool!
Day 2 on Waltako Beach and it was time to try some stand up paddling, something I’ve never done. So Lindsay and I took a short walk down the beach with Vanessa to rent a paddle board at $50 Peruvian dollars each (approx. $17USD) for an unlimited time. After a quick demonstration and explanation (start on your knees, then try to stand, find your balance and don’t fall off!), we were on our way.
After several attempts, I finally found my balance and the best technique, and managed to stand upright. The view of the coastline from the Pacific was lovely and extended for quite some distance.The water temperature of the Pacific so close to equator wasn’t very cold either at twenty degrees celcius.
At Waltako, you can also walk along the beach in either direction to explore the neighbouring beaches. We saw hundreds of Pelicans perched on the cliff top, some vultures feeding from a sea lion carcass, and I finally spotted my first blue footed booby! And there are loads of crabs scuttling about across the sand.
I also spent one morning with my host Vanessa for a Buddhist meditation and mantra while sitting on the beach. It was a relaxing two days camping at Waltako Beach. I could easily have spent a few more days there, soaking up more rays, listening to the waves from inside our tent at night, and watching a few more sunsets.