Zorritos, northern Peru. It’s not somewhere you would likely see in a travel brochure or advertised on Instagram. It’s definitely not your typical backpackers destination. But maybe it should be. When I landed into Tumbes, the closest city to Zorritos, I saw…. nothing. Nothing but barren land for miles and miles, and to be completely honest, I wasn’t enthralled at the prospect of spending a month here. I was terrified.
In the taxi on the way to our accommodation, a fellow traveller, who has since become a close friend, and I grew increasingly apprehensive about our chosen destination – had we made a horrible mistake? The streets were dusty, and the locals stared through the windows at us. The cables hung low and plastic rolled around the streets; the only place I have ever been that it is comparable to is Arusha in Tanzania, Africa. Not exactly the idyllic south american beachfront we were hoping for.
However, after a good nights sleep, our rested eyes saw Zorritos in an entirely different light come morning. The beach stretches out the length of this quiet fishing town, with the calm waves of the pacific rolling shells and drift wood onto the white sand. Hammocks hang from palm trees where you won’t find and snoozing tourists, just the locals who take an afternoon siesta every day. In fact, there are no tourists at all here – after a week I have not seen one.
The locals are friendly and welcoming, smile all the time and always keen to help, to the point where a moto-taxi driver stayed with us until we were safely inside the hostel, and hotel staff came to our rescue helping us cook purple corn when we were clearly failing miserably. It is possibly the most relaxed place I have ever been to. Like the rest of the country, it runs on a completely different time zone, ‘Peru time’ they call it – meaning anywhere from on-time to an hour late, still means you are early…which nobody ever is. If a shop owner decides to close for the day to take a nap, he does it. If a restaurant suddenly has only one dish on the menu, so be it. If you need food you wander down to the local market to buy your fish fresh from the ocean and your fruit and vegetables from the lady on the corner. If it’s bread you’re after, you wander down to the bakery at either 8am or 5pm to coincide with freshly baked bread and croissant-style buns. It’s a slow and relaxing way of life that is likely the reason behind everyones smile. It’s very refreshing coming from punctual England to say the least. If anything, it teaches you to relax… it’s impossible to be stressed here. It’s definitely a place deserving of a better knowledge than it gets, and if a quiet fishing village can be this beautiful, I’m very excited to see what the rest of this vastly diverse country has to offer.