Last night I went freecamping in Perú. I picked a spot close to the coast on a hill where both a lighthouse and a Jesus statue were located. Boca del Río (“river mouth”) is located close to the city of Tacna. I hitchhiked from Boca del Río to Tacna in a single ride with a lovely old lady going to a big church here.
I plan to stick around here for the next few days before crossing to Arica, Chile. Arica formerly belonged to Perú. It’s also where the Atacama desert begins, which is the driest place on earth except for Antarctica!
I’m really diggin’ Perú as the people give zero fucks about where a hitchhiker goes camping. Besides the lighthouse and statue, there are also a few telephone towers here. In the early morning, there were a few men climbing them up and working on them. They just dropped by to have a chat with me while I was smoking a cigarette next to my tent.
Peruvians in general love having a little chat on the streets, beach, or a terrace. And most of them find it very courageous that I dare to travel by hitchhiking alone in their country. They use the word valiente (brave/courageous). People in Central America used the same word for my hitchhiking trips there all the time as well.
I’m really excited to explore Tacna, though I don’t have a sleeping place yet. I did look up where the bomberos (firemen) are stationed as a backup for couchsurfing. The city also houses a significant Pakistani population and is the only place in Perú with a mosque (Wikipedia knowledge!), so I hope to maybe try some Pakistani food next to the Peruvian dishes and its famous Pisco Sour.
The first order of business is a shower though, as the dust from freecamping on the beach doesn’t wash off by itself!