Earlier this year we set off on our first South American adventure - heading all the way to Peru to surf one of its most iconic destinations: Chicama.
Words by Emma Brown | 5th June ‘18
We had a pretty great time... so much so that we're going back next year. For those of us that couldn't make it (but perhaps fancy coming next time?!), here's one of our lovely hosts, Min, sharing some reflections on her first trip to Chicama...
What is the magic of the ‘present’ that our gurus and enlightened leaders teach us about? What does it mean?
As your regular ‘pittah/fire/Latin American-energy-led person’, I know the feeling of getting lost in excitement and passion. In a fight, a spicy discussion or a feeling, it can be too easy to miss the point:
There will not be EVER another moment like this. EVER.
That is quite an unreachable concept for me at the moment; but yet however inconceivable, it is still strong and meaningful enough to make me think of what to do with ‘my time’ here.
And this is something that Peru has taught me about. There is a stillness in the silence of the desert; there are ancient voices talking to you if you just keep your mouth shut and stay alert! In Peru, I find a strong need to create and embrace this silence.
To be honest, when I first arrived in Chicama I was unsure. I’d made this idea of what it would be, so, as usual, imagination took over. Thank God, I trusted the wise voice in my brain that said – “WAIT, let it sink in, do not rush your judgement, wake up tomorrow and SEE.” And so, I shut my mouth. The next morning when my alarm went off, I did just that: I went to see.
As I hit the end of the road that led to where the guests would be staying, there I saw it…the one and only Pacific Ocean. I’d seen it once before, on a short trip to Cali. But this was different. I had a never-ending desert on my back – full of stories – and a jaw-dropping wave in front of me. It took me a couple of days observing and pinching myself to bring me back to the reality of what I was seeing.
And next? The people.
I can happily say I am a 'people person'. One of my passions is the connection to others, and for six years Soul & Surf has given me the playground to discover and develop this in so many ways.
And here I was again, planning to do this in the land that gave birth to me. Being an Argentinean from Buenos Aires makes it difficult to find an easy identification with where I was born. Only to find that this big question mark would lead me to come back, and in time feel this strange and powerful attraction to where I belong. The locals in Chicama are so great: their allowance to see through nature, their wisdom, their roots. I respect this. It was the second step towards making me stay present.
And beyond Chicama…When I first asked the owners of our hotel for suggestions on how to spend our ‘day off’, they mentioned an archaeological site located an hour away. We drove through sugar cane crops to search for the ‘Magdalena de Cao’s’ village, in the middle of the desert – a place which eventually we found almost solely by intuition. Here, we met Julio, the village shaman. With his gentleness and patience, Julio taught us about the traditions and rituals of ancient cultures from these surroundings; how connected to nature they are, and how their lives are wholly shaped by their beliefs.
I read that this specific site was where they found the first female mummy in Peru – a healer, doctor. This woman lived amongst the Moche culture and was 1700 years old. Her body remained intact and it was magical to be able to actually see her body. She has an important message to give which I recommend to come and discover by your own journey.
What I can say. The more I knew, the more I wanted to know…