Having come from the chilly spring temperatures of England to arrive in Lobitos, Peru was nothing less that a huge shock. The winds from Edinburgh Scotland, where I study Spanish and Portuguese normally carry heavy
rains, snow, hail or a chill that stings your face. In Lobitos, it is sand and dust that flies through this desert town. The most direct way to arrive to this town from the nearest local city, Talara, involves a long stretch of unpaved road which had parts washed away due to seasonal torrential rainstorms. As I was driven along this stretch, Leah, my soon-to-be colleague and supervisor, explained to me that the road between Talara and Lobitos can be rendered inaccessible due to torrential rainstorms. This year Lobitos was cut off for only one week, but these periods of time can last much longer. It was hard to imagine this, especially when you looked at the arid dry environment exposed to such harsh sunlight.
Our detour continued onto and along Lobitos’ beach shore, with its many surf spots along the way. On the other side, a noticeable number of hotels and lodgings overlooked the beach front, and most of which seemed to be relatively
new developments. Up ahead is ‘el muelle’, the town’s pier. At the end of the dock, there seemed to be a lot of bustle as fishermen were selling their morning catches. On approaching el Muelle, Leah points out the neighbourhood up the hill from this section of the beach, Primavera, explaining that most of the local population reside here. From the pier, we join back onto the town’s roads heading to the military zone, were local residents rent properties for a minimal price, and where my home would be for the next 3 months.