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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

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Typical Lobitos scenery

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.

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I knew long before coming to Peru that Lobitos is a coastal town and a very popular surf destination. Upon driving onto smoother tarmac roads that lead into the town, the ocean slowly appears on the horizon with the town just sitting below it. A deeper shade of blue than the cloudless sky above it, the sensations of tranquillity emanated from the sea starkly juxtaposed the bustling frenzy that found in Talara.
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Center of the neighborhood, Primavera

Instead of driving directly we take a detour so that I can be shown other parts of Lobitos. After we pass through the gates that monitors entry into the town we take a turn left and follow a hill leading to a district locally known as ’Nuevo Lobitos’. In this area, we pass the large gates which holds Lobitos’s educational institutions. This one space serves for pre-school, primary and secondary school students of the town, with classroom sizes ranging from approximately 10-25 students.

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

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Sunrise from the pier

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.

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Despite only being in the town for 10 minutes, the first sights are a lot to take in. However, even upon arrival  I knew that there is much more that meets the eye with this small coastal town.