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Peru: Signs of Progress in Camaná

June 28, 2011

I took a bus one time from Lima to Camaná.  I wanted to see the place because, for lack of a better explanation, it was there.  Ostensibly the town was a resort during the Peruvian summer, for locals who visited the beach, and I imagined that Western tourists might find the place attractive.  Camaná had the additional advantage of being off the tourist routes of Peru.

A friend and I arrived after dark. We had the name of a hotel to spend the night at and we located the establishment without difficulty. Camaná is not very big as these sorts of towns go, and has a population of around fifteen thousand souls.  It also serves as a port for the much larger inland city of Arequipa.  I should add here that our little expedition took place before the earthquake of 2001 which greatly affected the entire coastal region.

At any rate, we awoke the next morning to an interesting view from our hotel window.

1) The main square

The town was quite modern and bore no trace of its founders, a party led by Manuel de Carbajal, who also founded Arequipa.  Especially fascinating was the town’s church.

2) The church

The church ranked as one of the most peculiar Catholic places of worship I’d seen in the entire country.

Now bemused, we headed for the beach, a few kilometers away. We had come in July, Peruvian winter.

3) The beach

Regrettably the air was cold and dank, the water freezing, and the beach none too inviting.  We carried on later that day to Arequipa but I’m still glad we stopped and stayed in Camaná.  Every town in Peru has its charms.

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