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6 October 2012 / leggypeggy

Camping in a two-dog town

Besique Beach

Sponge Bob parked at Besique Beach

Sometimes it’s hard to find a decent place to camp between two places that are just-that-little-bit-too-far-apart to do the drive in one day.

That’s when Sammy’s Spanish comes in so handy. She can make sense of the fine print on road signs. A couple of trips back, she put her skill to work to find Besique Beach and Cesar’s Restaurant, about 30 minutes beyond the town of Chimbote. Note: here don’t ever camp in or close to Chimbote—it’s famous for smelling like fish—a whole lot of fish—thanks to processing plants there.

But on to Besique Beach. By Australian standards, it’s pretty crummy, but in Peru it is considered picturesque. I’ll admit that it is very scenic, surrounded by rocky hills to climb, and has scope to be a lovely spot. But the sand is scattered with litter, the surf is dirty and the water is freezing. There is no overnight accommodation, so ‘Chimboteans’ go there for weekend outings.

Besique Beach

A short stroll in the ‘mountains’ at Besique Beach

It must be popular, judging from the string of restaurants that are deserted during the week, but no doubt lively at the weekend. Signs at the Mustang Ranch next door to us promise karaoke, and a few places had sunbeds dragged out by the beach. A couple of dogs hung around, hoping for the dinner leftovers, which one got.

As campers, we were quite happy to take up Cesar’s offer to let us use his flush-with-a-bucket toilets, set up our camp kitchen on his verandah, and ‘pitch’ our sleeping mats and bags on the floor there. The night was chilly, perfect for a down sleeping bag. I slept well—very well—and enjoyed this out-of-the-way spot.

P.S. Unless you’re airlifted in, the only way to get to Besique through a narrow tunnel in a rocky hill. A road used to go around the hill, but part of it caved away in a storm.

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