Friday, April 5, 2013

Progress in Pimentel

I’ve never been a fan of Pimentel, mostly because I think it’s vastly overrated as a beach town. All it has to offer is a beach that is not very attractive, and a ton of small overpriced restaurants. And the town shuts down at sundown. True…you can buy fresh fish on the beach when the fleet comes in, but you can do that at San Jose and Santa Rosa too, and for my money those are more interesting towns. Anyway, I think it was a little over three years ago that the town authorities unveiled their plans to construct a new boardwalk and refurbish the pier which had been closed to the public because of unsafe conditions. As I recall the schedule called for completion of the project in December 2011. Here we are in April of 2013 and rumors are circulating in Chiclayo that the Pimentel pier is open, so Maribel and I decided to check it out.

We got off the combi at the principal park. Pimentel has a nice park…one of the better designed and maintained parks in the Lambayeque Region. And it’s never crowded…you can walk and enjoy the trees, shrubbery and flowers, and usually find a bench in the shade to sit and watch the world go by.

I’ve got to admit I was impressed with what the town did with their boardwalk. It’s wide and spacious with plenty of benches. It appears that it will be well lit at night. There were no vendors on the boardwalk so I assume the authorities have prohibited that kind of activity.

There’s also been an attractive strip park constructed between the new boardwalk and beach. It doesn’t extend for much distance but it beats the garbage strewn area that previously occupied that location. Perhaps there are plans to extend it to the north.

The section of board walk that’s been rebuilt fronts the residential condos and apartments. The long expanse that fronts the restaurants hasn’t been touched, which means a tourist still has to negotiate a narrow walkway and uneven pavement while saying “no” to the swarms of restaurant employees who accost them.

The pier is not open. Progress seems to be limited to new lighting and a string of mini-kiosks – if that’s what they are, and a modern glass entryway. The reason the pier was closed was because it was dangerous, but as far as I can tell the planking hasn’t been replaced. Maybe that’s in the plans but if so it will be a long way down the road.

Pimentel is still not my favorite beach town, but it’s getting better.

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