Saturday, September 27, 2014

An Act of Kindness in San Jose

San Jose is the northernmost of the four beach/fishing villages in the Lambayeque Region on the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It is not the most well known. Pimentel is far and away the most popular with tourists and local Peruvians. Next would probably be Santa Rosa (my favorite), followed by San Jose and lastly Puerto Eten. You need to be a certain kind of person to appreciate the brooding, almost ominous quiet of Puerto Eten. I think Hemingway would have liked Puerto Eten. And maybe Bogart.

San Jose lacks the pizzazz of Pimentel and doesn’t have that busy fishing village feeling of Santa Rosa, but it’s got enough going for it to justify the 30 minute combi trip from Chiclayo.

It has a kid’s park that is one of the more attractive and better equipped in the region. The walls surrounding the park have alternating comic book character and historical 3-D murals that show a high degree or artistic talent and imagination.

From the park we walked two blocks to the beach where we watched fishing boats being launched. The machine first pulls the boat to the water’s edge, and then gets behind it and pushes it into the surf. Smaller boats like the one in this photo nearly stand on end when a breaking wave catches them. They have to run the gauntlet of crashing waves for about one hundred yards to smooth water.

 There are hundreds of boats of all sizes and shapes on the beach. Most are lying over until their crews are ready to go back out. Some are being refurbished. And some, like these two will never see the water again.

There aren’t any major attractions in San Jose. There is a church worth looking at, and a street market where vegetables, fruit and of course fish can be purchased, but for us it is San Jose’s colonial heritage still seen in much of the town that we appreciated most.  

After about two hours of walking through the town we got hungry and looked for a restaurant. Todo El Sabor Del Norte met our need nicely. The guy in the photo is the owner. When we entered the restaurant there were two young boys standing at the entrance. After about 15 minutes the owner asked them what they were doing there. They said they were hungry. He asked if they had eaten breakfast. When they responded no, he told them that he had breakfast and wasn’t hungry now so they could have his lunch, but only today. 

He sat them at a table and gave them bread, rice, some pieces of chicken and a bottle of pop. The kids ate quickly and quietly, and when finished thanked the man and left. Watching this scene unfold, it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t the first time this guy has fed hungry kids. When we complimented him on his action, he quickly passed it off with the wave of a hand.

Maribel ordered Parihuela and I had fried fish with yuccas. The quality of service and food was very good. We’ll probably go back to San Jose again to walk some streets we missed, and to patronize the Todo El Sabor Del Norte restaurant. The owner is a class act.

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