Varano Sand Sculpture Company LLC
the Sultans Of Sand Worldwide

2012 Spring / Summer World Tour:

Creatividad En La Arena
 The Peruvian Amateur Sand Sculpting Championships.

February, 2012
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Peru sand castle

Friday February 24, 2012: Trujillo, Peru
  An old friend and client, Miguel Bajerano, invited me to come back to Peru after six years absence, to help further support and promote an annual sand sculpting event. One that is aimed toward the family group & individual amateur practitioners of the art and craft of sand sculpture.
 The event was first developed and continues to be produced by "Banco De Credito" one
of the major financial institutions in Peru. The event is almost two decades old.  My involvement with them prior, was developing a pro class exhibition which ran for five years in the early 2000's. The bank has since dedicated its resources to funding more domestic [amateur] sand events only. This is still the premier sand event in Peru.
n the southern hemisphere summer here each year, the bank produces several regional qualifying sand sculpting events along the Peruvian pacific coast. Of which, the end-of-season finale brings all the winning regional teams together to compete in a showdown for the championship title. This year the championship is being held in Trujillo, where I will be participating as a celebrity sculptor to help further boost promotion and PR.



For amateur sand contests, the prizes are considerable. Perhaps this is a reason there is good participation at the contests all summer long, at all the event venues.


The Venue:
  Trujillo is a picturesque town dating to 1534.
 Founded by Pizzaro, it is bounded by the Pacific to the west, and mid Peruvian mountains to the east. It is not a large city physically, but with a port nearby, it is a major economic force in the region.

 In retrospect I wish I had my camera for the ride to the hotel from the quaint but efficient little airport. Alas, I left it in my backpack which was in the trunk of the car. Admittedly it was a rookie type mistake, but I was pretty nackerd, operating at this point on maybe an hour & a half of sleep in the latest 24. -But I have gotten some pics since then, as you can see here.
The place looks like it could be taken right from the pages of a National Geographic story, with its party colored colonial style buildings of brick and stucco.
The vista across the square

The hotel is in center city, so to speak, and is situated right across the street from a lovely square that features a colossal sculpture.

the city square

The sculpture is d
edicated to the liberation...
liberation sculpture

Motorcycles, bastardized versions of motorcycles, pedal cabs and cobbled together rigs of every conceivable fashion,
combined with" taxi cabs" of every make and model of legit automobile -yet simply painted entirely yellow, snarls the traffic traffic in town. Especially during the rush hours.
Yet traffic continuously moves like a bed of writhing snakes. It''s not the stop-and-go bumper to bumper hassle I am more accustomed to in places like Orlando.
I saw this one deal where an old guy had a donkey pulling something of a trailer/wagon  nature, but it was fabricated of natural thin tree trunks, & what looked to be a fridge for the bed, with mismatched wheels. Dude, if I didn't know better, I woulda thunk he was entering some crazy contest event in the states like a bed race, art cart thing, or some other event that pits people's imagination and engineering skills against other equally whacked out or creative folks, just for fun. But this guy was obviously on a mission, and it seemed apparent this was his livelihood and main mode of  achieving getting his kit from point "A" to point "B" & I am here to tell ya, It was Working. I only wish I had a pic of it, It illustrates so readily that innovation is not limited to the likes of the Steve Jobs types in this world. necessity being the mother of invention and all, it was, in a word, Impressive.
I will never complain about traffic in Manhattan, ever again.

  I almost felt like I was immersed in a movie. That could have been the sleep depravation, but still, it was unique and very interesting.
Like every other time I visited Peru.  This is my first time in Trujillo though, and different than all the other experiences I've had here
A church in Trujillo

 The Hotel Liberatador itself my hotel seems a little out of place with its marriage of old colonial styling and first world opulence interiors. The bathroom in my room is all white marble with a heavily occluded red marble wainscoting and sink/vanity.  Pretty swanky for a sandman

  And of course, everyone here is as congenial as can be. You expect that sort of thing in a fine hotel, as well as when working with staid and successful long time clients.
 Aside~ the server at breakfast is the spitting image of a young Catherine Zeta Jones. (The girl has no idea who that is)

scenic views
The route to the beach...
Scenic, but the drive was a little harrowing.
As it is in many Latin countries, the car horn is a third turn signal, and everyone uses it, ...a lot.
The surf at Haunchaco Beach

to the beach

A Peruvian surf shop...
Surf Shop


  We just wrapped a press conference downstairs in the hotel where about two dozen journalists did  Q& A and a number of directed interviews with the organizers and myself.

Much like in the USA and other countries I think, many reporters turn out because there are usually good refreshments :)


 We talked about the storied history of the event; the continued commitment & support of the bank in funding the entire series of contests, and other related topics of sand sculpture history and state of the art of sand worldwide.

We reflected on some of the bigger sculptures my company did here back in the day...
as larger sand centerpieces for the finals.

Me, my friend Miguel, and two of the presenter models.
One of which, is his niece


  Serious kudos to the bank for hosting all the winning teams here in Trujillo for the championships!

Saturday February 24, 2012 Trujillo Peru:
  This afternoon my driver and interpreter are taking me to a market where -if  it is like the others I have visited before in Lima, will be a typical Peruvian bazaar where one can procure just about anything and everything from car parts to chickens. Hand made crafts to produce. Dental instruments to fireworks. The hustle & bustle, sights and scents makes for a a scene almost out of an Indiana Jones film. I am in the market for a new Peruvian straw hat myself. I got one here many years ago and it has served faithfully and without complaint. But it is starting to look a little worse for wear. I aver it is perhaps the best beach lid I have ever had.
  On the way back to the hotel from the market, we will go to Haunchaco Beach. The site of the contest.
 The event is tomorrow  [Sunday].  I may explore the town a little more this evening. There is no art museum here, but not surprisingly there are, I am told, some archaeologic and anthropological points of interest.

Here in the Hotel  Liberatador is the scene of the courtyard & pool from my room.
I can hear the little waterfall (on the left in the pool) from my room. Soothing.
Here is the interior shot across the alcoves from my room.
And here is my table for breakfast.

The ride here:
   After a 24 hour trip, due only to the scarcity of available flight connections, I arrived here in Trujillo safe and sound at 07:30 on Friday. The trip was interesting...  
 A 14:15 departure from Daytona Beach on Thursday; about a two hour stopover before boarding, and a  17:05 departure from Atlanta the same day, got me to Lima at midnight (same time zone as home) to a hotel in Lima for just barely three hours- ostensibly to sleep, then up and in a cab back to the airport to catch a pre dawn flight to Trujillo. Then I had breakfast, jot down a note or too, and then sleep more before the press conference at 11:00. The trip back is also a redeye. Not my fav thing, but I will be at my own house again in the afternoon as opposed to the typical late night return. So, I just may have to rethink redeye flights.

 Saturday is a free day for me, and the event is Sunday. I fly back to Lima at 18:00 Sunday and to Florida at 01:00 on Monday morning. [Sheesh!]

Hopefully more pics of the event, later... ciao!

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