Trujillo Travel Blog› entry 14 of 115 › view all entries
Trujillo is a drab Peruvian coastal city of about half a million. We were done over here for 20 dollars. Two guys, a greasy haired, buck-toothed Plug-a-like and his Penfoldian sidekick approach us in a bar, we get talking, chat about plans, Plug is off to London shortly to teach salsa classes, we help Penfold with his English homework etc. etc. Two hours and several beers later, Plug casually asks us if we can change a twenty dollar note for Peruvian Soles as the locals struggle to use dollars and it´s easier for tourists. We really should have seen this one coming, I´d even read about all the forged notes in circulation. But at the time, we didn´t think fast, didn´t question his motives enough.
Of course it occurs to me an hour later, back in the hotel room, and then it was all blindlingly obvious, I knew before we even looked at the note that it´d be as bent as a Geoff Thomas shot on goal. On closer inspection, the forgery is very impressive and you can only tell if you compare it to an actual 20 dollar note. The locals however, will tell it a mile off, so we´re stuck with it for the moment.
So, Ladies of London, if some would-be Peruvian lothario gets over-friendly during a salsa class, knee him in the nadgers for me please...
P.S. we also had some shocking pizza in Trujillo - beware.
Update: This is actually a well-worn scam, not random opportunism as I originally thought. I now know this because I spoke to a couple in Colca who had been through exactly the same set up whilst passing through Trujillo. The female of the couple was French so Penfold brought along his French homework so she could help him with it. The couple were eventually fiddled on the change whilst paying for beer and ended up with fake Soles notes. Watch out for these two jokers if you are going to Trujillo; they´re very good - had me fooled anyway and it seems I´m not the only one.