Turning off to the right at El Alto, which is not more than a re-fueling stop along the Panamericana, the road starts to descend in narrow serpentines towards the ocean….
Apart from rocks, sand and a few oil wells, there is nothing here and it is hard to believe that the rich and famous had once driven through this utterly baren land to an exclusive address right by the sea.
In the years following the second world war the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was the place on the globe to go, if you wanted to catch insanely large fish or if you wanted to be seen alongside them or alongside the selected group of people that were able to do so.
Considering how famous the address was, the building itself was in fact very small, with just 10 rooms (all with a fabulous sea view), a dinning room with a bar and a large terrace with an oval swimming pool. Driving up to the building one was passing through its very own “Marlin Boulevard” , lined with the tail fins of some of the largest fish that were ever caught with just a rod and a fishing line.
Arriving in Cabo Blanco one can’t miss the huge mural painting re-calling the probably greatest event in the history of the village
with the only other noteworthy features being the pristine white beach, a pier and a small flottila of fishing vessels. But there is no sign of the famous club.
Turning around and driving back the way we came, it turns out that the club is off limits in a restricted area belonging to the local oil extraction company. A gravel road, leading up a hill to get you to the site is blocked by a boom and a security guard.
Following some prompting it becomes apparent that Benjamin is far from being a man of a few words…. metamorphosing suddenly into a skilfull negotiator. A few minutes later the boom is lifted and we are allowed to follow the track to the famous dwelling.
We find the building in a truly spectacular spot, but equally in a truly run down condition. What is left of this once glamourous place is now seamingly used as storage facility and the only permanent residents appear to be a few emaciated dogs.
Standing by the banister next to the dry pool on the terrace with most of the concrete paving having disappeared, one can still imagine Humphrey Bogart having a cigarette here while enjoying the sun setting on the horizon or Marilyn Monroe sipping a Pisco Sour at a cocktail party.
The impressive line of marlin tail fins has disappeared and also the copy of the giant marlin from the wall in the dinning room has been moved to a museum in the capital.
A discarded scapula in the middle of the drive is the only trophy that remains as an indication of a sucessful recent hunt here and while we are returning back to Punta Sal, I think that everything has its time and once it has passed – like the giant marlins – it will never be the same….