Pitstop in Tumbes
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
84Trip End Jul 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
The bus stop is crowded, family members have gathered to wave off their loved ones, so as we pull out the depot, there is lots of waving. Quite a fancy bus indeed, double decker coach, loads of leg room and we are even served lunch (which consisted of rice, carne and some pink stuff) a drink and jelly (jello) also. And, I got to see ´The Proposal' in Spanish.
Before long, we were at the Ecuador border town of Huaquillas.
Border formalities were pretty straight forward, I dump the little change I had for an ice cream. My first of the trip. The border is busy, bus loads of people being dropped off, some bus services won't wait, you'll have to catch another bus. Luckily, I paid a little extra so our bus waited each time we had to stop. We crawl through Huaquillas at a snails pace, the town was extremely busy, I kind of wish I was walking my way through the border, than taking the luxury of a coach. Something to think about at other border crossings. We get to the Peruvian Border town of Aguas Verdes to obtain the entry stamp of Peru. The place is run down, trash is littered everywhere, stray dogs roam the streets. Inside the border control building, there is a stray dog in the queue for entry. This is how run down it is. The poor little mut even tried to board our bus!
About ten minutes later, we arrive tin Tumbes. I jump straight into a Tuk Tuk vehicle, and off to Hotel Tumbes. I manage to agree with the driver to meet me at the hotel tomorrow at 12 to head to my next bus, he seemed to understand, well, I guess we´ll see.
The hotel is ok, the 4th floor has yet to be built, but my room was ok, again, bed, tv, shower, what else do I need? I'm out the hotel instantly to explore a bit of the town, and come across a festival in the centre of town. An Army band are playing trombones, whilst opposite, in the local church, a service is being undertaken. I sit and try listen in on both.
I skip lunch as I'm not that hungry and chill out in my room for a bit. Around 8pm, I think every resident of the town came out to the centre for a music festival. The music was fun, upbeat, kind of reggae, kind of Drum n Bass. My hotel has a little balcony overlooking the event, so I sit for a while and watch/listen to the entertainment. It reminded me of Buenos Aires, when we turned up during a massive religious festival, and the music boomed around the city till 2am. This night, ended about 1am, it was great to witness, I'm sure there will be more events like it coming up on my travels.
Before I call it a night, I notice I've been bitten twice, elbow and finger. Not sure if it's a mosquito or bed bugs. Out comes the insect repellents, and I sleep even with my winter gloves on and wake up to no more bites.
Walked 0.5 miles.
Temp 29 C 84 F
Day 7 January 10 Tumbes to Mancora Second cold shower in two days, I'm not too fussed as it is still super hot out. Find a hole in one of two pairs of trousers I've brought, nuts!! I have until noon to explore more of the town, grab some food and relax. I end up buying several bottles of drink and sitting in the main square. It must be the only day the bank opens, as there is a queue 50 people deep zig-zagging into the square.
After my people watching session has finished, I grab some breakfast and manage to find some eggs, coffee and pėneapple juice. Back at the hotel, my Tuk Tuk guy is waiting in reception and he drops me off at the Collectivos heading for Mancora.
Similar to when I was in Hanoi, the minibus (collectivo) does not leave until it's full. So we wait. My bag is on the roof, no chance of rain, but will I see the bag again. After 30 minutes, we are on our way. The minibus is cramped, lady next to me is already head bobbing after 5 minutes. Along the way, we pick up some bags of cement, we drop off some post/mail, move some goats off the road, pick up kids along the route, and drop off a guy who bought a bench, literally a bench on the roof, but throughout the two hour drive, is the pacific ocean to our right, perfect! I haven't seen the Pacific properly since 2007 and can't wait to paddle my way in.
Finally, I make it to Mancora.