Entering Peru

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
1
48
136
Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

We checked out of our last hotel in Ecuador and cycled towards the immigration department, which bizarrely was a couple of kilometers back into Ecuador. The formalities had one of the worst set ups I have seen for a border crossing. It was in a nice building, with all the usual official looking things; a computer, a rubber stamp to allow you into/out of the country, a form to fill in etc. When we arrived there were about 15 people in front of us, and there was one man behind a desk to speak to each person one at a time to discuss their plans. As each person was seen, everyone would shuffle along one chair at a time until they were in the chair opposite the desk man. If anyone had a reason to be leaving the country or anything they needed to clarify they had to say it in front of the whole room of people who were waiting. It seemed like a crazy waste of everyone's time and not private at all.
 
By the time we finally had a stamp in our passports to say that we had left Ecuador, it was time for lunch. As no one seemed to concerned how quickly we got across the border we decided to go for lunch first and have one final Ecuadorian set meal of the day. It tasted very similar to all the other ones we have tried along the way. As we still had a couple of dollars left and didn't see the point in taking them with us, as we couldn't convert coins into Peruvian Soles, we went for an ice-cream. 
The border between Ecuador and Peru was over a small bridge across a dried up riverbed. The bridge was packed with vendors trying to sell goods to people who were crossing the border. I think Ecudorians and Peruvians can get day passes to enter the other country to buy goods from the sellers on the opposing border towns, which meant that the area was saturated with people selling their all sorts of merchandise. It was like trying to cycle down a street whilst a parade was going on, it was manic and slow going but thankfully didn't last for very long.

Once we got to the Peruvian side of the border we were pointed in the direction of the immigration, which thankfully didn't have a queue at all and we were dealt with very quickly. Within minutes we were granted permission to be in the country for three months, and before the ink was dried we were on the bikes and ready to explore a new country.
We noticed straight away that there were more tuc tucs in Peru than we had seen before, which we liked because it reminded us of India.  The desert like landscape that we had seen yesterday at the end of our day continued and everything seemed fairly sparse. We cycled passed lots of really poor looking one room houses and grain crops in the fields. The road continued to be good and after a couple of hours of riding it swung out towards to the coast and we saw the Pacific
ocean for the first time from Peru.

Due to the length of time that it took to do the border formalities it took us until 5pm to cycle just over 60km into Peru. We arrived into a small town called Zorritos, which was a fishing town and largely neglected by tourists. We found a restaurant which also had beach bungalows and checked it. I was lying in a hammock, with a beer in my hand, looking out at the ocean within minutes. For dinner we had a tasty fillet of fish, with chips, rice and a small salad, as nearly the whole menu was fish of some kind.

I was excited to explore Peru and really excited to get to Mancora for our “Christmas Holiday” but was also sad to be leaving Ecuador as it was such a pleasant country and we hadn't spent a lot of time there. I was pleased that we had descended into lowlands though to exit the country that way rather than staying in the mountain ridge, as I pleased to discover what else the country had to offer, and it wasn't only bananas!
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Comments

Grandma on

Kory, suits you so good enjoying that cone of ice cream. Also fish and chips sounds like a different menu, for a change. Love and hugs..... to you both.

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