Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
136Trip End Apr 20, 2013
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Once we made it to Pacasmayo, we found a small roadside restaurant to stop at for some early lunch, before heading back into the barren landscape again. As we entered the sitting area, we saw two empty bowls with chicken legs in them, which didn't fill us with two much hope about our lunch. The meal was a standard set-up, with a little bit of meat and some beans and as usual it was difficult to finish the huge amount of plain rice that accompanied it
When we left this town, our map showed that we had to cross 52km of desert before making it to the next town. We hoped to back it a further 10km passed that, to the following town, but first we had lots of sand to cross. As we entered back in to the desert again, the wind whipped up straight away, as it was coming straight from the sea and there wasn't a tree or building or anything in its way to slow it down at all. Some of the cycling was ok, and just a matter of plodding on but occasionally the wind would gust and we would struggle to keep our bikes going straight and not veer into the road. What made it worse was that every now and again, the wind would blast you with a load of sand and it would smash against your legs like needles. It was quite easy to lose hope that we would ever make it across, as our speed was around 9km per hour. Which made 52km seem like an awfully long way to make it. However, we stopped every half an hour or so, to drink some water, to wipe the sand from our faces and to spur each other on.
After a couple of hours we saw a small building, which looked like an abandoned house, with no door on the font and no vehicle outside. We needed to find a small shaded area that would allow us to hide from the wind, as we needed to filter our water and re-fill our water bottles
Once we were re-stocked with clean water again, we were ready to battle the wind to finally make it to the first town at least. Once we crested a hill, we could see some greenery in the distance, which seemed like a likely place for a town. When we finally arrived in to town, it was about 4pm and we saw a small place that was selling food. We decided to order a meal and then make a plan about whether to continue onwards or stay where we were for the night.
As soon as we pulled over a police van approached and beckoned us over to them. They asked us what we were doing and where we planned to spend the night. We said that we were going to eat and then carry on to the next town, to which they said that they would wait for us to eat and then escort us out. It seemed really strange and we had no idea why, but that is exactly what they did. They sat in the van and watched us eat and then drove along behind us as we cycled out of town. We didn't know if they were just being cautious or if something was going on in the town that day or if they were just bored, but we were grateful, as they didn't rush us or try to bribe us or anything. Days later I found out from a local that that town has a reputation for stealing cyclists bikes from them, and although the police track them down and return them, they now usually escort all cyclists through the town if they can.
So, Kory and I had a police escort for the final 10km of our day, and all the way into the next town, where I guess they deemed that we would be safe. It was a tiny town, however, with only one small guest house option. It was fine though, for one night and we were pleased to feel safe.