The journey to Peru
Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
65Trip End Ongoing
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There was a full moon, so you could not see many stars from the bus, so after a while we tucked ourselves up and tried to get some sleep. After four hours we were woken to get our passports stamped at the border control. First we had to wait at the Ecuadorian border to get our exit stamps for what seemed like an hour in the biting cold with mosquito's waiting around the office window to give you a goodbye bite. In fairness it was probably only 20 minutes! We then had to walk across the border to the Peruvian border control to get entry stamps and register wit the police, luckily that did not take very long at all. Then we re boarded the bus and headed for Piura.
We arrived in Piura at 7am and headed straight for another bus terminal to get a bus to Chiclayo. Despite what the guide book may say about Piura, "an Oasis or mirage out of the desert", we discovered this to be a filthy lie and it should be described more like a bandit town out of an old western movie and was not somewhere we fancied stopping. It was very dusty, with lots of street sellers and a pungent smell, so we found a haven in the bus terminal and waited for the next bus out of there.
As we had only traveled down the spine of Ecuador we fancied heading to the beach and relaxing for a few days. In the guide book it said there was a place on the outskirts of Chiclayo where you could learn to surf and had a nice beach. How disappointed we were when we got a taxi to take us to the only hostel advertised in the book, Katuwira Lodge, a funky, hippyish beach side hangout made of bamboo and sporting vibes and art in equal measure to find a deserted ramshackle of a place, with no water, chickens cooped up in a tiny pen, huts with only a bed and a desert beach with grey sand and rubbish! We quickly got the taxi to turn around and go back to Pimmentel, further back along the beach because there were more hostels there. We got the taxi to wait and checked out the rooms. This hostel seemed ok, it was set in a colonial building with nice clean rooms and as it was out of season we managed to get a discount. Unfortunately we then got stung by the taxi driver, who charged us twice again as he had waited for us in each place, so we paid 40 soles (and the next day found out it was only 12 soles to Chiclayo).
Once settled in the rooms we decided to go and explore. The place was like a ghost town, there was no-one on the beach, well possibly we saw one far away figure in a wet suit, but it was definitely not the surfers hangout as described in the book. After such a long trip we were starving, so stopped in a beach side cafe for some food; grilled fresh fish - Delicious! We then took a stroll along the beach and along the rickety pier, which Sophie and Carla decided not to go any further down when the size of the holes started getting even bigger! As there was not much to do we went back to the hostel and all fell asleep.
In the evening we thought it would be a good idea to get dinner at one of the beach side restaurants that had been vying for our business earlier in the day. As we were walking towards the beach we were stopped by a Police man asking what we were doing, when we said we were going for food, he said that all of those restaurants are closed in the evening and it was not safe to walk along the beach in the night and kindly escorted us to a little pizza place. The owner was very friendly and the food was pretty good. After we had eaten though, as it was unsafe on the streets we headed back to the hostel.
The decision was made; we would leave the following day!
A pity a nice town just in the wrong time of year.