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Published: October 9th 2013
We have just arrived to Ayampe, a small fishing village were we will stay the next weeks for a two week long crash course in Spanish. Even though we have managed to get by without basically knowing any Spanish, we feel we will get out more from our time in South America with some basic knowledge of the language. Ayampe should also have one the best beaches in Ecuador for surfing, and we are planning to also try to learn to surf during our time here!
On our way north from Chiclayo we went through several cities, Piura and Mancora in Peru, and Guayaquil in Ecuador. There are not that many buses going from Peru to Ecuador, and we didn't feel like taking any chances, we read several warnings about tourists being drugged while taking an overnight bus between the countries. So we booked tickets to the most luxurious and secure of the bus companies, Cruz del Sur, but this meant we needed to get from Chiclayo to Mancora, and at least according to what we found on the internet it also meant we needed to have a stopover in Piura.
Piura is a quite large city, but it
wasn't even mentioned in our guidebook. The town had a beautiful main square with lots of trees and flowers, but not that much more. After dropping of our bags we went walking around the city, both to see the sight around the city center, and to find a bus onward to Mancora the next day. Here in Peru only the biggest bus companies have any presence on the web and all the different bus companies have terminals scattered around town, so we went from terminal to terminal until we found one with buses to Mancora.
Our next stop, Mancora, is a little beach town and a big surf city. Everything is bilingual in Spanish and English, the first place in Peru we have visited were you probably would need no Spanish at all. Most of the people were tourists, and all services seemed aimed at them. We arrived only a few hours before the sun set, so we went to see the beach and tried the water temperature. It was warm, but still clearly colder than Florida. We watched the beach life for a while and when the sun set we went back to our hotel. We had been
warned that there are a lot of robberies in town after dark, and that you should take a cab after sun set. We started talking with the hotel owner over a beer when we got back, and mentioned this to him, and he told us none of his customers have ever been robbed, this far. Five minutes after this two of other guests came back to the hostel, and five meter outside the door a tuk-tuk came driving, snatched the bag of the other lady and drove off with it. The lady was completely destroyed mostly from the shock of being robbed, but also because much of her stuff like her camera and some money were in that bag. We felt really sorry for her, and were happy we had followed the advice to not move around outside after dark. We also felt much more paranoid the next day when going to the bus. Luckily nothing happened and we were safely on our way to Ecuador.
In Ecuador we had to stop in Guayaquil for the night as we arrived after the last bus to Ayampe had already left. Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador, and felt bigger
and richer than any city we had visited in Peru. We only saw it from the taxi window though, we went straight to our hostel when we arrived and went straight back to the bus terminal the next morning for the last leg of our trip. We thought the bus would be leaving at 10 AM, and hurried to the terminal to buy tickets, once there we realized the schedule we found online was outdated, and the bus had left already 9 AM... The next bus left 1 PM, so we had to wait at the bus station for three hours.
We finally arrived in Ayampe at 5 PM, and has this far taken a quick walk around town and down to the beach, and gotten to know our closest neighbors; a big dog who apparently likes to swim, and a small lizard that lives in our roof. The village is really green, trees and bushes everywhere, and a lot of dogs and hens running around. You can hear the waves crashing against the beach from the hostel, but otherwise it is really quiet. The place seems very peaceful, and there are not really any distractions around, perfect for studying. It is warm but not hot, we need long sleeves now when the sun has set. As we will not move forward for a few weeks and will use all our free time on Spanish and surfing, this is our last blog for at least two weeks. Our next blog might already be in Spanish! 😊 Hasta luego for now!
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