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Published: August 13th 2015
Boy oh boy, am I behind with the blog. So I better get cracking and update it before I forget what has happened or I don’t have the time to write it down.
After an amazing, and exhausting, time with Carla in Lima it was time for her to get back home to Brasilia and for me to continue my trip. Carla’s flight was early in the morning and I had booked an overnight bus to Huanchaco in the north of Peru. So I had a whole day to kill in Lima and as I really liked the centre I took a taxi there and just strolled around, had a great lunch and enjoyed the atmosphere. After all, who knows when, and if at all, I would come back to this wonderful city? At 19.00 I went back to the hotel, grabbed my backpack and went to the bus station where my bus left at 22.00.
The busses in Peru are one of the best in South America and the better ones feel more like an airplane experience, complete with food service, in-bus entertainment (movies galore) and WC. Most of the busses have two levels and the more expensive
seats are on the lower deck where the seats turn into beds. As a rule of thumb one hour bus travel costs about US $1 which is dirt cheap. I always try to get the better seats when I travel overnight, but this time I missed out so I had to settle for a seat up on the top level. Which in hindsight was a good thing. For security reasons normally every passenger is photographed before entering the bus and all hand luggage is searched for weapons; after all we are in South America. So off we went and after settling in, watching a movie or two I tried to sleep, thinking about my last two weeks and looking forward to a rest from sightseeing and running around like a mad man.
About 2.00 in the morning the bus had stopped and I woke up from some screaming from the lower deck. Not knowing what has happened I looked out of the window and saw 3 guys with AK47 running from the bus into the bushes. Now that is not a sight you see every day. The passengers of the bus, especially on the lower level, were in total
panic and understandably so; we have been ambushed by some armed robbers. What happened was, when the bus stopped to change the drivers, the robbers got on the bus and robbed the people on the lower level at gunpoint.
After a while the police arrived, started to take statements from the passengers and after about 2 hours we were transferred to different busses to continue our journey to Huanchaco. I have meet two other gringos that were on the bus and when we arrived we took a taxi to a hostel right on the beach. Problem was that our luggage was still on the first bus and we were told that we will get it around lunchtime that day. That of course didn’t happen until the next day.
Huanchaco is a small seaside resort on the Pacific Ocean and a tourist place. So you have heaps of hostels, bars and restaurants. The beach was real crappy so I didn’t even go there after inspecting it. As it was out of the holiday season it was pretty quiet and that was fine with me. After the hectic time in Lima it was nice just to kick back and relax.
One of the guys I met on the bus was a chef and since the hostel had a kitchen he made some amazing food, which was a nice break from eating in restaurants all the time.
There was not much to do in Huanchaco except to visit the Inca ruins Chan Chan in a town called Trujillo nearby. They were pretty impressive and it is said that several thousand people used to live there. Here I saw for the first time the native Peruvian hairless dogs and my first thought was how ugly they were. If I wouldn’t have been told about these dogs I would have thought that they must be sick or something; they hardly have any hair on their body at all.
After a few days in Huanchaco it was time to relocate to another beach town with a better beach so I took the bus to Mancora, about 8 hours north and close to the Ecuador boarder. Now Mancora has some fantastic beaches and I had a great time there, again doing nothing but relax. I am normally not a person that is good in the art of relaxing, but if I do, man
do I relax. I found a real nice hostel that was quiet and very close to the beach. The manager of the hostel organised ping pong events at some nights and the people that stayed at the place were all backpackers that were on the road for a long time, so I had some real interesting conversations. Another attraction nearby is the opportunity to swim with sea turtles and since I have never done this a must for me. And I have to say it is an experience to swim with these magnificent animals. I cannot understand why on earth people go out and kill these animals for fun…
So after 7 days of doing more or less nothing but relax it was time to travel to the next country – Ecuador. The last time I have been there was in 1982 and I was looking forward to come back. Ecuador was one of my favourite countries I have had visited so I was curious how it had changed. And I also had booked a plane to visit the famous Galapagos Islands which I didn’t visit the last time I was in Ecuador. But that story is for the
So this is it for this update. I had a great time on this leg of the trip, even if our bus was robbed. To be honest I didn’t expect this to happen in Peru, but in either Bolivia or Paraguay. But that shows you that things like this happen when you least expect it. But such is life, full of surprises. Thank you for reading to the end and as usual leave comments and please vote on some of the pictures if you like them. Take care wherever you are and enjoy your life.
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