Mancora, Trujillo, Pisco
09.12.2008 - 14.12.2008 27 °C
Tuesday the 9th of December
After waving our goodbyes to Vilcabamba we hopped on a bus out of there and made our made to Loja for our night bus into Peru. There were 4 of us in total as a couple of Canadian girls wanted to do the same journey so we thought the more the better.
After a couple hours of roller coaster like driving we hit the border, exited the bus and walked our way from Ecuador to Peru. Was a really easy border crossing (surprising due to the relationship between the 2 Countries) and we were back on the bus within 30 minutes. You could really tell the difference almost immediately by the way the terrain change that we had changed destinations which was a but of a relief to us as we were able to get a few hours sleep. We arrived into Piura about 7am and headed onto another bus terminal for another 4 hour journey.
Finally we made it to our next destination, the relaxed beach town of Mancora. We decided that we had not got enough relaxation out of Vilcabamba so a few days on the beach was required. We arrived about lunchtime and headed to a recommended hostel (the loudest hostel in the world) dumped our stuff and made way for the beach for the rest of the day. Relaxed on the beach and watched the sinset then headed for some dinner before calling it a night.
Wednesday the 10th of December
After a nightclubs like sleep we made our way out of bed and ready for a big day! We found somewhere for breakfast before making our way to the beach where we spent the rest of our time on this sunner Wednesday the 10th of December. The onlt time we really stopped was for lunch when we sampled one of Peru´s speciality dishes Ceviche (raw fish with lime juice) which I enjoyed but Krystal due to the knowledge of what it was, was not that keen on the idea. Went for a walk along the beach, had some dinner, got a little drunk and went to sleep (in the nightclub) for a great days relaxing.
Thursday the 11th of December
Woke up this morning with much the same idea as the day before except for one minor change. I was the only one on the beach as Krystal turned from her natural colour to a red like shade due to the lack of protection and wishful thinking that her body would tan overnight. The problem is she forgot that prior to South America she had been living in London for a year where the chances of tanning are very few and far between! After a few more hours on the beach and created some birthday cards, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!
we collected our stuff from the hostel and made our way to the bus termianl for another night bus to Trujillo.
Friday the 12th of December
Another shitty nights sleep (well for me anyhow, Krystal is like a log) and we were in Trujillo about 6am. We found a place to stay pretty quickly and checked into our room at 7am. None of this 2pm crap like home it great! We caught a few hours sleep before heading out for a walk around town and a bus scout for our next leg South. After finding a decent price for our next days journey we booked on an afternoon tour that took us out of the city Trujillo and around some pretty interesting sites. First of all we stopped off a temple made out od mudbrick that was rediscovered in the 16th century (i think) as it was buried with sand and dust during the conflicts through times. Was pretty interesting and reminded us very much of the Middle East. After that we headed to a small musuem and then onto another site that had been buried in its past before being rediscovered call Chan Chan. This place was actually an entire city about 5km west of Trujillo built sometime in the 13th centruy AD. After the Inca conquered and region in the 15th century it was abandoned but was not looted until the Spanish entered in the years to come. This place was really cool and was amazing to see a complete city being dug up and the structures and methods used back 800 odd years ago.
From Chan Chan we headed to a little fishing village called Huanchaco. This tiny place is where the locals still practise the ancient methos of totora (reed) boats fishing and will surf out on their cigar shaped boards and bring back their catch of the day. It was a cool little town and a great place to relax for a couple of hours. From here we headed back to Trujillo to finish up our tour and head back to our hostel. We decided that chinese was on the menu tonight and Lonely Planet suggested a place only a couple of blocks from where we were so we headed on down there for a quick dinner. I thought this place should get a mention as when we entered we were taken to our table which was completely sealed off to anyone else in the place. Think of an emergency room in a hospital room and thats how every table was. You were completely sealed off from anyone. Very random. Food was ok though and we ate then headed back to our hotel and slept knowing another big bus day was ahead of us!
Saturday the 13th of Decmber
Up nice and early and onto another bus for our 10 hour journey to Lima. I can´t write anything more about this other than is was boring and all we looked at for 9 hours was flat desert beofre we thrilled with some pretty cool terrain for the last hour coming into Lima. Once in Lima we headed to another bus terminal and got on another bus for 4 hours to Pisco. Made it to Pisco about 12am and to our amazement there was a travel agent still open! We headed straight in and managed to book our next days tour to Islas Ballestas and Reserva Nacional De Paracas whichwas very handy indeed! Also got a free walk from the operater to our hostel and we crashed into bed about 1am knowing we had to be up in a few hours for our tour to begin!!!
Sunday the 14th of December
Up at 6am feeling like we hadn´t really slept we checked out of the hostel and wandered back to the travel agent for our tour to begin. One thing we didn´t realise about Pisco was that in August 2007 an earthquake measuring officially 7.9 and unofficially 8.3 tore though this town! 80% of the place was destroyed and many lives were lost. You could really see the damage that it had caused to the city and also the amount of work that they had ahead of them to get back to where they were.
We headed out of town and drove about 30km South West to a small dock where we boarded a speed boat and began our journey on the Pacific. After 20 minutes or so we slowed to a putter and were amazed at the birdlife that was happening above our heads. 2 minutes later we were gob smacked by the number of birds that were both on ground and above ground and all over the bloody place. It was amazing! They call the Islas Ballestas the poor mans Galapagos but I can tell you it was fine for us. PLus the fact that this tour cost us $20 and Galapagos would have cost us $1800! You do the maths! I did a quick count and I reckon i got somewhere around the 950,000 mark before i gave up! Other than birdlife there was thousands of Sea Lion and Pengiuns all relaxing on the shores of this little gold mine they had come across.
After many pics we headed back to shore and hopped back on the bus for our next stop to Reserva Nacional De Paracas. We were taken to a number of view points around the area and also shown where the earthquake had caused some serious environmental damage (cracks were gigantic) before stopping at a little fishing village for lunch and some more raw fish for your truly.
From here we headed back to Pisca, picked up our gear and hopped on a bus for a quick 1 hour journey to Huacachina. This is our home for tonight where we plan to go sandboarding tomorrow on and massive sandunes that surround the place. They are 100´s of metres high its amazing! Also must mention that we went to a pizza place for dinner (trying all the local food) and on the manu they had a pizza for 100 soles! Thats 50AUD! You can buy a damn car for that overhere! Anyhow thats where we are at now. Sitting in the internet cafe, drinking a cervesa (beer) and typing this for all you guys back home.
Hope all if well and a big shout out to Kev (Dad) for his birthday in a couple days time!
Take care all
M and K