14 March 2017
I can best describe Peru as epic. Everything you look at is epic. The seacoast is epic with its tiny ships and hard beautiful seashore. The scenery is epic with its vast sky and views that go on just forever. And the potholes are epic. In the two days since I’ve driven across the Peruvian border, I’ve driven through puddles bigger than I ever have seen in my life, I’ve crossed 4 flooded rivers, seen two semis collapse into sink holes, and ridden in mud it seems almost up to my armpits. This is what I’ve been dreaming about when I first decided to do this drive; a real adventure. This is what I’ve been seeking.
In contrast, Ecuador has sadly been a kind of a bore. I think I took the wrong road. My plan to take the coast in hope for some kiteboarding has totally backfired. Not only did I not see the ocean much between the constant brush and trees, I totally missed crossing the equator as well. I didn’t even realize it until I hit the border, there was no sign or anything; I guess I’ll have to hit it on the way back up.
The only time I really did see the Ecuadorian coast was on my second night in country where I stopped in a little B&B just outside of Jama. It really was the only lodging around that was open and I was happy to get out of the constant drizzle I had all day. While quite spendy at about 100 USD, it was very peaceful and relaxing. I spent the remaining daylight walking down to the beach, exploring, and just recharging.
The next day was more of the same; an isolated road and not much else. I was out of Ecuador by the end of the day and was a little disappointed by just the lack of any real experience. My advice if you plan on visiting Ecuador: stick to the east and the mountains. The west coast was very lonesome and honestly unremarkable. It would have helped if I didn’t feel so driven to continue onward to get to Bolivia. Also the weather sure didn’t help since after San Lorenzo it has been a constant drizzle. This combination killed any spirit in me to discover so I just kept my bike pointed south.
The border crossing from Ecuador/Peru was really easy. The migration for both countries was in one building and everything went very quickly for a Monday morning. The online guides are really accurate so there’s not much more I can say. The only money needed was to pay for insurance for Peru which I would watch out for. I’m pretty sure she scammed me, but with her being my only option, I was stuck with paying it. It might be easier to try to get insurance in town if the immigration official will allow it.
It seems like everything is a little more expensive here in Peru compared to Ecuador. For the last two nights, the hotels have been some of my most expensive. Also the rain that has been annoying for the last couple days continues to follow me. From the looks of it, Peru has been getting quite a lot of rain lately. That would explain all of my river crossings. Also I must comment on how much litter there is everywhere. It’s sad to see these vast open areas that truly take my breath away being ruined by all the trash. I would say that Peru is up there with India on the litter front, it is just everywhere.
I’m really excited about seeing more of Peru and I’m glad that I’m finally finding the adventure I was seeking. I hope it dries out some and I get to enjoy the country more. My plan is to hit the coast road that takes me through Lima and be out of Peru in the next two days. My dad is leaving Brazil in 3 weeks so there isn’t much time for me to first fly to Uruguay to get my Brazilian visa, then fly there to visit. I hope I have the proper time to slow down and just absorb what looks to be the best country yet.