To make our way north to the Ecuadorian border we first got a micro from Huanchaco to Trujillo where we caught a cab to the bus terminal (the driver was bonkers and kept turning round to talk to us whilst negotiating heavy chaotic town traffic). 5 minutes after getting there we watched the micro that we had got off go past, but its impossible to know what the different routes are, besides the cab journey had well and truly woken us up!
We got a bus to Chicalayo 3 hours north. The buses from Trujillo direct to Pirua 4 hours further on all left in the afternoon so would have got us in late in the day – instead we planned to try and pick up something from Chiclayo to Pirua the same day but after arriving into absolute chaos and doing the rounds of all the bus companies no one had any availability until early evening as it was the start of a 4 day weekend in Peru and every man and his dog was catching a bus. So we crashed in Chiclayo for the night and spent the afternoon mooching round the town (sorry no photos, the locals didn’t seem used to tourists and was a few dodgy characters around – we chatted to an old man in the central plaza for a while who confirmed this).
Next morning we got the bus to Pirua and were relieved that it wasn’t quite so chaotic outside the terminal. On arrival we got our tickets for the Ecuador bus the next morning and found somewhere to sleep.
It was clean and safe and the people that ran it were really nice, it was just a little tatty…until we sat on the beds and discovered that the mattresses were covered in a crunchy kind of plastic – like those covers that you put on beds for men that get so drunk they wet the bed – and were so well sealed that it was like an airbed e.g. you lay on it and another part of the mattress rose. It was akin to sleeping on a crisp packet that kept the heat in and slowly roasted us as we slept, definitely our worst night yet and was topped off by Marie calling the buffalos in the early hours of the morning – lovely!!!!!
- People in Peru (particularly Northern Peru) are really friendly.
- For most buses in Peru you have to show your passport when getting on and have your bag checked by security. On some of the better companies they also film your face with a camcorder…
- It’s rare to see women driving in Peru – maybe that’s why the roads are so chaotic
- Pharmacies in South America are great, you just tell them what you want and they sell it to you. In Peru we topped up our first aid kit with 3 times strength codeine (in case the tooth plays up again) and double the strength of ibuprofen than you can get over the counter in the UK or NZ. We also got antibiotics for bad stomachs. Gotta love it! Let’s hope that NZ customs don’t mind us bringing them back with us!