Day 145: Into Peru

Days: 145  -   Date: 16JAN14  -   Itinerary: Cuenca, EC to Mancora, PE  -   Miles: 224

Out of the lush, cool mountains of Ecuador and down to the arid, hot desert of the Peruvian coast. My original plan was to ride straight South from Cuenca to Loja and then to tiny remote border crossing of La Balsa, Peru. However, I had recently read that the road was very very muddy due to all the rain that the area has been having and was made even worse due to construction going on. So with that, we headed West towards the coast and the Pan-Am.

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Along the way we stopped at house/fruit stand on the side of the road. Bananas are the most common crop grown in the area and are for sale all along the road side.EC_16Jan14_007 EC_16Jan14_008

We bought an entire bundle of Bananas for only $1. Super cheap and very tasty. They are smaller than the ones I normally eat back home but they are much sweeter.EC_16Jan14_009


Miles of Banana plantations along side the road


Getting closer to the coast.. drier, hotter and uglier.


Before crossing the border into Peru we filled up on cheap Ecuadorian fuel. Only $1.48/gallon here compared to over $5/gallon in Peru.


This border crossing from Ecuador to Peru is the easiest I’ve done to date. Everything is very simple, efficient and stress-free. No annoying helpers or money changers to be found. It is well marked and easy to find. The migracion process couldn’t be easier.. the Ecuador exit and Peru entrance are located in the same office.. Stamp out of Ecuador, slide down the counter to the next official, and stamp into Peru. Very fast and efficient. Every border should be this easy. EC_16Jan14_013

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Once we crossed the border, I was instantly aware I wasn’t in Ecuador anymore.. There was trash everywhere and things were much more run-down, along with stench of crap and decaying garbage. Not exactly a good first impression of Peru.

The Pan-Am winds along the Pacific coast here and occasionally provides a good glimpse of the beaches here. Nothing spectacular.. polluted and desolate. So far, Peru isn’t exactly an appealing place..EC_16Jan14_014 EC_16Jan14_015 EC_16Jan14_016 EC_16Jan14_017

We made it into the ‘party’ town of Mancora. This place is very popular with the young crowd in Latin America. A bit run-down with lot’s of cheap hostels, bars and discotecs. Not really my type of scene.

Peruvian beer: Cusquena. Really good and one of my favorites so far on this trip.

After getting settled in, we went out to find dinner. Since I was now in Peru, I had to have Ceviche. It consists of raw fish that is marinated/cooked in citrus juice and onions. It was very very good and definitely the best I’ve ever had. Peruvian Ceviche is by far the king of fish entrees.EC_16Jan14_021Tomorrow is to be a long boring day along the Pan-Am through more desert.

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