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.
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.
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..
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.
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.Tomorrow is to be a long boring day along the Pan-Am through more desert.