The contrast in climate of South America over small distances continues to both surprise and delight me, as I write this I am listening to Pacific Ocean waves crash down on a beautiful beach in Northern Peru. The temperature is about 22oC there is a light breeze, no insects and I am sitting outside at 10pm typing this blog. Just a little while ago when we arrived Errol and I turned off the engine and plunged into the sea which is just a perfect temperature for cooling off.
However this idyllic end to the day was well deserved as we had to deal with a four hour border crossing with long queues (with lots of que hopping, ducking and diving by the locals.
A few tense moments as firstly we got sent back to Ecuador to get our TIP properly cancelled, then the customs in Peru were not inclined to accept my insurance documents, so by the end of that process I was hot and exhausted and very pleased to see the sea and go for a dip to cool down.
However the day had started very well, in Quenca we had spent a good evening with friends Neil and Pat catching up on their tips and tricks from travelling through all the countries we were just about to visit and we set off in good mood this morning bright and early (thanks to Neil for the photo)
As we drove down from Cuenca we were dropping from 2500m all the way down to zero so in effect we were driving down a mountain and down from above the clouds to the hot plains below, this made for some super views along the way.
The views of the clouds lapping on the hills were lovely and the valleys and canyons we drove through on nice smooth roads were very dramatic. Some of the views were a little surprising as at one point the army were stopping all the cars while Miss Local Pubelo asked for a contribution to some good cause, she was very polite and very pretty so we broke all our overlanding codes of never paying bribes and just coughed up a dollar each…
Our first impressions of Peru are not flattering, it may be this is a feature of just this part of Peru, but the villages appear to be very run down and badly kept in comparison with the clean and tidy organisation that we saw in both Colombia and specially in Ecuador.
Our plan is to hug the coast for a few days to see some ancient Inca ruins and then really head for the very high ground and beautiful lakes in the mountains of North Peru once we have recharged our batteries on the beach and stocked up on provisions for camping rough for a few days, this time I will be taking my altitude medicine !