Sunday, 27 November 2011

Catamayo to Chiclayo (Peru)

Fri 25th to Sat 26th November

The alarm went off at 6am and we were on the road within the hour (who said this was a holiday). It wasn't because of the distance we needed to cover but because you never know how long it is going to take to get through the border.

Once again we headed into the hills….

… and above the early morning clouds.

It was about a two hour ride to the border but before we got there we were stopped once again at a military check point. They were very polite and after seeing our documents and handshakes all round we were off again. This has been our experience of the Military & Police throughout this trip so far and long may it continue.

The border crossing at Macara was also a straight forward affair. People have said that the crossings are easier in South America and so far this has proved to be the case. Peru here we come.

Almost immediately it was a different experience to that of the past few days as we dropped out of the mountains onto desert plains. It was quickly apparent that Peru is a poorer Country than it’s Ecuadorian neighbour. The mud hut on the right with the black plastic roof is home to a family and this is upmarket compared to those built with stakes and reeds.

Our first view of the Pacific Ocean for a while. The destination tonight was a resort on the beach, Playa Colan Lodge.

View from the cabin

With trunks on it was down to the water thinking that a dip in the warm sea would be refreshing after a day on the bike. The idea was quickly abandoned on discovering the water was decidedly chilly. (I know, I’m a woose but why is it so cold so close to the Equator)?

Watching the sun go down from the beach.

The Kiwi has been with us a few days now. He is much more organised than us, I mean, he has got some maps of South America and a plan. Our Sat Navs leave us frustrated at times by contradicting themselves and the detail is also limited. We’ve therefore decided to kidnap him for a while and if he escapes make sure we have his maps as we have been unable to buy any since entering South America. Roger is 57, pretty much retired like the rest of us and started his trip in Alaska about 2 years ago but unfortunately got wiped out by a car in Guatemala which broke his leg and damaged his knee. Still not fully recovered, he flew into Guatemala in July, purchased a brand new Triumph Tiger and restarted his journey South exactly a year after the accident (now he's not a woose). check out

Saturday - Our plan today was to ride to Chiclayo. After leaving the hotel we first stopped at the local church which just so happens to be the oldest colonial church in Peru (built in 1537).

Iglesia San Lucas de Colan (you really wanted to know that).

Next stop was Paita, the nearest town that was likely to have an ATM.

Our celebrity status continues to grow. As we approached the town two Police motorcyclists saw that we were looking a little lost and took it upon themselves to escort us to a bank. Another policeman kept an eye on the bikes whilst we emptied the hole in the wall.

Roger negotiating his way back across the road. These motorcycle taxis breed like rabbits and are taking over Peru.

The now familiar crowd gathered before we were escorted back out of town by our friends in blue.

Handshakes all around and we are off

Back on the highway we start heading South through the Sechura desert. The landscape is equally as dramatic as the hills and mountains. It reminded me of Africa with small villages of mud and straw huts dotted along the roadside.

Hope we don't break down here. It looks like this guy has been waiting sometime for spares.

Giving way to the other traffic.

We don't see many fellow travellers on the road especially considering we have been on the gringo trail for much of the time recently. Like buses you don't see any for ages then a bunch come along all at the same time. Laura & Paddy are cycling around South America and riding to every Capital City (they're definitely not wooses). Both work in London and Paddy grew up in Alton (just in case any of you locals know him).

Then a lone yank from Wisconsin stopped. He is travelling on a 30 year old Yamaha 250 that made our bikes look pristine. Like us he is heading for the bottom and didn't have a plan either.

Heading South through the desert the road was pretty much straight......

.... and incredibly flat

Tomorrow we carry on South towards Huanchaco


  1. g day dave, keep an eye on that kiwi, dont drink out of his aluminium billy else u will forget where u r going, good to see he has found good company, looks like u r having a amazing trip, makes me feel like getting a bike out again, best of luck, w&d, rogers bro n

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