Monday, July 4, 2011

Goodbye Ecuador, hello Peru, another easy boarder crossing but a long 15hr day

Its that time again to cross another border and we are both sad to leave Ecuador, we didn't really expect too much from the country but it really surprised us with its 3 distinct regions and equally 3 unique cultures. We found traveling Ecuador fun, interesting, safe and also cheap "best bang for the money so far". Good bye Ecuador and Peru here we come!

We left Vilcabamba, 9:00am heading to Macara the mountain boarder crossing we arrived at 2:00 and wanted to gas up before entering Peru. What a mistake, 3 of the 4 gas stations had closed because they had sold out and the last one had a long line up so we waited and when it was finally our turn they told us you can only get $5 of gas but the owner told the attendant to give us $10 because we're foreigners, first time things worked out in our favor. Better than nothing. 2:30 at the boarder, same process stamped our passports exit and return our car permit to the officer on duty, drove across a shot bridge and parked on the right side. We filled out the forms for the visa and got 3 months walked across the street to the police office with the nude girl pictures on inside walls and got the stamp. Next door was the Aduana office, the man doing the paper worked seemed tired and not really interested in doing our papers but the guards assured us he would do it, so he took our papers back to his disk and started working. 30 minutes later we are done and that same nice guard pointed us to where we could by insurance across the street and up the stairs, cost only $14 for 2 months cheap.

thats about all we saw after crossing the boarder, desert and garbage
Now with all the easy stuff out of the way, we didn't really know where to stop off our first night so we thought of driving towards Lima until night fall and stop off at a gas station to rest, Wrong. First we arrived in Piura, it was about 8pm and got some much needed food and I mentioned to Ji, I saw a sign for Chiclayo, she said "we are going that way" so back in the Sienna and would find a gas station on the Panamerica hwy. First things first, we had to get out of Piura and that was an adventure in itself. After driving around the town at night we asked a lady how to get on the road for Chiclayo. She was so nice she got into the car and pointed us to the Panamerica heading south, she told us to let he off at the gas station and she would take a cab back into town. We felt bad just leaving her on a dark deserted road and offered to pay for the cab and waited until she got into a taxi.

It was dark really dark and no street lights on the hwy but stupid me I said lets go to the next gas station and rest. 11pm and still no gas station and the gas light comes on. We drove until midnight before finding another station and the van was running on vapors. After 15hrs on the road we decided to never do a stupid thing like that again, plus next morning down the road we got stopped by a police check and he warned us its "not safe to drive at night lots of robberies occur at night on this road".