June 13, 2009 GMT
You're My Favourite Waste Of Time.

9.6.09 Colan, Peru

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Hang a left (or "turn left" for those of you that don't regularly sport Wayfarers or believe that Teen Wolf is the second greatest movie of all time) off the Panamericana just after Piura, and 30 miles up the road you'll hit Paita, a quite pretty little port. Keep on movin' - don't stop - and you'll get to Colan.

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Find the "Restaurant/Hotel On The Beach" sign and you've arrived at Alfredo's place. Step onto the deck, order a beer and reeee-laaaax. Not that much! First you'll have to have at least a variant of this conversation:

Alfredo: Hola! Hello! Yes! Si! Enter!
Me: Hola! Er, do you have a room? And somewhere for my bike?
A: Always! Enter! Come!
M: Great! How much is it?
A: Don't worry! Come and see the beach!
M: Er, OK!
(One sees the beach)
M: Oh! Fantastic! So how much is the room?
A: Yes! Si! Er... choice! 20 or 35 soles. I think you need 20. 35 has four beds!
M: Ah! Can I see the room?
A: Look at the beach!
M: It's beautiful! Um... Where is the room?
A: ....Yes! Come! Here is room!
(It's very small but OK)
M: Hmmm... OK! I'll take it. I'll go and get my bike.
A: Very good! Muy bueno!
(Luggage is dumped in room, bike parked in corridor. All good.)
A: So, 30 Soles with bike yes? Muy good!
M: *sigh* Ah... OK. Nice beach!
(The change into shorts is effected. One emerges from the room.)
A: So! I think 40 Soles! The sea, the beach, very bueno!
M: Eh?
A: 40 for room and bike! Nice beach!
M: OK pal! Enough. You said (etc etc etc rant rant rant...)
A: Oh si! I forget! 30 good!
M: Here's 30.
A: Yes! I forget! Muy nice!

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It is, as Alfredo points out, a very very nice beach.

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The Long Road To Freedom... Although I'm stopped by a pair of cops 20 miles before Piura today, they seem to have no interest in anything other than my passport, my GPS (with which their fascination borders on the prurient) and my - ha! - job. I really am starting to believe I'm gonna get away with having no insurance. Touch "wood".

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Today's favourite waste of time is watching a skinny cat try to catch crabs* at 11pm on a Peruvian Pacific beach. The cat doesn't appear to stand a chance. If I hadn't ganneted my dinner so quickly I'd chuck it some fish bits. Well done you crabs though!

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10.6.09. Las Lomas, Peru

Makes Of Motorcycle That Are Available In Peru But Are Unlikely Ever To Be Sold In The UK:

1. RTM; just because the logo is a direct steal of the KTM one and they'd all have to go to prison.
2. Wanxin. Just can't see 'em catching on. "Try Wanxin - for Cheap Thrills." Oh dear me no. "The new single seat Wanxin - a great solo ride." No, I think not.

I don't think they get a lot of gringos in Las Lomas. It's 30 miles from the Ecuador border (one of the less popular crossings which I've chosen because the guidebook calls the main one "the worst border crossing in South America") and I'm sitting in a dusty, hot, very amenable roadside restaurant with motorbikes and moto-taxis passing within 6 feet of my table at the rate of 1 every 10 seconds. Everyone that passes makes eye contact, and I smile at them, and they smile, or hoot, or wave, or shout something that doesn't taste of "crap off out of it, you fat gringo twat". It's really quite special. It's 4.45pm, and at 6 this place starts serving Parrillada Mixta - mixed grilled meat with a strong possibilty of organ action. I'm extremely excited. A great way to say "Ta-ra!" to Peru.

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Hmmm... Sweated of Trout, or Male Thing?

Number of extremely attractive Peruvian gals I've seen wearing desperately tight official Honda t-shirts: 2.
Number of times this has coincided with me being on, or within visual range of, my bike: 0.

Maximum number of helmetless people it seems you can get on a Peruvian-registered motorcycle without going to prison for ever: five. Husband, wife, three small children. Good work! Up to a point.

*oh come on

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at June 13, 2009 11:03 PM GMT

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