26 August 2002 - PERU
Well, we crossed the Equador border, which is spread out over 8km. We got to the Peruvian end and Belindas passport hadnt been stamped out of Equador. So, back 8km of which 1km was markets and huge traffic jams. We finally got the stamp and 3 hours later we were on our way.
We had heard that the beaches in Northern Peru were good, so we stopped off at Punta Sal Beach, north of Mancora. One hotel was advertising every 5km for the past 20km, so we checked it out. It was absolutely stunning , right on the beach front and run by a lovely young couple. One look at it and we thought it was way over our budget. We negotiated a price down into our budget range and checked out how the rich live.
We moved into our gorgeous beachfront apartment, which even had feather pillows and great mattresses. We had the best sleeps of our lives with the rythmic lull of the waves sending us into slumberland!! The pool overlooked the beach and we swam in this ideal setting every morning, walked along the beach, partied with the really friendly owners and guests and had the time of our lives. Every morning we would say to the owners "Una mos noche!!" and they would laugh. Five blissful days later we resumed our journey.
The place is called Hotel Caballito de Mar Beach Resort and its one of the best places we have stayed in our lives. Its website is www.hotelcaballito.com.pe
We are now in Puira, heading quickly towards Lima, with a stop in Trijillio to see our friends there. The countryside is extremely dry- similar to Kenya in Africa, the people very poor & the houses very basic.
Many roads and bridges were washed out a few years ago from the effects of El Niņo and have been replaced, with the damaged roads and bridges still in view.
We are an Australian couple from Cairns, Queensland, Australia travelling 2 up on a Yamaha Super Tenere XTZ 750, fondly nicknamed Miss Adventure. We started ground travel in Texas in Feb 2002, then through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Hondurus, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama. We then all flew (bike as well) to Lima, Peru. We will eventually finish in Chile in March 2003 and will sell the motorbike then. ( see our ad in HUBB section of this website: www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/000213.html if you are interested in more details about the bike and all our modifications).
We are real estate agents ( LJ Hooker Edge Hill - 0418 873 760) and job share with Belindas brother-Paul Davis and his wife Jacqueline. We work for a year and travel every second year, working half a financial year each year. If you need to contact us while travelling sms ONLY on +61 419309309 as its too expensive for you and us for you to call.
We will start this website from Equador in 2002 and continue through South America our next trip was a year, 2004 in Western Europe and in 2006 a year in Eastern Europe.
20 AUG 2002- ECUADOR
Our first stop in Ecuador was the lovely gringo village called Vilcabamba, nestled in the Andes Mountains, where we attended there annual rodeo. We stayed in a gorgeous new resort run by a couple of German brothers. The views were magnificent, food fantastic, weather was very mild and we had a ball. Everyday we would go for a hike, explore the village, go for a mountain bike ride and have lunch in one of the many high quality restaurants. (not all in one day!!) We had a bonfire every night, met and partied with some wonderful people, including John and Annette (an English couple travelling on 2 BMWs)- you just go girl!!! After 10 days we reluctantly left to explore the rest of Equador!!
We drove towards another gringo hangout called Baņos, located at the base of a VERY active volcano. We took a short cut road from Riobamba to Baņos, which was effectively closed due to volcanic damage in 1999. We heard it was Ok for motorbikes and bicycles. Being the adventurous type, we decided to give it a go- 40km took us 4 hours!! So much for a short cut! The road had been totally wrecked, there were 10 makeshift bridges, all with 20m drop offs and NO siderails!! It was nervewracking and I wouldnt recommend it to anyone, but I was so proud of my heros driving abilities!! We walked up towards the volcano and actually saw some puma exploding out of the volacno and heard the explosion- all very exciting.
We then headed north of Quito, checked out the Equator monument and a fascinating museum that showed water going around clockwise on one side of the equator and anticlockwise on the other and only 3m apart. It was quite cold on the equator due to the height!! (one pass at 4,000m was 7 Deg C at noon)
We have been following the Andes range the whole way up Ecuador and were looking forward to being warm again and seeing a few more beaches!!
We headed towards the coast via The Quilotoa Circuit (boasts a volcanic lake) which turned out to be quite a rough, winding dirt road, but at least there were no camacazi truck and bus drivers on this road.
We then went whale watching in Puerto Lopez. Next was Isle de Plato, the poor mans Galapagis, which was $30 each per day, compared to $3,000 each per week. We saw lots of nesting Albatross and nesting Boobies- (the bird variety!!)
We found a paradise beach-Montaņita-the best surf beach in Ecuador- with lovely cabanas with hammocks in the spacious balcony- called Kamala, but it was too overcast for us beachbums.
We are now heading back towards Peru and will cross the border tomorrow.
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