January 19, 2010 GMT
Northern Peru

We arrived in Mancora nice and early, found a lovely room in a hostel on the beach, unpacked, and spent a lovely afternoon chilling on the beach, drinking beer and making friends with other travelers, as well as bumping into some old faces from up the road, a couple of guys I had met back in Colombia.
I took out a surfboard and sat on it for an hour, waiting for a wave, then gave up and went and sat back on the beach.


The view from our beachside bungalow

On our second day we moved to a bungalow on the beach with stunning views of the ocean, and made more friends there, and I arranged to DJ on their party night in return for another free night in the bungalow. The set went down well, and I played until well after Jacquie went off to bed!
Another day of chilling on the beach and we were ready to leave Mancora behind and head down the coast to the next beach, Huanchaco.
The fishermen's surf boats on the beach in Huanchaco

We only stayed overnight in Huanchaco, even though we would have liked to stay more, Peru was a huge slice of land, and we wanted to make our way southwards. We saw some of the traditional boats that the fishermen use, a clever style of half boat half surfboard, which the paddle out and the surf back in with their catch. Cool.
And then we were on the coastal road, southward bound. The stretch of road from Huanchaco to Lima was just breathtaking.
Untouched coastline to the west of us, and pure desert, to the east, with nothing man made to spoil the view for hundreds of miles. The Peruvians warned us that this stretch would be boring, but we both found it absolutely beautiful.
There were a few dodgy moments where the sand had been blown almost all the way across the road, making it a single lane highway, but thankfully there was next to no traffic on the road, and we continued on without incident.

Out of nowhere we came across an oasis here and there, and the brown desertscape briefly turned to lush green, before returning to the sand and ocean mix. The highway twisted and curved following the coastline, and I could have ridden that road all day long, in fact, I did. We arrived in Lima at around 7pm, just in time to catch the rush hour traffic. It was a huge contrast to riding through the desert for 400 miles and only seeing a handful of cars to having to fight our way through 7 lanes of traffic for 2 hours!
We stopped in Miraflores, and checked into the only hostel we could find, and crashed out for the night.
We had a few things to sort out while we were in the city, getting the camera cleaned was my top priority, and once we had that sorted, we got the hell out of there. More desert roads awaited on the way down to Nasca.

Posted by Dan Shell at January 19, 2010 08:10 PM GMT

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