Peru – English
After crossing the border at Paita, the first major city we crossed was Sullana and after that Piura. The same way as most of the other major towns we crossed these are completely FULL of people, and after the arrival of
the “tuc-tuc” (motorcycle taxis) traffic in these towns is chaotic…they just honk the horn and pass, honk the horn and enter right in front of you, even cross a red light is OK, ride on the wrong lane, ok, too…traffic rules are just
for the books…it’s a survival war, and with this “huge” vehicle we had hard times trying to get by some situations…but we are managing to “survive”!
After Sullana we entered an area called “Desierto
de Sechura” which is, as the name suggests, a very arid and dry desert. In fact what we have seen most in this part of the Panamericana here in Peru is desert, much dust, much sand, and stones of varied colors and shapes, much wind near the ocean and
a very beautiful coastline, especially when viewed from the mountains…Because of the winds they use some kind of protection “wall” made of some kind of straw as a windbreaker and they even build houses in the desert out of these walls. I
wanted to bring some along to use as decoration in my yard, but Daniel told me there was no room for that…
Our first stop to stay overnight was at the town of Lambayeque at a “Grifo” – how they call the gas station – and
after went through Chiclayo and Paijan. In Paijan we were stopped by the Patrulheiros de Carreteras – Highway Patrolmen –because according to the first trooper that stopped us Daniel didn’t have his headlights on and the Law here in Peru
demands you should have them on and that he would have to write us a ticket. Well, the first trooper left and another one named Garcia took over and said he would actually give us a ticket. Daniel commented that we had not seen any traffic signs stating “lights
on” and the trooper said he was right – there are none!!! – We also emphasized that we are tourists and as such are unable to know each and every rule of another country and also as tourists we do not come to the country to get in trouble
or to cause trouble. I also commented that in other countries tourists get a “warning” as not to do the same thing again. Long story…short – he ended up recognizing there were no signs and that we did not deserve a ticket but just
a verbal warning to keep the lights on. Trooper Garcia was very polite and very professional, the opposite of his co-worker who approached us in a scandalous manner and did not seem the kind of person suited for his position.
In Chiclayo there
is an institution called “Hospital de la Solidaridad” which is a series of containers which host doctors and dentists offices and ambulatories aiming at popularizing health care among the population. I think this is a very interesting idea.
After Chiclayo we went on to Trujillo, Chimbote and Barranca where we stayed overnight. From here we went through Lima and visited the airport, which is in Callao, since we needed some information there. Lima is what every big city is – lots of people
and chaotic traffic. We didn’t enter downtown we just passed by the stretch of the Panamericana that goes through Lima, since it gets complicated to drive downtown a big city with a vehicle this size…From Lima we went on the PanAm southbound
heading to Paracas but before that we decided to stop at a supermarket to get some more supplies. We stopped at a small town called Chincha and the downtown area was “packed” with people on a Sunday afternoon. We parked on the main street and “tried”
to cross it to get to a store but it was just impossible. Returned to the RV and went on some more blocks and finally stopped almost in front of another supermarket, with lots of people around again. We took the GPS out of its support and put it down, I grabbed
my camera and Daniel the cell phone, locked everything and went to the market for 20 some minutes. When we were at the cashier a young man approached Daniel and asked if we were the owners of the RV parked outside. Daniel answered affirmatively and he commented
“Le romperam el vidrio…” – they have broken your glass – which Daniel took as a joke…but NO, it was NOT a joke…when we got back to the RV we saw the passenger’s side window was broken in pieces, they took
our GPS, the 32i TV set and my little bag I had with few ladies things and some Brazilian money…and many people on the street who must have heard and seen what happened, without doing anything…The material things they stole, which one is able
to buy back, does not make us so angry as the fact that they “STEAL” your tranquility, your integrity and your rights…this is what make us really mad… But, as Daniel’s father, Grandpa Nilvo, always said “God has more to
give than the Devil to take away”. What makes us feel better is acknowledging the fact that those items they took from us will not change or improve the lives of these persons – they will go on being who they are, living where they live with no
perspective of getting better. Poor people!
Well, getting back to Peru and with the incident we had to change our plans of driving to Cusco and visit Machu-Pichu once there we would have to leave the RV parked someplace and take a tour train to Machu
Pichu. Like Daniel says we will leave that for a next trip – most likely by plane and with a tour group…kkk . So, we continued south on the Panamericana viewing that which I have commented before: lots of deserted areas and arid soil but,
at the same time, with the irrigation processes they have been using there are around here gorgeous green valleys where it is possible to plant almost everything, especially herbs and spices as in the town of Milton where is located the “Viveros Genesis”
and one can smell the scent of the herbs when passing through town. There is much fruit, bananas, citric fruit, grapes for the Pisco, cactus plantations…it’s unbelievable to see all of this just next to an arid and dry area. We passed through
the town of Nazca where the Nazca Lines are located – these are drawn figures mostly of animal forms such as birds, monkey, spider, alligator which they claim were created between 200 BC and 700AD – in an area of 350 square meters and that are
better viewed from the air. We also went through Paracas National Reserve which has sea lions, dolphins and 200 species of birds. It is located in the town of Paracas which is a nice little town by the ocean.
Here in Peru the gasoline is very expensive
– around U$ 5,00 a gallon and there are many tolls to pay, too. We can not complain of the roads, excepting some small stretches and when one enters a town, other than that the roads are in very good shape. And here they honk the horn for almost “everything”
– when they are passing you, when they have passed, when they want the right of way, as if substituting the turn signal by the horn…it is crazy…beep…beep all the time…all day long…and sometimes at night,too.
five days here in this country…a broken glass…that must be replaced probably in Chile, we arrived in the border town of Tacna and the border crossing of Chacalluta where we left Peru and entered Chile, with the usual paperwork, and stayed overnight
at a COPEC gas station in the town of Arica. A little before getting to Tacna we stopped at Moquegua to eat a sandwich for lunch. We parked on the road in front of a nice house with flowers and a small grape vine. All of a sudden there was a man standing in
front of the RV checking the license plate, he came to the window and said: “Welcome to Moquegua – if you need anything, use the bathroom, some water…anything…I live up front.” We thanked him and back he went to the house. Five
minutes later here he comes again with three nice oranges to give us saying they were just picked from the tree…see, there have been nice people on our way, too!