Friday, October 12, 2012


We left Loja before breakfast, at 7 the morning, and with Marco having an upset stomach! It is not good having a runny tummy, being on a bus for eight hours. I dosed him a tuff dosage of Chamberlains colic, and he was sound asleep on my lap, for almost three hours, feeling much better!

It was amazing. The further we drove from Loja the drier it got. The landscape changed to dry and arid, first with some boababs, but later on only yellow grass covering the mountains, and later just grey colorless fields, with hardly any people. What was happening with nature nearing the border of Peru and Ecuador at Macara? Even the last hour or so, there were no more tar roads, just bumpy dirt roads, challenging what was left of the shocks of the bus. There were less people living there, there were less farm lands next to the rivers....

The bus luckily stopped a couple of times, and Marco was good, especially after an ice cream! Once it stopped, because there was something wrong with the air brakes, and believe me, with these steep hills, that was not a good thing.

We reached Macara, did all the paperwork, and got the stamps in our passports. Everything went so smoothly, and we were excited to enter Peru, on our way to Piura!

But nature was harsh, and dry, and even in the valley next to the river, there was little green. The houses changed as soon as we crossed the river at the border post, and we saw the corrugated iron roofs, held together by the red old tiles, making sure that the corrugated iron don`t get blown away. In Ecuador, all the houses had these red tile roofs. We looked at each other. Africa? A little bit of Africa? No lawns, no gardens, hardly any trees, and no vegetable patch. There was only branches stuck together to fence in two or three cattle or goats, and a pig roaming the dirt.

We got closer to Piura, but we were shocked at what we saw. It is so that we always try not to have expectations, but we did! We passed a really smelly area, with no trace of sanitation, and the shacks all over, with the dirt and rubbish blowing in the wind, and we couldn`t believe what we saw. What did we expect? Getting off the bus, was good, until the taxis bombarded us to take us somewhere. Michal, found us, and took us for too much money to a money exchange, for a poor rate, but luckily we only exchanged 20$, to pay his fee, which cost us 15$! He took us to a hotel, a nice one, thank goodness, and off he went with his commission.

There was an American on the bus, telling us horror stories about Peru, and how careful we must be, and our taxi driver also gave us a briefing! I was sceptic because this same American guy, told me horror stories about my country without even being there!

We got Marco in the room, and went off searching for food, because we only had an apple and an ice cream for the whole day, and Marco was too scared to eat! There were a lot of these 'moto-taxis, and we took one for 1,50 soles, to the Mall for a baguette and ham in the room!

We decided to stay for another day, because whatever Marco had, Johan and I joined in, and no one wanted to get onto a bus tomorrow!

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