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Day29-Welcome to Peru, Tue, Jan 25, 2011

Border Crossing #11 Ecuador/Peru

Start & Stop: Machala, Ecuador to Chiclayo, Peru

Mileage: 400 miles

Hotel: Los Portales Chiclayo, Saenz Pena 396, Chiclayo, Perú, 0800-52-652 ~$78 USD

Fuel: Regular: $13.80 Sol/gal or $4.98 USD/gal (Yikes)

Dean: No stress border crossing.  At least for me …

We're at the Ecuador/Peru border. Lisa is the shadow in the door standing in line for Peru immigration.

Lisa: No stress but holy cow – just ONCE could one of these countries MARK the buildings so we are wasting time riding back and forth through masses of humanity.  Good grief.  Dean will mock me but we spent over an hour just trying to find the two buildings we needed to check out of Ecuador.  Stupid.  And sick as I am, that was an hour I would have preferred to be resting.  I usually lead into the border areas and I am going SLOW, scanning both sides of the road for where we need to be, over a space of about 2 miles.  Today was one of those days and still I rode all the way to the bridge to Peru and…nothing….a few stupidly elementary Spanish questions asked of bystanders and back we go, weaving through the marketplace, honking indiscriminately because we can.

If Central and South America are behind the rest of the free world, it is most evident in border procedures.  Really.  Today’s experience checking out the motos was a fascinating trip back in time.  Our border agent was very nice, very polite, spoke not a word of English and took his job very seriously.  And good thing too as EVERYTHING is done by hand.  Everything.  He got out a biiiiiiggggg ledger, licked his thumb and ever-so-slowly thumbed through the pages the find the most current.  He then painstakingly entered every detail, ever so carefully across the entire ledger.  For both bikes.  Then, he also filled in two HUGE stickers full of that same info to be attached to our windshields. (as a point of reference, Dean’s bike is number 19 and mine is 20. For the year 2011 – not much demand here I guess) Then allllllll that had to be recopied, by hand again, onto REAMS of papers.  At this point, my eyes roll back in my head and my head bangs sideways onto my shoulder.  Jeez, people, what the heck is going on here?  Last I checked it was 2011!

But this is pretty standard.  Get this – to EXIT Nicaragua – we’re leaving, not coming back, dunzo  -I needed to provide 5 copies of my exit papers FOR EACH BIKE to the office. What are you doing with this paper? And how many trees are being killed so I can ride to Ushuaia? It’s so over the top ridiculous I find myself pounding the living daylights out of my keyboard right now.

(Deep Breath)

Dean: When Lisa gets all worked up like above, I just quietly follow and pick-up the pieces.  Me: “Sorry!, She didn’t mean that!, Her mouth isn’t really foaming!, She’ll be OK … really!, She missed her meds this morning!” and if it really bad, “Oh no, she’s not American, she’s French!”

Lisa: So today we had no hotel to go to.  I hate that.  We started out heading for Lambayeque but no joy there, so we headed to the next biggest city, Chiclayo.  We started at what must be the most expensive hotel in Peru.  Sorry, not necessary to spend $300 per night … but no joy finding the next choice, in spite of having a map provided by that hotel.  Who actually sent this to print?  I am reasonably proficient at map reading by now and I find myself going in circles, asking anyone and everyone who will even look at me how to find the hotel.  After a cop told me to turn right where 2 others had said left, I made a beeline to the first decent looking hotel in my path. And after circling through town on one-way streets and in rush hour traffic, I’ll trade my first born for a comfy bed.  Luckily, that wasn’t required.

Dean: The ride from the border crossing to Chiclayo is mostly beach.  The PanAm is mostly straight with medium sweeper curves.  We ran 65-75 mph.

Dinner inside the hotel restaurant.  Lisa had goat meat (it was pretty good).  I had spicy seafood mix.

Lisa: We have been attempting to try something new or regional every night.

Driving in South America

1. Motocicletas are expected to be in the far right lane.  Traffic coming in the opposite direction will often force you over there when they are passing.

2. If you come up behind a large truck in a curvy section of the PanAm, the driver might turn on his left-turn signal to tell you it’s OK to pass UNLESS he really is turning left.

3. There are very few left-turn lanes.  To turn left, in the country, the driver will signal a left-turn then pull off to the right shoulder of the road, wait till the traffic is clear then dart across the highway to the desired road.

4. On most 2-lane roads, there can be 4 vehicles (next to each other) going in various directions.

5. 18-wheelers approaching from the opposite direction will often come over into your lane just for the fun of it.  This is especially true in the tight, curvy sections of the road.

6. On divided highways, vehicles will cross the center divider anywhere and at anytime.

7. Taxis’ love to see how close they can get to motocicletas.  2-4″ is an acceptable margin.

Every morning and evening, the Roger & Karen Van Santen's portable IBR toothbrush get a workout! Very compact and functional.

7 comments to Day29-Welcome to Peru, Tue, Jan 25, 2011

  • Chuck Hickey

    First it was beer…..
    Now goat meat. What is the “old gal” do I still need footnotes here? Going to do next?

  • Roger

    What with the goat meat and seafood mix plus the other local cuisine you’ve been enjoying, that brush will be worn out by the time you get home, so….we’ve got some more for you when you get back. They might even read “2011 IBR”. We continue to track you guys and look forward to the occasional reports. Stay safe and have fun.

    Roger and Karen

  • John H

    I sure hope there are new RVS travel toothbrushes with IBR 2011 on them. Mine from the 2001 IBR is all worn out!

    Funny story: Many years ago, I was on a weekend get-away with my wife. She saw me using the RVS travel toothbrush and asked me wher I had gotten it. I told the story of the 01 IBR bonus and the dental dams at Roger’s. I mentioned that I liked the little travel brush, except it was hard to hold. She picked up the cover from the counter and slipped it onto the end of the brush, then handed it back to me with “Here you go, Forrest”. Doh! Who knew the cover was the handle? Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!

  • Paul

    You have killed any desire I might have had to ride south of the border.

    • Lisa

      NO!! that makes me feel terrible! While all of it hasn’t been ‘perfect’, it HAS been a perfect adventure. Remember the Landry family saying “Adventure is seldom fun while it’s happening”. Dean and I are having a great time – just not every single minute. this is a stretching experience and i wouldn’t trade it for anything. Many things I wish i’d know before leaving but it is what it is. Go for it!!!

  • Annie Huddy

    Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhh FRENCH–I LIKE it!!

  • Alex Harper

    Those border crossing proceedured seem an awful like they do in and around China… including the architecture and dress code for the officials. I feel your pain!

    Get better, Lisa!

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