2017-09-22 Day 159 Fri

Wind actually stopped during our night tucked behind the dune.

Drove nearly 200km’s south amongst filthy towns, plastic bags and smokey air.

We found a nice spot overlooking the ocean just north of Pacasmayo to fry the fish for lunch. Really tasty fish.

John drove more in the smoky smelly towns. Amazing and frightening way that trucks overtake they just assume that bikes and cars will move over onto the verge.

The dessert turned to cultivated land and back to desert

Turned onto yellow shortcut road as we are headed for the mountains and clean air.

Camped on side of very rocky hill but Internet, no traffic, and no bugs.

Checked google for the bridge in 45k’s, it is there and there the google car crossed it but it does have gates with big yellow sign hmm?

I sat up and got my photos a bit more up to date. Just need to upload them.

2017-09-21 Day 158 Thur

Men at daybreak fishing on rafts and a little dinghy trawling up and down the beach.

Continued on loop road, Passed a flash entrance to a town very detailed structure.
Surprisingly we saw people cleaning and burning rubbish. We gave them lots of toots and thumbs up.
After following the coast the road turned inland to rejoin with Pan American Hwy. In many places there was sand blowing across the road and forming dunes. lots of water damage and lots of water around. Even though our map only shows one small lake.
Saw fisher man and bought two fish for lunch.
Then the road disappeared. Completely washed out for at least a kilometre. 66.6kms to backtrack!

As soon as possible we turned onto a secondary road which had no pot holes or speed humps. Turned east on a dirt road which a police woman said went through to the Pan American Hwy.

Got very narrow, lots of bridges over channel. Many horse and donkey carts carrying wood or grass. Pulled a truck out of a ditch.

River crossing soft jelly mud.
Finally go to main road bought some honey and duckka and had a late lunch. Drove on into dessert, very desolate. Finally found a side road and hid behind a lovely crescent dune.

2017-09-20 Day 157 Wed

We went for walk out to the lighthouse 1.5km, and more dead seals. The tide was out so walking was easy.

We walked out to the western most
point and saw a blue footed Bobbie just watching us. We then climbed up to the lighthouse where John disturbed a seal, perhaps 100m above sea level!

Walking back to EC we caught one of the many orange crabs to photograph.
We shopped at the big supermarket on way back out of town.

South on bitumen with potholes or was it pothole joined by bitumen?? very slow going. There were men supposedly filling potholes who held up buckets for money when cars passed. Not really sure how much they do.

At Piura we went via the Country club but seemingly only the kids play squash and at 6pm so a 3-4 hour wait. And of course not a member so need a member to sign him in. We continued south.

More crazy drivers have to have ones wits to imagine what they’ll do next so you are ready. Like turning left from right lane 3 lanes over when light turns green…..
Potholes, plastic bags blowing around and crazy drivers. Parked south of Sechura at a little fishing village just south of Constante. Sand blowing every where, very windy. Nice view of anchored fishing trawlers.

2017-09-19 Day 156 Tue

The Foreshore covered in rubbish, usual stuff as well as paint tins with used brushes, dead fishing nets, engine oil in plastic bottles etc.. Drove south through villages and rubbish.

Tried to find a spot for lunch in Puenta Sal but all built out no public beach access unless by foot. Drove out to another beach to find out again no access. Further south and in another village; had lunch perched above the beach.

Thought we saw two of the guys from the big yellow bus run down the beach. Drove off the main road through Talara and out to Balcones the western most point of South America (discounting Panama).

At some stage there was some infrastructure here, but the wind and sand had taken their toll. The wind was blowing the sand about. Four dead sea lions on the beach. Camped on the sand and in the wind.

2017-09-18 Day 155 Mon

Before 7:00am and army car arrived to tell us we were on army land. He agreed that it is an ecological reserve but also army reserve. We said we’d be leaving in two hours and he was happy with that.
Into town to find a super market as I wanted more great local chocolate and more great yogurt; we didn't find one so headed for border. Stopped on side of road to use the last of the Ecuador Internet but so slow was not worth it so filled with cheap diesel US$35 to fill both tanks!
Checked EC out of Ecuador. Strangely we needed to cross into to Peru to both check us out of Ecuador and into Peru. Lined up at 11:00am with 4 bus loads of people. 2 hours later system died. Everyone disappeared back to Ecuador to line up again.
When we got there a mob scene was happening.

Tried to check EC back to Ecuador but couldn’t as car and passport stamps were now on a different date. So went back to Peru to wait. John finished tapping one hole for water tank and started on the other. Some French guys from a big yellow ex-US school bus came and had a chat. They are heading south. We may see them somewhere.
Went back to Ecuador to line up and after 3 hours got in door. The official took about 30 mins to clear us out of Ecuador. The other 2 immigration officials had done at least 4 people each. Now back to Peru to get our stamp into the country and to get EC in, both in a matter of minutes and we were on our way at 7:30pm in the dark.
Drove to Pueto Pizarro a fishing village. A little messy but we continued along next to ocean until a group of kids ran beside us asking us to go camp with other gringos; Argentina guys in a tent. We did so and chatted for a while they’d been here a month working as fishermen and they would be leaving at 2am for 2 days of fishing. Lots of rubbish.

2017-09-17 Day 154 Sun

Drove down hill lots of donkeys and horses with saddles to carry milk cans.
In the markets at Saint Isabell we bought fruit and vege as well as big slabs of cocoa, very bitter no sugar. John managed to buy two lengths of alloy angle to strengthen the mud flaps.

Within 10kms we entered a very dry rocky dessert mountains. Stopped for lunch and to rinse our washing in a river. Another 10km and we were in banana plantation that went for km’s

Crossed our northern track. Drove on a very rough slow dirt track out to an ecological reserve to find an army camp. We were told it is army so we had to back out. We did not relish all those potholes so took a short cut where we ended up at a guys back door. He had the lovely Sabor trees we admire.
Had a chat and yes we could continue out this way. Continued on to find a locked gate but the owner came with a key. Drove around to the other side of reserve; through an industrial area; then more potholes and camped in the bush 5m from road.

2017-09-16 Day 153 Sat

Some fishermen turned up at about 7:30am so John spoke to them and found out where they were going. We watched to see their track.
We left about 9:30am with waterproof pants and ponchos on. A light drizzle was falling.

We were walking in wetlands. I felt a little guilty walking off track but then I wasn't leaving tracks like the cattle did. It drizzled on and off and the mist came and went. A very pretty walk. We walked back by another track and saw another small lake. We saw two eagles catch fish and fly around with them in their beaks. One flew to the creek again and caught a second one. So he was flying with two fish in his beak. Not sure how he did that. Got back to EC about 12:30pm.
A Bombedero forrestal (fireman) was talking to two young guys on a motor bike and then talked to John. We were not sure quite what it was about. But he was still watching when we left

We headed back the way we had come and decided to stop at some other lakes. Walked to them and saw some campers with two dogs and a fire both prohibited. Decided to go tell the Bombedero guy but he was gone.

Turned off to a small white road to the west and south. Slow going but very beautiful drive.

Saw cream cans sitting in the streams to keep cool before pickup. Stopped and had lunch on the side of the road. Got up to 3998m alt. Saw herds of dairy cows (10) and some being milked. Stopped often to take photos of the view and flowers. Finally found a camp on a corner of the road. Had made 55km’s in 4 hours this arvo…. Should make the Peru border tomorrow. 2850m alt.

2017-09-15 Day 152 Fri

Had the best internet connect since we arrived in Ecuador so got the blog and photos up to date. The cows were being hand milked in the paddocks around us.

About 11am we drove down to the Ingapirca archaeology site. Supposed to be the largest best preserved in Ecuador. Could only enter with a guide the cost of entrance US$2 each. A very well maintained site.

The locals the Canari peoples could not be overthrown by force so the Inca married their princess. Although the Canari were outnumbered they were allowed to keep their customs separate.

The Inca built over the Canari’s foundations. The Canari used river rock and built in circles the Inca volcanic and squares. The Sun temple is oval and 26m long the biggest and only oval sun temple in the entire Inca empire. We had a sandwich in the carpark and left for the south end of Cajas Nacional parque.

Our drive went through a big dairy area most cattle tethered in their paddock. So maybe herds of 20 all milked by hand in the paddock. John saw a billboard advertising an in-paddock four cup milker…
Milk was put into milk cans and then when the small tanker arrived tipped into it.
Some of the cows are tethered by a nose ring others by a halter or rope around horns.
Successfully by-passed Cuenca to the east and south. The witch then took us on second rate yellow roads through some villages. Finally popped out onto a better grade road which was yellow but sealed. The seal only lasted a short time and the next 40km on dirt. Found the park entrance at 4pm. The security guard, with pistol on hip, got us to registered then we looked at the wall map and learnt what we could and couldn't do. The road travels the park boundary for a while then continues to the coast. We asked about another white road heading south and it seems that it goes through so we will leave by that route.

As we climbed the vegetation changed to wet lands/tundra looking cover. Found a parking area at the beginning of a walk to some lakes so set up camp there. A hummingbird came and checked me out. Went for a small walk up a hill just in case tomorrow s weather is inclement.

2017-09-14 Day 151 Thur

Leroy left and we rolled EC forward for maintenance. While John started jacking up both back wheels I put on a chocolate cake. We adjusted the hand-break shoes, reinstalled the left hand back mud-guard and the grey water hose. Taped and siliconed the holes in the bellow between cab and house. EC all back together now. Hand-break still does not work!!!
At San Pedro de Alausi we got off the red road onto an orange. Much nicer without all the traffic. We turned south at Yalancay and took a back road. On one of the roads the locals turned us back as the road did not go through. We rejoined the Red road and started looking for a camp. As we got closer to Canar the population grew. Finally decided on a yellow road that by passed Canar.

At the turnoff was sign posted to Ingapica archeology site. We finally got to the site and continued uphill and uphill past where our map finished. Turned onto a side road and camp on edge with dairy cows above and below us.

2017-09-13 Day 150 Wed

 Back up hill and through 5 or 6 of tunnells. Some had lots of water comingthrough the roof. After one we stopped to look at a water fall.

There was a cage to cross the river and some wires that support you as you “fly “across. Looked great fun but not into trusting Ecuadorian maintenance.

Stopped opposite an active volcano and had lunch. Too much cloud around to see the top which was a shame.

Stopped just before Riobamba to get EC greased for US$3.00. Asked the guy where to get the mudflaps straightened and he pointed back the way we came. We found the metal work shop and he re-bent the mudguards with his press for us. He didn't charge so we gave him a Kangaroo bottle opener.

We turned off the main red road to drive west 10km’s to drive south on a orange road. Found some pigs to feed and saw our first milk tanker.

We were looking for a camp and had slowed down to look at possibilities and an orange clad guy hailed us. Yes Leroy again. He had just taken his bike off the road to set up camp and was just watching the vehicles to see how visible he was and spotted us. We back tracked to a side road and Leroy joined us for the night. Amazing that we bumped into each other again and more amazingly at camp time.