The bus from Chachapoyas left at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 27th May and arrived in Chiclayo at around 5.00am the following day (what is it with this maddingly early arrival times at final destinations?), and it was not long before Amelie and Dorien arrived on their bus. We decided to head north to Mancora, for a day’s RnR, so it was across town to book another bus ticket and luckily there was a bus leaving at 10.00am, so only a four hour wait. We did venture into the town for some breakfast, but nothing opened until 8.30am, which is very late for South America.
The bus left on time and we arrived in Mancora at 4.30pm, just in time to book into the hotel and watch the sunset, which was quite spectacular. It’s amazing to think that I am stating close to a lovely sandy beach on the Pacific Ocean, especially as the beach is deserted! Later in the evening we decided to head out for a few drinks and, alas, sometime late in the evening I was pick-pocketed and some so-and-so stole my wallet. They were doubly lucky as normally I have no more than $30 in it but, due to circumstances, there was around $60 and 200 Soles ($75)! Oh well, just needed to cancel the cards!
The following day was very relaxing, although we had to arrange for Dorien to get to Trujillo for her flight to Machu Picchu and, as I had only seen the bus station, I thought that I’d pop down too. We set out for Trujillo at 9.00 am and arrived in Trujillo for Dorien’s flight at 10.00pm. I then had a relaxing evening and day in Trujillo, which is a pretty town, although I woke too late to get out to see Chan Chan.
I decided to head back to Mancora and then move on from there to Banosin Ecuador but, in hindsight, this was a mistake. I should have gone to Piura and headed to Banos from there and that would probably have saved me 10-15 hours travel. Oh well, it can’t all go right. The bus left Trujillo on Saturday 31st May and the details of my 34 hour journey were:
8.00pm - Saturday 31st May - Depart Trujillo (Peru)
5.30am – Sunday 1st June - Arrive Mancora (Peru)
8.00am – Sunday 1st June - Depart Mancora (Peru)
10.00am – Sunday 1st June - Change buses in Tumbes (Peru)
3.30pm – Sunday 1st June - Arrive Guayaquil (Ecuador)
11.00pm – Sunday 1st June - Depart Guayaquil (Ecuador)
6.00am – Monday 2nd June - Arrive Banos (Ecuador).
Obviously, the cold facts don’t show the hot buses, the lack of room on the night buses and the total of six hours sleep I had on the two night buses! However, although there was a heated telephone call when I changed buses in Tumbes (I think I should have gone to Piura), the company did not just dump me in Guayaquil but did sort the onward bus. Also, the border crossing was as simple and hassle-free as it could possibly be.
Looking back, I reaslised that I had spent a ridiculous amount of time on buses since I left Lima on 21st May:
Lima to Caraz - 12 hours (1 night)
Caraz to Chachapoyas - 38 hours (2 nights)
Chachapoyas to Mancora - 22 hours (1 night)
Mancora to Trujillo - 10 hours
Trujillo to Banos (Ecuador) - 34 hours (2 nights)
So, in 11 days I have spent 116 hours and six nights travelling to various places, and on some nights I only had 2 – 3 hours’ sleep. For those who think that travelling is just one long holiday, think again!