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Archive for December 15th, 2009

Day 372 – 15th December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 15, 2009

Tuesday – Mancora, Peru

Bad roads and a new country meant for a long day, but it turned out great 🙂

I had plans to start moving a bit faster as I was hoping to reach my goal of Ushuaia by New Year, the original plan of being there by Xmas is out the window. So, I chuffed off, my destination today was Trujillo, but I had a border crossing and was unsure of the delay there. The first bit of the ride from Loja was easy through the sealed twisties, a bit better than yesterday’s effort. There were quite a few shrines and crosses on the side of the road, a reminder that corners need to be taken, no short cuts please!

About an hour into the drive after some more nice windy roads, I get to a Y junction. Now, here was where I made a mistake I think, I followed the road to the right towards Machala and onwards to Huaquillas, which is a border crossing town on which I had information.

Now, the route that I had entered into my Garmin told me I should have gone left here, but the signs definitely said right so I ignored the Garmin, it had old info anyway right! Well, after riding a brand new concrete slab for a ways, I was eventually stopped by road works and then the road just went missing, it was a gravel road, badly maintained, in fact it seems as if they had removed the road prior to concreting it 😦

After riding like this for a while I eventually decided it was not a minor crap road but it was going to continue for a long time, so I stopped and reduced the tyre pressures. The road stayed about the same with occasional crappy paved sections for ages, past all these small villages with huge chook pens all around, this must be the chook country of the world, I have never seen so many, or smelt so many as well!

I stopped for some lunch around half 12 or so, I am now way behind my expected arrival at the border town which I had expected to be midday. I think in retrospect I should have taken the left hand fork back there which would have matched my route, so if anyone is following me and reads this, turn left and tell me how that road was 🙂 After lunch more dirt road for a short while, watch out for bloody cows until I got back onto the main PanAm highway where of course I now run into cops stopping people to look for paperwork, this chap waved me through though 🙂

Then I arrive at Huaquillas where I decided to test the waters with regard the new border crossing. This is where the sign on the main highway says turn left to Peru and I had heard that this not the way to go as the buildings were not complete. The info was months old, so it did no harm to check it out. Of course I get into Peru and now have a fair way to go as there is nowhere to turn around until you get to the police checkpoint. Here I was advised to go back and get the paperwork sorted 🙂 [ for future reference, I have since found out this border point will be open in February 2010, but only for buses and trucks, and then later cars, motorcycles will always have to use the following route, so I would suggest going to a different border crossing at Macara, further east and south.]

So, after heading into Huaquillas, I go past the toll booth(waved through no charge) and on the left hand side of the road about 200m further up is a small building with shade tents out the front. This is where I have to fill out a form to leave, and get my passport stamped out, easy so far 🙂

Now I need to get the bike VIP cancelled, the info I had was to go through the market and find the Aduana which is 4km up the road, I did so and thought I had found the right place.

But no, this is not the right place, some people said I had to go back to the immigration , some said no it is over there, in the end a chap on a bike said follow me, through some dodgy side streets and eventually I am outside the tourist bureau opposite another Aduana, just before a bridge into Peru! I had forgotten about the bridge, but there are no signs, so once again for those following, here is the GPS co ords for the Aduana.

S 3 28.879 W 80 14.578 D,M,DM

Hopefully that will help, although I would go a different border next time. Once here they took my paperwork and that was it, free to ride over the bridge. This is where I asked at the TUR office about the new road and was told the bikes have to come through here.

After riding into Peru, I travel another 2km until I reach the Peru Aduana on the left where I have to park my bike. Now this is silly, because I now have to walk further up the road until I find the immigration building on the left(arrow) where I go in and get my passport stamped in, arrow 1 in photo, after that I go to door two, arrow 2 and get that stamped page photocopied and take this back to where I parked the bike and start to process the bike paperwork. The reason I say it is silly is because normally immigration is before the Aduana, but not here.

After a bit of paperwork which I have to fill out, not them, I get the VIP for Peru. There was no check of the bike for numbers and no money changed hands. I also asked about insurance for Peru but was told this is not needed, so fair enough, now I have lots of smiling officials looking at the bike and I get to ride away and for a change I have straight roads, so I can maybe make up some time 🙂

As I was near the coast it had started to warm up, in fact it had been warm for a while, I had descended from 2500m down to near zero, but after an hour spent at the border, I was now short of daylight. It was after 3.30 and so I shortened my day from Trujillo to Mancora and that was still two hours or so away by the looks. The sea views were quite hazy and the villages I went through were a lot poorer looking than any I had seen before and I was starting to get into desert land as well.

So, just on 5pm and I arrive at Mancora, here I rode around looking for hotels and eventually a young chap riding a motortaxi said he would show me a resort that had internet and secure bike parking. As I was now in a different country, I had new money to play with, Sols this time and after a look around at the beach resort I paid the $100S($37US and was too much but I did not care at this stage) and was soon relaxing and watching a seaside sunset 🙂

After that excitement I sat down in the bar place all by my lonesome with a beer,[ of course, a new beer in a new country] and sorted some stuff out on the internet and found a new bit of pussy to play with 🙂

I had a few beers and then found out they do not do any food except sandwiches, so I ordered one and asked for ham and cheese toasted, hmm what a silly boy I am, they have no idea what I wanted. I ended up with two bits of bread, slightly warm and I think she heated it up with a lighter, it had not even changed colour and there was no butter and the cheese was warm but not melted! It soaked up a few beers though and after she nicked off, I turned off the terrible crap music she was playing real loud and listened to my own stuff from the PC for a few hours while I did a blog post. Tomorrow I was heading south and I had info from AL at the Barking Spider to stay north of Trujillo about 12kms as Trujillo itself was a shit town. Fair enough, another longish day, but it looked a like a reasonably straight run with no twisties so I should be able to make some distance. I have been on the HUBB and it seems there are some bikers in front of me and some behind, all within a few days of each other, so there may be meetings soon 🙂

Day – 249 miles and 401 km
Trip – 45,518 miles and 73,254 km



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