Feature Image is of a confused sign off the PanAmericana Highway just east of Chiclayo, Peru. I think maybe about 100 cars per day pass this sign but the owners seem to have tried various advertising campaigns over its useful life.
Riding Day: Piura — Chiclayo (218 km) — 6 hours.
You know when you do something real stupid and then you pray for another chance for a do-over? Today was just that for me. How stupid was I to order a coffee from a remote outpost restaurant in the desert where the water is likely tainted? Martin and I were the only ones to order the vinegary tasting liquid while the others ordered drinks from a bottle. In fact, the water was warm and not even hot — so likely not boiled. The trick at this place is that they make the coffee extract and put it in a bottle and you add it to your luke-warm water and then pray — Please Lord, don’t give me the shits, please, please, please! I wont do it again! Happy ending was that I did not get the runs, Time to relax.
Working back and then forward, we left this morning at 8:30am for a pretty short run today. Leaving the city of Piura was mental and choppy. Vehicles in these towns have no rules and as I have said, life must have a different value system than developed countries because I am always one half inch away from getting clipped by some pint sized Peruvian crazy person in a half beaten car, 125cc motorcycle or tuk-tuk or truck or even horse with carriage. Add to that, the fact that roads are really just a vision — not reality. They are a quarter beaten up concrete patches, quarter pot-holes, quarter rubble and quarter obstacles. Actually, its kind of fun — I installed a fucking huge big ass air-horn on my motorcycle so I use it when I see some moron coming my way. The air-horn is very, very loud and my super bright lights in front of my bike go off and on — blinking during the horn session. I fucking scare all those disrespectful drivers for fun on occasion and they know I’m coming — best investment I made on my new bike. Oh, those are the same drivers that may end up in South Florida illegally with no licenses or insurance.
Anyway, getting out of town took some time and negotiating but we did safely somehow and then the ride to Checlayo was a straight-shot through the desert. Its actually interesting to think that just 2 days ago, we were in the heart of mango country in Peru. As I said hundreds of thousands of mangos spread over a hundred miles were littered and piled 20 feet high along the countryside and trucks transporting them, locals picking and everyone around is involved in the mango haul. Now we entered the full on Nevada-like desert. It was hot and dry and a wasteland — of course with garbage along the sides of the road.
I am not even sure I turned my wheel more than a few inches the entire 200km ride. We cruised safely and that was fine but always scanning for big holes and even animals sleeping on the road. At one point, an iguana or some large lizard crossed the road right in front of my wheel although I did not feel a thump. Not many cars on the road and maybe a few trucks to over take, but it was a quiet ride.
After the coffee shop, we headed to the coastal beach in Chiclayo to have lunch. As you would expect, this is a really scrappy and dirty beach with locals. Have not seen a tourist since the Californians at the Swiss lunch place a few days back and even then, they were the first in a week prior. Nobody travels here. Its rock bottom poor and desolate. But, but… I did get a great lunch from the shop with the open toilet and no running water to wash your hands. Just wondering how the workers deal with that? Forget it and don’t think that way (and I did have my own wipes for just such emergency). Civiche was amazing and fresh from the pacific across the beach!
The beach is a mix of locals enjoying the fruits of their labors — not sure what that means, but instead of working, a few deadbeats are hanging around the beach waiting for a visitor? Not sure who is coming to this place? The other part is a working fishing town where home made straw boats collect crab and fish. It was real hard to understand how its a volume game with the 6 foot straw boat collecting the days catch can feed a fisherman, but hey, it was interesting to watch. Click on the beach town on the right — its a shocker. Half torn down shops and buildings run the length of the road which services the beach.
After lunch, we headed towards town and finally got to the hotel by 2:30pm. Another successful and safe day. Finally got internet at this hotel. All day long I got zero cell coverage so I am delighted and able to post a few blogs and call my darling wife.