The beach at Huanchaco
So I got up at 6.30am the next day to try and get out of Tumbes as quick as possible. The annoying thing about northern Peru is that the towns do not have central bus terminals, so to get a long distance bus you have to go to the individual company office to buy tickets and get on the buses - they're not always close together, so it can be a REAL PAIN IN THE ARSE! By the time I found the company that did the direct service to Trujillo, I had missed their 7.30am departure. So instead I had to get on an 8.30am bus to Chiclayo (S.20/GBP4.50). All seemed to be going well until we arrived at a random customs check point just north of Mancora, where the officials took a disliking to one characters taped up boxes and proceeded to rip them to shreds, which took ages.
The ruins (and a strange little fellow) at Chan Chan
So with that delay and a little bit of breaking down for good measure, it was 4.30pm before we eventually got to Chiclayo, and we didn´t even have a lunch stop. Lucikly the Peruvian lady sitting next to me in the nice cramped seats helped me understand the various snacks that the vendors brought on board, so I had enough just to get me through the journey - god knows what I was eating though! From Chiclayo, it was a mototaxi across town to the Emprafesa office to get the 5pm bus down to Trujillo (S.13/£3) (the buses leave every half hour for info) - this company is mega-professional, it was like going to an airport! They took video images of everyone as we boarded the bus! It took longer than I thought and we pulled into Trujillo at around 8.45pm. I didn´t really want to stay there, so decided to get a taxi out to the little seaside village of Huanchaco
15) and checked in at Hostal Naylamp
which was all I had to go on with the LP. No dorms available, so I had to take a single room for S.30 (£7/$11) - I thought Peru was meant to be cheaper than everywhere else, but not the way I was going!
I got a average night's sleep and decided to move hostels the next day - found Casa Suiza (www.casasuiza.com) which was excellent and had good dorm rooms for S.15 (£4), so got myself in there. I thought I should get out and see my first ruins in Peru, so took the local bus (S.1/20p/30c) to Chan Chan
(entrance S.11/£2.50/$3.50). The ruins are from the Chimu empire (about AD1300) and it was a nice hour or so walking round, although I have to confess, ruins and ancient history really don't do it for me. There are a few other sites in the region that you can visit with the same ticket, but after my long journey the previous day, I just wanted to chill out, so I returned to Huanchaco.
Had a electrifying experience at the hostel - literally, as the charging cable for my laptop blew up when I pluged it in. It didn't even cross my mind to check the voltage in Peru - but it turns out its 220V (same as at home in the UK), but my replacement Colombian cable is on US-type 110V...so it was no wonder that it spectacularly came to the end of its life. Bit annoying as it meant I would have to wait to Lima
to get my laptop charged and working again (thanks to German Frank, who found my other one in Merida, Venezuela and dropped it in Lima on his way on his trip!).
Consoled myself by eating and eating cheap. Went to My Friend, another hostel near Casa Suiza, which has lunchtime special set menus for S.6 (£1.50/$2) and I was going to sniff at that.
Got chatting to Rob (Aus) who was staying there (he won't recommend it, I can say that much!) and we hung out having a few beers for the afternoon, as you do. Unfortunately when the sun went in, it turned pretty damn chilly, so our plan was scuppered somewhat and we retreated to Casa Suiza
for a nice pizza to finish the evening.