Vegetation on the route
We are known as the â€śtardonesâ€ť now in Kimba Bungalows because we are the â€ślate onesâ€ť The maid comes around last to us as we sleep in until late and arenâ€™t ready to go until midday. But the weather pattern justifies it so I donâ€™t feel so bad. The current weather is cloudy and slightly chilly until about noon and then the sun starts to break free. From noon until about 4 pm there is decent sun and then the wind starts to blow and it gets chilly again, so much that if you are in your swimsuit or short sleeves, you will definitely get goosebumps. About 8 or 9 pm the wind stops and it is pleasantly warm. So why get up early morning if there is nothing to do? Better to sleep and get to the beach when there is sun and heat!
Angela had the plan to go to Tumbes
to visit the islands offshore.
I knew nothing about it but she had been in the area before, some years ago, and knew that there was something to see. So we trusted her and went into town to find a conveyance to get us up there. Just as we were getting to the main road a combi bus stopped and shouted out â€śTumbesâ€ť. It was as if he had read our minds but then again, this is Peru. You have to try hard NOT to get somewhere, so prevalent is the public transport. Sure enough, we got in and in minutes we were on our way north to the province of Tumbes, in the farthest north of Peru. The final destination was to be Puerto Pizarro, just a scant 15 minutes from the Ecuadorian border. It was interesting to see the landscape change as we went north. For 2,000 miles, there is coastal desert on the Pacific side of South America.
From central Chile to northern Peru, it is dry and deserted except for the river valleys that flow from the Andes and provide life and water. Now we began to see scrub and trees and then even palms and green vegetation. The change became very apparent with the rice fields on either side. Soon enough we were in Tumbes and then some miles north of there the bus stopped to let us out to Puerto Pizarro, a kilometer away on the ocean.
First in order was a proper lunch, and the mototaxi driver let us off at a nice water-side restaurant. Bachata music was playing and that made for a pleasant backdrop. I showed Beatriz the steps to bachata and she was self-conscious doing it in front of the other customers in the place but she loved the music so she followed gamely with me.
Angela and a mummy
We ordered up a few different plates to share, including a cebiche mix, some fried calamari and then a rice with seafood. It was all delicious, the cebiche being the best Iâ€™ve had yet in Peru. Then we walked to the pier to see about hiring a boat to take us out to see the mangrove islands, the attraction in this port town. With little negotiation we found a boat at a fair price to ferry us to the islands of the Crocodillo, de los Pajaros and del Amor. Our guide was very affable and he was a fount of information about the mangrove islands the area. We cruised gently through the bay and between the islands and the sun came out to warm our passage. It was so relaxing! We stopped off at the island where there is a project to help restore the crocodile population.
Angela and Beatriz
They are cultivating crocs in captivity to let them go in the wild and replenish the crocodiles that have been poached for their skin. So far itâ€™s been fewer than 10 years and they are successful at reintroducing them to the waters. Itâ€™s hard for me to believe that all these years with my terrible fear of crocodiles that here I was right in the den of them. It was the bane of my existence when I was little to have seen National Geographic specials on Africa of the crocs with snapping jaws and bloodied villagers caught by them. It was the stuff of my nightmares for many many years. And here I was, in the middle of a crocodile village. Well, I guess thatâ€™s one way to overcome your terror!
Next stop was the island of the birds, Isla de los Pajaros.
Restaurant in Puerto Pizarro
The birds come at a special time of year, the time being now actually, to meet and mate. The scene on that island was something out of Hitchcockâ€™s movie and it was fascinating to see thousands upon thousands of birds flocking and flying and dipping and nesting and mating. Quite an incredible scene. The captain's son then motored us in the general direction back to the dock, stopping on the way to point out the mangrove roots that showed above the water. Evidently in low tide, the entire waterway between the islands recedes to leave only mud. Boats can't access the channels until afternoon so that made our timing perfect, in spite of us getting to Puerto Pizarro so late. Plus, it was cloudy before and now the sun was shining.
Out in the distance to the north we could see the outline of more islands that our guide told us was Ecuador. That was a neat feeling to be so close to the border. We stopped at the Isla del Amor but why it's named that none of us had any idea. There were some eateries there and vendors selling the usual trinkets but other than that nothing remarkable. There were some huge iguanas in the trees as we glided past that our guide pointed out. I had never seen one that large before. Soon we were in the port and the girls went to buy some more souvenirs. While they were shopping I took some pictures of the fish being cleaned and the families down by the dock helping out. There was a beautiful sunset developing and the pictures came out beautifully.
Beatriz, aka "Posh"
We had to wait for a bus to fill up in Tumbes that took us back to Mancora
. All of us were rather tired and not that hungry because of the large lunch so we just got some roadside hamburgers and chicken kebabs and an icy beer near the bars on the tourist end of the strip. It had been a long day and no one felt like dancing tonight.