The last bits of South America... This is our story about living in Peru in photos, video and writing. Hope you will enjoy it :)
Getting out of Chile was a big challenge. First we saw a long line of cars and then people waiting in another line. I thought- "Did they closed the border or what?" We got to the border and stood there hopelessly and didn't know what to do.
I said to my self- 'I'm not going to wait that long." I went to a policeman to ask if he could help us somehow. I explained that we were traveling by bike and we rode very slow, could we skip the line because we didn't have much time. He grinned and said that I didn't have to worry about the time because in Peru I would gain 2 hours. I dropped my mouth. I went back to Paul and my face was so miserable that someone from the crowd reacted and said that we should go to window number 5. I smiled and gave our passports to the officer in the window. He asked about vehicle card and I said we didn't have any. He tried to explain where we could get one and after seeing tears in my eyes he said- "ok, you can go without that (stupid) vehicle card ;) In the Peruvian customs they asked again about vehicle card. I said- "we do not need it because we are on bikes." and they let us go. The new law was established. :) Then we had to lie that we didn't have any food with us. We didn't want to make the same mistake as we made going from Argentina to Chile and waste an hour for control. I was wondering how does Peru look like... is it like Argentina or more like Chile? The first things we saw were small concrete houses without roof in the middle of nowhere.
I wondered if anybody lived there or what are those buildings for. Later someone said if you buy a land you build a house. :) After some miles we got to Tacna, (the city is described HERE where spent some nice time. We had to decided where were we going next. The best option was to go to the mountains, to Arequipa and the second one was to go along the coast. When we saw on the news that it was raining a lot and there were many mud slides in the mountains we rode towards ocean and then from beach to beach :) This is the most beautiful beach in Peru ( in the picture below} called Playa Arena Blanca.
I was happy with that plan: beaches, swimming in the ocean, beautiful sunsets everyday! Truth to be told it was the most challenging part of our journey. Tacna-Lima 870 miles of very extreme conditions. We were exhausted physically and mentally; our bikes too :) But the views were amazing!!!
The road was in good condition but there were many curvas paligrosas, dangerous turns and many crazy drivers. The jungle law on the road was very common and drivers liked to use their horns all the time. BEEEEEP!!! BEEEEP!!! The sun was very strong and it was difficult to find shadow, actually impossible. We wear a lot of sunscreen and long sleeves but anyway we felt burned. Even though we carried 4 gallons of water everyday, we were thirsty as hell. Sometimes we took water from a gas station, it wasn't bad. Just few fast runs to the toilet afterwards ;) Usually, we camped on beaches in small cities where we could buy some food. The most popular place to buy something good and fresh was mercado - a market but I had to know the price of every product because old grannies were always trying to rip me off. For example, I saw on a poster that beer costed 5 soles and she said she wanted 6 soles for it. I asked- "Why?"; she said-"Because it's cold"; I said-"In the picture there is a beer in the ice for 5 soles!" Only once I won. :)
If someone wakes me up in the middle of the night I can tell him all the prices of food products. So after we did shopping we were looking for a good place to camp on the beach far away from people and disco. People and disco always found us, though. They were playing loud Latino music all night so we couldn't sleep and rest. We understood that it was holiday time for Peru so we didn't say anything. People were having fun. Hundreds of people were camping in those days. You could even rent a tent there. There were teenagers, families, couples, but the most iconic characters I saw on the beach were grannies in their thick skirts, woolen tights and two pigtails :)
Of course we found some empty spots like this.
But we cried when we found nice beach and there were so much trash in there that we had to clean the place first. All the way in Peru we saw bottles, bags, CD's, clothes and all kind of litter. The odor was sometimes terrible. It was heartbreaking that such a beautiful place was so destroyed. They also burned piles of trash out of the towns.
Only clean place was field. Yes, on the desert there were many fields of rice, chili, cactus. I was surprised when I saw green area after a turn.
There were also sheep and horses on meadows. We tried some cactus fruit (it's called TUNA but it's not fish ;) ) and it was good, similar flavor to kiwi but had a lot of hard seeds you had to swallow. :)
I think I wrote too much today... some more next time :)