53 to Virú 24th Oct
86 to Chimbote 25th Oct
44 to Tortugas 26th Oct
100 to Huarmey 27th Oct
5 (back) to Playa de Tuquillo 28th Oct
98 to Paramonga 29th Oct
14 to Barranca (to visit Caral) 30th Oct
114 To Chancay 31st Oct
41 to Ancon 1st Nov
52 to Lima (Miraflores district) 2nd Nov
607km between Trujillo and Lima
3,666km in South America
25,174km so far
We are in the capital of Peru, and I’ve just counted and realised I’ve cycled over 25,000km!
AND we are in Lima, in the pleasant district of Miraflores. Mostly for the past week, we’ve been continuing to fight headwind, suffering the constant beeping and idiotic driving but I’ve decided to let that slide because we’ve also had some great highlights.
Best beach in Peru
Tuquillo wins our prize for the best beach so far in Peru. We passed it before we entered Huarmey, because we didn’t see the sign and didn’t know that this was Huarmey’s beach. So the next morning we cycled back so that we could enjoy it. Two sandy beaches, completely empty, we stood on the rocks and were treated to a pelican fly-by, followed by seagulls appearing and flying in perfect formation in the other direction, We enjoyed a day lying on the sand, and that night we camped on the beach. We had brought our own food but also found a restaurant which looked closed but could supply us with cold beer. No noise at night except for the wind and the crashing of the waves was such a relief. As far as rest days go, it was magic.
Oldest City in South America
From Barranca, we took a day to visit Caral in the Supe Valley. You can take a car to a bridge and walk 20 minutes to reach the site. The remains themselves weren’t the most impressive, and the guide seemed like he wanted to finish as soon as possible but what really makes this place special is when you imagine this complex as it would have been over 5,000 years ago and across from the remains of these temples to a temple on the other side of the valley and picture around 25 cities living side by side as a fully functioning civilization, which at 3000bc even pre-dates ancient Egypt. Mind-boggling.
Arriving in Lima
We dodged little kids dressed as everything from mutant ninja turtles to the seven dwarves on Halloween in Chancay, (I used the phrase “lo siento no tengo caramelos” a few times) and an evening in the wierd seaside town of Ancon (no bars in town but there was a party next to our hostel with a bass so loud I was almost bouncing up and down). Outside Lima, we reached the ‘Serpentín’ which we had been warned about. It passes next to the sea with a sheer drop on one side and with trucks on the other side, which would have been scary. So we took the alternative new Panamericana route which climbed 400m up into the hills. After the climb, we flew downwards past the enormous slums covering the hills, and then met with crazy buses, so we got off the panamericana as soon as we could, via the suburb of Ventanilla and finally arrived at the seafront in Lima. We were out of the desert, and into a different universe. Tall buildings, tall people, pleasant streets, posh shops and even well-designed bicycle lanes. There was a Japanese restaurant and a policeman on a Segway! Were we in New York? I also loved the ‘silencio’ signs, instructing drivers not to use their car horns and the fact that (generally) the signs seemed to be working. Wow, what a difference. It was certainly obvious that all the money and investment is in Lima and this made it a hugely different place to the towns in the desert that we had passed. We had timed it so that we arrived on a Sunday and it was definitely a great decision. Much quieter and easier than we had anticipated. We found a great bike business called Perubike to help with some repairs and spent a day visiting the grand buildings in the centre. We are looking forward to heading from here to the South towards Nazca. And to the next 25,000km 😉 .