During our time in Peru, we experienced essentially three categories of roads:
- the coastal route: the straight, flat, boring Pan American Highway
(for making good time)
- the mountain route: a mind-blowingly curvy maze on questionable road surfaces
(for causing anxiety)
- the OTHER mountain route: as twisted as above but without the pavement
(for the adventure)
After dabbling for several weeks, we came away with varying reactions of joy, boredom, awe and horror.
Our first stop after the sand dunes was at the beach town of Punta Hermosa. Without a doubt, it was the swankiest community we saw during our entire time in Peru. Thankfully, it was nearly empty of people as it was off-season and our room overlooking the bay was only $17.00.
After lounging in the sand for a day, we headed into Lima and then East into the mountains. A word about driving in Lima: we had heard from multiple sources that it was going to be a bit chaotic, a bit frustrating and a bit downright dangerous. I can honestly say that we were mainly annoyed at the amount of traffic but I do see how it has a reputation. We encountered several huge intersections (I’m talking 6-7 lanes of traffic) with no traffic lights. It was essentially a free-for-all as buses, horse-drawn carts, motorbikes and cars fought for position. I learned long ago to forget my concept of “lanes” and if I do say so myself; I think I can now hang with Peruvian drivers...
By heading straight East from Lima, we found ourselves in the mountains once again. Lots of passing slower traffic on curvy roads, spectacular scenery, and an infuriating amount of speed bumps. A word about speed bumps in South America: I don’t know why, but the Minister for Speed Bump Application (I’m sure this is a real position or at least it is in my head) is out of control in Peru. There are an amazing amount of misplaced humps of varying size and quality, all without proper signage. I’m convinced the Minister for SBA (as he’s undoubtable known around the office) hates the Peruvian people and maniacally laughs every time he orders another bump to be put in.
During our 10 hour ride East, it got a bit nippy...
After hopping over the pass, we dropped down into the muggy Amazon and the town of La Merced.
Kristen was not exactly thrilled to be in a Malaria zone - one time is enough!
We decided to pass on stopping for lunch at a place called Moskitoo...
While down in the jungle, we ate like kings. Fried fish, plantains, rice and a side of mosquitos. But who cares man?! We were in jungle!
After a few days in the Amazon, we headed North again and into the Peruvian Cordilleras.
The variety in Peru is astounding...
Aside from a few little headaches, Peru is really growing on us. So, so much to offer...