04.11.2012 - 23.11.2012
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Across the border between Ecuador and Peru and a taste of what kind of incredible drives where ahead of me I headed to party-central Mancora, where Peruvians and foreigners mix in a charming way under the pretext of sunbathing and surfing. Staying at the prime party hostel and meeting some cool Peruvians brushed my apprehension at this tourist onslaught aside. The days I spent chasing waves and working on my consultancy and the evenings were always good for some party after heaps of ceviche.
After celebrating Obama’s victory hard, I decided that it was time to get serious and headed to Lobitos one hour South for some serious waves, where a good salt wash awaited and relaxed evenings at Lobitos Lodge (major recommendation) were a treat.
I continued down the coast and if I ever had any doubts about my intentions, the Panamericana won me definitely over in Northern Peru - epic. No better place to contemplate the rhymes, reasons and future of life. Every morning I asked myself what I wanted to do and just did it. In Huanchaco the surf and a cool group of locals convinced me in no time to stay a few extra days - a book by itself this stay, which led to a side trip to a bay in the middle of nowhere. But the Panamericana drew me back and led me to Lima, which I really enjoyed with its sights, mix of Peruvian and cosmopolitan bustle, beach and haute cuisine.
And then it came, the camino gringo - from Lima to Puno -sigh... I was a bit unprepared for this kind of tourism with its quite sophisticated infrastructure and the heaps of tourists from all walks of life. Also an experience, which was entertaining at first, but more than happy to get away from it as much as I could. Yet, the sights which draw the masses are obvious and undisputed in their charm, so I was a complete part of it, and played my role as the crazy with his Jeep from New York... Huacachina in the dunes is a fun stopover for amazing views and fun in the sand, a flight over the Nazca Lines cannot be missed, the drive up into the Andes was serene, Cusco the ancient Inca capital is marvelous and Machu Picchu blows your socks off...
So the places taken by themselves are truly incredible, but it was about as much as I could take in this setting and my current state of mind. So I was even more excited to swing back into my Jeep and drive off to mi querida Bolivia, where I am ecstatic to meet the people I hung with 10 years ago and things are a bit less touristy and more rough!
Here are the photos