Paradise on the Pan-American Highway

Please forgive my lack of blogging! As our trip began to wind down so did our bank accounts and Internet became strictly utilitarian much to my Blog's chagrin. However, I am back and able to recount some of the amazing experiences we had in the last month of our trip. In Chiclayo we found ourselves in a pickle as we searched every bus company in town for a way to get to Tarapoto where we would then get to Yurimaguas and take a boat along the Amazon River into Iquitos. After many warnings of , "Es muy peligroso," and not much else, a kind old man showed me a newspaper in which the road we were attempting to take had been destroyed by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake the night before. Stranded in hot and steamy Chiclayo inland from the beach with the most machismo, cat calling locals everywhere was not the best option for waiting around for road repair and I began to feel melancholy. After brainstorming in our ridiculous hostel room, Zach, Ben and I decided to head up to Mancora while we altered our plans.

Mancora turned out to be beyond a highlight in our journey and the best detour I have ever taken. As our bus ambled up the coast amongst giant dunes of ancient sand, we began to smell the fresh ocean air and my anxiety was quelled. We turned a corner and the ocean spread out before my eyes like a giant oasis of life and tranquility. We hopped in a moto taxi, the mode of choice for travel in Northern Peru and found a little spot full of Indonesian style palm thatched bungalows and hammocks everywhere outside. After throwing my pack down, I promptly headed out to the beach where a thick fog made the distant fishing boats look as vague as an oil painting. The next day was gorgeous and we played in the frothy Pacific ocean water for hours letting our concerns about reaching the Amazon drift out to sea. Nights were full of debauchery with thumping music at sandy beach bars, followed by impromptu bonfires with interesting Peruvian locals. At Green Eggs and Ham, our favorite spot to eat owned by a Southern couple from the states we would enjoy tall stacks of fluffy pancakes and fresh jugo de pina with a touch of peach. Days of surfing, sun bathing, and frolicking faded into dinners of fresh tuna in terriyaki sauce, cold beers and late nights. Despite its location on the Pan-American highway, the duality was more interesting than conflicting as buses zoomed by on their way to Ecuador and trucks rushed by unaware of the paradise on the other side of the road. Tanned and tranquil we reluctantly hopped on a bus to Lima in order to make our way to the elusive Amazonia.