Luís Simões, travel sketcher around the world
We decided to ride our bikes along the coast in the north Peru after being spoiled by the generosity of Ecuador and breathing the fresh air of the Andes for months. We longed for a beach we hadn’t had for more than 8 months. Yet, we didn’t expect of anything that came after we are here.
Enthusiastic about the fact that we crossed over to a new country, a new people, a new culture, and with the hope that we could feel saltwater on our feet while drinking fresh coconut water, still frustrated. We crossed the border in Macara, then stopped in Las Lomas.
On the next day, we cycled to Tambogrande, and there the heat was so intense that we had to stop pedaling. We were a little disappointed, with little energy, and I would not be wrong to say that we were also a little cranky … so we decided to get on a bus and find our way to Piura and from there go to Cajamarca. It would be our first time to put our bikes on a bus in north Peru. Right on our second day here! What a start, we thought! Piura hasn’t changed much of our feelings.
We felt that something was wrong with our choices, but we continued to Chiclayo, again by bus. It was definitely the best thing we did because the road to get to Chiclayo deserted. Impressive flat and nothing around. When we were on the bus, arriving in town, we asked ourselves again:
“What are we doing here…?”.
The city was a mixture of desert, with dust everywhere, and tons of bikes, cars, buses, honking all the time! …and us with our bikes loaded, trying to mix.
First impression of north Peru
The first impression we had of north Peru was a shock. We realized that the northern Peruvian coast was not a friendly place for touring cyclists like us. The chaotic cities where people were too intense, the dirt roads, and the cars or tuk-tuk honking every second, was a nightmare.
Believe me, horrible traffic combined with unpleasant heat is the last place you want to travel by bike. All this made us lower and we became less cold like the cucumber.
In fact, we are not the only ones who feel this way. We have some friends who also took a bus from Piura to Cordirella Blanca, or to Lima at the same time. While we were lucky enough to visit Chiclayo before returning to ‘Sierra’.
Tired of packing and unpacking our bikes in buses, and since we were a few miles from the coast after so many months, we decided to stay one night in a cheap inn and go see the ocean. In the late afternoon, we made our escape from the busy city to the beach of Pimentel, which I recommend visiting.
Pimentel beach is only 14 km from Chiclayo and we went there by public transport. It cost PES 6 per person. Without any expectations, the beach of Pimentel surprised us. Although we came on the weekend, the beach was quite calm and clean. It was immense that we could breathe again. The tranquility we felt was a great relief from the total confusion of the last days. The salty breeze calmed our souls and brought us back to the ground.
The next day we packed our bags once more and went directly to Cajamarca by bus. We escaped the entropy and returned to the mountains where we felt at peace. Cajamarca was great happiness in our first week in north Peru. Be sure to read our post about Cajamarca.