We are still ignoring all advice and getting night buses, firstly because as they are still comfortable and we’ve had no problems with security, secondly it saves us a bunch of cash on accommodation. I’m sure as we head into Ecuador and Colombia this will stop – journeys will become shorter but also we will have to be a little more careful. We have heard many stories of robberies on buses although these also tend to be thrown around by the same backpackers who seem to get flights everywhere.
Our time in Peru is almost up and Trujillo is our first visit to the Pacific coast. I’m going to miss Peru – aside from Lima and Cusco, you only have to go a few miles out of any town and it feels like a million. Hours spent with my face glued to a bus window watching local village life fly past have become my favourite pastime (Leah usually asleep next to me).
Our arrival in town didn’t start well. Half asleep, we remove ourselves from the bus around 5am and quickly find a taxi. We are actually staying in Huanchaca, a surfer town about 15 minutes’ drive away. We booked a bed in advance at a place called Lily Surf Hostel but although we let them know in advance what time we will be arriving they are not answering the door. After half an hour a cleaner turns up and lets us in but whoever is in charge does not bother it get up (although she did poke her head around the door and then dismiss us). So we walk out, and trudge around town fully backpacked-up until we find somewhere – Swiss Hostel. Great place, friendly, nice alpine wooden rooms and warm, and our first hot water for a while. We hit the sack. Later we add a review of the Surf Hostel on a hostel booking site slamming them. Revenge is sweet.
Half of South America we are travelling off season. It’s much quieter, cheaper and there are less annoying gap year kids. This does mean the weather can be a bit off, and though it’s nice and warm here, it’s a bit grey, and although it’s a ‘surfer town’ it’s not full of bleach blonde Neanderthals yet. For us, it’s really just a break in our journey into Ecuador.
That afternoon, we spend a few hours in town; the architecture is stunning around the main square. We book our onwards bus, and Leah also forces me at knife point to buy some new boxer shorts. I only have three pairs and she thinks it’s not enough – I don’t understand.
We also visit the local pre Inca ruins – Chan Chan, an impressive site between Huanchaca and Trujillo near the beach. It’s definitely worth a visit, but it’s going to take something for us to be impressed after Machu Picchu.
Two days is all we have allowed ourselves here, seems like a nice enough town. The sandy beach is a bit muddy for my liking, but food and accommodation is dirt cheap and we had the best apple pie ever in a lovely café called Chocolate – worth visiting this place for that alone.
Leaving on the bus at 9pm we feel very far from home. The bus terminal is packed with hundreds of people (and a fair amount of chickens and dogs). We are the only tourists and attract a few bemused looks as we struggle with our backpacks onto the next overnight bus to Mancora. We are promised hot weather and blue skies – as well as a warm Pacific. Leah is already planning a beach day.