Onwards we descend from the eden like green of EC to a bleached sandy desert.... the heat was just brutal and the only decoration was rubbish. After 6 hours we arrived in the city of Piura which someone later described as looking like Afghanistan. Pretty accurate I say, shanty towns, desert, unfinished buildings that look like they are bombed out, crazy cars and rickshaws of all things burning around the streets in a frenzy.
The next morning we make a break for it and head to Chiclayo a city near the coast that surely must be different. We board a bus and make the 4 hour journey to discover another city just like Piura but possibly even more chaotic. To top it off, there were big black birds circling the skies.... just like vultures I joke....then one flies down and perches on the roof of the local town hall and upon closer inspection I discover it IS a Vulture. The evil looking things are everywhere, circling the sky, perched with their hunchbacks on the roofs of buildings and pecking through the rubbish on the ground. Surely not a good omen. Then as Ed and I take a walk down the main street dodging hustlers and pervy men a guy comes over and says in English "dont walk here - its dangerous" What did he mean? This street? This suburb? The whole town? Peru? All rather difficult but I took his advice and hotfooted it to the hotel where I tucked myself up in bed and watched a Bee Gees concert on the telly. Who said travel wasnt glamorous.
By now I had started calling Peru sh*t-ru which I admit isnt very big or clever but it made me feel better. One more bus trip and we head up,up,up into the mountains to Carjarmarca where finally Peru was salvaged from my savaging. A lovely old city, green, cool and filled with loads of groovy looking indigenous ladies who wear these incredible hats. Imagine a pilgrim hat with a great tall crown and brim but in straw and you are halfway there - amazing.
Hooked up with Ben the Aussie guy here who is sending us up into the hills to build a stove. Gulp, poor family that get us.... I dont think they are expecting two slightly useless Sydney people to sort out their cooking issues but hey, I'm willing to give it a go. Apparently you often are given a guinea pig (live) to cook on the stove when you are done. If I get one I'm liberating it!
Adios and back in a week with more stove stories. X