We had a lovely month in Cuenca but we felt it was time to move on and explore Peru. We took the night bus to Peru and had planned to get off at Mancora, having been told it was a 10-hour journey. We left at 8pm, so that would mean an early arrival of 6am but we thought that was manageable. Unfortunately, we were misinformed and arrived at Mancora at 3.30am! The children were fast asleep, it was pitch dark and we hadn’t arranged accommodation yet. We didn’t feel comfortable with this and asked the driver if we could stay on until the next destination, Puria. No problem, pay $5 each extra and we are on our way. At about 6am, we arrived at Puria, but the children still fast asleep and looking at the bleak landscape outside, we didn’t want to get off the bus! Same tactic, pay a bit extra and we are on our way to the next stop: Chiclayo.
We arrived at Chiclayo at 10am (kids are awake now) and got off, had some breakfast and got our bearings and looked for a hotel in the Lonely Planet. Chiclayo itself was busy, dusty and manic but the main attraction here is tours to museums and archeological sites. We booked a day tour to see Museum National Sipan, Museum Tumbas Reales de Sipan and the Sipan archeologicla site itself. The Sipan were one of the many predecessors to the Incas. The two museums were pretty good but the archeological site was a bit of a disappointment. We weren’t allowed at the interesting bits and we were left with a big rock to climb with a mildly ok view.
The hotel receptionist told us that the seaside resort of Pimentel was very ‘bonito’ so we took a taxi to have a look there, but we shouldn’t have bothered. The place was dead, the beach dirty and the restaurant proprietors hassly.
The next city on the the coast towards Lima is Trujillo, with a seaside resort a couple of miles west called Huanchaco. We decided to stay at the seaside town, hoping it was better than Pimentel but our expectations weren’t high. We were so glad that we were pleasantly surprised. A surfers paradise, the place is laid-back, has a couple of nice bars and restaurants and the beach is clean-ish. The waves are amazing and we’ve seen some spectacular surfing. We decided to hang out here for a few days and spent our days fishing (after two days of trying we finally caught a fish) and playing on the beach and have had some pretty damn good food and wine/beer. We took a day trip to Trujillo and the nearby archeological site of Chan Chan and the accompanying museums. Very interesting, the site is vast and at the hight of the Chimu empire there were 60,000 in habitants, about 600 years ago.