Zu alt zum Arbeiten, zu jung zum Sterben, gerade richtig zum Reisen. ...........................................................................Too old to work, too young to die, just right to travel.
Today we traveled from Puquio to Abancay (311 km). The hotel last night was very noisy. There was noise from outside and from inside the hotel. And it was very cold in the room. We didn't have a great night. Therefore we got up early at 7 am and left the hotel and the place without breakfast before 8 am. The road led us upwards. We climbed to an altitude of 4560 meters. It was nice weather and there were lakes and a nice landscape. We saw a lot of lamas. There are domestic ones (see picture) and wild ones. We saw herds of both types. Then we stopped and had our breakfast. And since we felt the height we brewed some Coca tea. Later the road went downwards again until an altitude of 2400 meters. In the end, we climbed up again 200 meters to the place we stay overnight. We park in a hotel garden and have a hotel room at our disposal. Like this, we can use the RV and the hotel room and have all the things we need for a nice evening and hopefully a more calm night.
Today we traveled from Huacachina to Puquio (344 km). The plan for today was to travel to Nazca to see the famous Nazca Lines. We were there quite early and the road led us through the plain where these figures are. There is a tower just next to the road from where three figures are visible. It is the tree (see picture), the hands and the lizard. To see all 12 figures one has to take a little plane and fly over the figures. We didn't want to do this. Therefore we traveled further on in direction of Cuzco. At the campground we had in mind nobody was around. Therefore we drove to the next town and took a hotel room. The elevation of Huacachina is 400 meters and the temperature this morning was 30 °C. Puquio is on 3200 meters and the temperature is 9 ℃. What a difference? We are freezing!
Today we traveled from Lima to Huacachina (291 km). We traveled along the Pacific Ocean. About 90 km from Lima are different settlements at the ocean with weekend houses from the richer people of Lima. The road was mostly a very nice highway. It led through the dessert. Sometimes we saw the Pacific Ocean and sometimes green areas. We passed a big grape plantation. Huacachina is a little oasis behind some huge sand dunes. It has a little pond which makes this place special. After we arrived here we climbed up one of the sand dunes to get some pictures of the oasis as the attached picture shows. Our RV stands in the courtyard at the lower end of the picture. There is another RV from a German family. Other people live in tents in this Ecocamp.
Today Mario showed us around in Lima. After seeing Miraflores we drove into the historic center of Lima. Here we saws the cathedral, the town hall, some churches and the Presidents Palace (see picture). Then we went back to the beaches and Mario showed us the Regatas Club where he is a member. This is a very huge club (30'000 members) and they have facilities for a lot of different sports. They support athletes and reached some world championships in different sports.
Today we stayed in Lima. After we have seen Mario we went for a walk along the cliff line in Miraflores (9 km). We started at the Miraflores Lighthouse and went until the Cristo del Pacifico statue. We cheated and took a taxi for the second half of the way. Then we went down to the beach and in the evening we had a nice seafood dinner in that restaurant which stands in the sea (see picture). The Christus statue is on that rock in the background of the picture.
Today we stayed in Lima. We walked in the area of the Swiss Club. It is in a very good area of Lima called Miraflores. Here everything is very nice and clean. We wanted to shop some things but didn't find everything. But we had a good time. On our way we found people dancing in a park. This was funny to see. Mostly older people did dance and many young did watch them.
Today we traveled from Casma to Lima (389 km). The drive went through the desert (see picture). Sometimes we even saw the Pacific Ocean. After four days I had to learn that Peru is not desertlike but it is a desert. But there were sweet water is there are oases. And the people have the knowledge to extend this oases to orchards or even plantations. We saw again a lot of sugar cane fields. The drive through Lima was an experience. For about 30 km we drove in the city. We needed about two hours for this. Everything went well. We are here in the Swiss Club. My friend Mario organised our stay here. He is the son of a Swiss couple who emigrated to Peru. He kept touch with Switzerland and came to learn the profession of a printer in his parents home country. Later he had his own printing company in Lima. Now he works as a consultant. I met him twice in Switzerland and one time in Colombia. I look forward to meet him again.
Today we traveled from Huanchaco to Camsa (209 km). But first we went to visit the Chimú kingdom ruins of Chan-Chan. Here the rulers built their palaces. Nine kings had nine palaces. They were build out of adobe (mud bricks). Therefore they are very much destroyed just by the weather. But at least one palace is reconstructed (see picture). Then we drove further south. We were not able to reach the campground we had as destination. Therefore the first time in our RV life we did overnight at a gas station. This one had a sleeping area where we could park for free. This places are called here in Peru «Cochera». We had no electricity here therefore my post comes one days later.
Today we traveled from Piura to Huanchaco which is near Trujillo (426 km). We had good streets and could mostly drive with full speed of 100 km/h. The first half of the drive was through a desertlike landscape. It was flat and sandy, sometimes with trees sometimes with trees, bushes and gras. Then came the city of Chiclayo. We drove now through some cities here in Peru. They all have very bad streets and are just dirty. Chiclayo was maybe the worst we have seen so far (see picture). After Chiclayo the landscape changed. Here were lots of plantations. We saw a lot of sugar cane, banana and some fields we don't know the plants. Huanchaco is outside of Trujillo a small village at the Pacific Ocean. It is a vacation town. We camp here on a gras area of a hotel just next to the pool.
Today we traveled from Zorritos to Piura (249 km). Last night were three cars on the campground. A German woman with her VW from Germany with a roof tent and a young couple from Switzerland with a camping car from Canada, which they bought in Argentina and will sell in Colombia. We had some good talks this morning before we all started to travel. The roads were quite good. We drove for some time through sand hills, then we saw some salt productions out of sea water, some banana plantations and lastly some rice fields. We came through some villages and towns. They all looked quite dirty. The night we spend on a campground at a little lake outside of Piura. The picture shows some of the rice fields we saw today.
Today we traveled from Puerto Jeli in Ecuador to Zorritos in Peru (115 km). In the morning we had to wait until the car insurance arrived by email. We found a good insurance for all the countries together which we will travel in the next months. The email arrived around noon. I had to print out the contract and then we started traveling. The border was quite confusing. The countries Ecuador and Peru have border stations together. If you travel in direction south the station is in Peru. If you travel north the station is in Ecuador. But to cancel the TIP we had to go back to the station in Ecuador (5 km). All the rest we could get at the station in Peru. There are a lot of Venezuelans at the border stations. Millions of Venezuelans are on the way to Chile. They think they will have a better future there. Because of this the border controls are a bit more difficult. We had to go to a special building to get our visas and the TIP. Then we drove through the town of Tumbes. Since there were heavy rains this morning the town was very wet and dirty. We are on a campground by the Pacific Ocean. It belongs to a Swiss and it is called Swiss Wassi. We didn't meet this Swiss guy. We watched the sunset at the ocean and walked along the beach. Here I shot the attached picture.
Today we traveled from Cuenca to Puerto Jeli (172 km). The road went mostly downwards since Cuenca is on an elevation of 2560 meters and Puerto Jello at sea level. The breaks of our RV had a lot of work to do and they did it without problems. In Cuenca, the temperature was about 20 °C and in Puerto Jeli 30 °C. We are sweating again! Therefore we wanted to take a road to Peru in the mountains. But people told us that this road is very bad. Therefore we had to come down to the Pacific Ocean. The drive went down a valley. First, it was quite green. But later is was desertlike. And closer to the sea there were a lot of banana plantations. The picture shows the desertlike landscape we drove through.
Today when we came to the car workshop in the morning our RV stood already on its wheels. This means the breaks were already repaired. They didn't find new brake disks and had to rectify the old ones. But they found new brake pads for the rear wheels. And everything should work perfectly now. They even repaired the shock absorber. After the new shock absorber was mounted in Bogota I heard sometimes a sound when we drove around a curve. They found that a screw was not tightened enough and got loose and was bent. They replaced this screw and hopefully, the sound is gone. Then an oil change was made and some other screws tightened. By noon everything was done. This means we can travel again. In the afternoon we walked again into the town. In the old town, all streets are rectangular to each other. Most of them are one way. And there is a lot of traffic. Most nice buildings are churches. We saw a lot of them. The picture shows one of the streets in Cuenca.
Today we drove first to a car workshop. When we drove down from Ingapirca the brakes started to make some noise. We wanted to know what this is. The shop did open the wheels and found out that we have lost one brake pad on one rear wheel. Since some other parts pressed against the brake disk that made the noise and scratched the disk. The workshop wants to install new brake disks if they can find them here in Ecuador. Otherwise, they can lathe them again. They were lathed already two times. Since our RV is without wheels in the car workshop we needed a place to sleep. The brother of the workshop owner has a campground just next to the workshop. He rents rooms too. Here we will spend the time until the RV is fixed. Since the car insurance we need for Peru will not be ready before Monday or Tuesday we may not lose much time. In the afternoon we walked into the town of Cuenca where I made the attached picture of the cupolas of the cathedral.
Today we stayed in Cuenca. We did our laundry, collected data for our car insurance for the next countries, brought Katharinas iPad to a repair shop and filled our water tank. In between, we visited the city. We went two times to a view tower where there is a nice view over the city. I attach here a picture of our night visit there. It shows the churches in the center of the city.
Today we went from our campground in El Tambo back to Ingapirca to visit the Inca ruins (12 km). This is the reason why we came here. The Inca ruins here are the largest in Ecuador. After the Aztec ruins in Mexico and the Maya ruins in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala these are the first Inca ruins we are visiting. The place was built by the local Cañari people. Later the Inca came to this place. They build an oval-shaped wall as a base for the sun temple. The stones fit the neighbor stones exactly that no mortar or other means was needed to hold the wall together. The site was probably destroyed by the Spanish about 500 years ago. They came to get the gold out of the temples. After this visit, we drove to Cuenca (81 km). This is the last bigger town in Ecuador. Here we will do some work at our RV in the next few days until we drive further on to Peru.
Today we traveled from Cerecita to Ingapirca (247 km). The day started at sea level and a temperature of 30 °C. The first about 150 km we drove on a plain with a lot of plantations. And we crossed the city of Guayaquil. Then the next 100 km we climbed up the Andes mountains. We are now at 3000 meters and the temperature is 12 °C. Last night we hardly could sleep because it was too hot and this night we will freeze if we don't cover us with all the blankets we have. The picture shows the church of Ingapirca.
Today we traveled from Puerto Cayo to Cerecita (202 km) which is 50 kilometers before Guayaquil. We drove along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. The best thing we saw was when fishermen pulled a net onshore and started to count and shared the catch among them. In the air, the Frigate birds wanted to have a share too and in the water, Pelicans waited for some food.
Today we went to visit the Isla de la Plata. For this, we had to travel by tuk-tuks and bus to Puerto Lopez. From here we went with a group by boat to the 24 km off the shore laying island. We walked on the island and saw crabs, lizards and a lot of the famous blue-footed boobies (picture). Then we went back to the boat. There we saw giant sea turtles. Then we went snorkeling and saw a lot of beautiful and colorful fishes. On the way back to Puerto Lopez we even saw a sea lion. This visit was quite a good experience. And tonight we said we don't need to go to the Galapagos Islands.
Today we traveled by Tuctucs and bus to Puerto Lopez (36 km). We want to visit the Isla de la Plata which is the Galapagos for poor people. There should be some of the animals which can be seen on the Galapagos Islands. We went there to book our trip for tomorrow. The day trip cost us $ 35.- per person. To go to the Galapagos would cost us at least $ 1000.- per person. Tomorrow evening we know if the Isla de la Plata is really a replacement for the Galapagos Islands. The picture shows Puerto Lopez from the pier where the boats leave for the Isla de la Plata tour.
Today we traveled from La Maná to Puerto Cayo (256 km). We traveled in the direction West through a highly agricultural landscape. We saw banana, cacao, corn and many other orchards we don't know the names of the plants and the fruits. In the picture, the whole valley is planted with corn. Then we found out that Montecristi is close to our way. We made a detour to this place. My friend Karl told me that there the famous Panama hats are produced. But we didn't see one single Panama hat and couldn't find the company which is producing them. Then we went on to Puerto Cayo and with that, we reached the Pacific Ocean. We parked or RV on the campground «Jardin Suizo» owned by a Swiss. It was nice to meet Samuel and for once speak like at home (Swiss German).
Today our destination was the Quilotoa Lake. It is a volcano lake on an altitude of 3914 meters. From the campground on an elevation of about 3000 meters, we had to climb up to the lake in 101 km which took us about 1.5 hours. We could drive up until the rim of the crater and look down to the lake (see picture). To walk down to the lake it needs about 30 minutes and to get back up about an hour. Before I wanted to start this hike we went for a bio break in a restaurant. While we were sitting in the restaurant it started to rain. And because the rain didn't stop we decided not to hike down to the lake. And because we were not lucky again to see any volcanos because of clouds we decided to drive to the Pacific coast. The road which led up to Quilotoa goes down to the other side of the mountains. We took this road and drove in heavy rain and in fog down to La Maná (206 km). La Maná is on an elevation of 220 meters! Here we took a hotel room to spend the night.
Today we wanted to visit the Antisana Nationalpark. Arie told us that we will see condors, foxes and wolfs here. But we were not lucky. We took a wrong road and arrived at the entrance gate to the National Park 15 minutes after they don't let anybody in anymore. But there was a bit further down a viewpoint. There was a man. I asked him if we can see condors here. He told me yes and put on his telescope. Through this, we could watch a condor on the other side of the valley. With my telephoto lens, I was not able to put the condor to full format (see picture). Then we drove down into the valley and to a campground close to the Cotopaxi Vulcano (110 km). We are here on the «Avenue of the Volcanoes».
Today we stayed at the campground outside of Quito. Arie the Dutch owner brought us to a car workshop where they could fix our alignment. Finally, it is done and it seems to be good. Then our RV became a wash (picture). Since Arie has a bike shop we let repair our bikes. Then we did some more works around our RV. I think we are now ready for the next lap of our travels.
Today we traveled by bus into the center of Quito (35 km). We needed about 1.5 hours to arrive in the historical center of Quito. First, we went to the Presidents Palace. There was the Changing of the Guards which was a very big ceremony with soldiers, horses, music, and singing of the National Anthem. The picture shows some soldiers in front of the Presidents Palace. The President itself didn't show up. Sometimes he does. Then we walked through the town. The sightseeing points were mostly churches. Today we felt the elevation (2850 m). We had some problems to breathe and walk. Therefore we didn't do some extra walks. Just when we wanted to start our way back to the campground we found an iPhone Repair Shop. My iPhone needed some repair. The guy did the repair in 1.5 hours and it cost me $100.-. By the way, here in Ecuador, the currency is US dollars.
Today we wanted to go to visit Quito. But we were lazy and wanted to leave the campground around noon. Arie the Dutch owner of the campground advice us not to go anymore because we need 1.5 hours to get into town. And tomorrow there is the changing of the guards at the President's Palace. Therefore we decided to stay on the campground and organize our further travelings. In the evening we went to have a tasteful dinner in a restaurant near the campground. The picture is from our yesterday's visit to the Otavalo market.
Today we traveled from Ibarra to Quito (158 km). On the way, we visited first the market in Otavalo. We were lucky that the market was today. It seems to be one of the biggest in Ecuador. It was interesting to watch all the people and products there. Then we went to Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World). Here we crossed the Equator. In the picture, the yellow line symbolizes the Equator. When the monument was built around 1980 people believed the yellow line is really the Equator. But now with the GBS equipment one has found out that the real equator is 240 Meters away from the yellow line. But to celebrate the crossing of the Equator this place is still good. We are now in the Southern Hemisphere.
Today we stayed on the campground «Finca Sommerwind» near Ibarra in Ecuador. I counted our money and paid bills. Katharina did laundry. In the evening while Hans cooked us another German dish the sun when down with a dramatic sky as my picture shows. During the dinner, some other Swiss arrived here. Hans meant that Switzerland must be empty because so many Swiss are traveling in South America.
20.01 | 23:20
Danke für deinen Kommentar. Ich denke oft an die Zeit mit dir in Lima. Uns geht es gut. Wir wohnen wieder in St. Gallen und können wegen Corona seit einem Jahr nicht mehr reisen. Bis bald
19.01 | 23:43
Hallo Erwin, wie geht es Dir und Katharina, ich hoffe gut. Bin nach langer Zeit in Deine Webseite gegangen und hier habt wirklich eine schöne Zeit als "Nomaden" verbracht. Wir bleiben in Kontakt.
26.09 | 11:47
Danke, dass euch unsere Band TEARS FOR BEERS am St.Gallerfest 2018 gefallen hat und wir es auf eure Homepage geschafft haben.
12.05 | 17:39
Danke für deine immer interessanten Berichte. Ich wünsche gutes Gelingen und einen starken Durchhaltewillen. En Gruess