From Loja it would be about 750km to Cusco. I could have gone on a shorter route through the mountains, but I decided instead to drop down to El Oriente, the foothills of the Andes where they drop into the Amazon. I figured it would be flatter than the mountains, and also I wanted to visit my friend Nick, who had not only hosted me on my first day in Mexico, but also I’d ridden with in Cuba.
There was a climb into the clouds out of Loja, on rather steep roads (as seems to be the Ecuadorian
It was 6 hours on the bus from Trujillo to the town of Piura, where I arrived around dawn, before the next bus on to the Ecuadorian border and my destination of Loja left around 10am. Trujillo hadn’t felt so hot, but Piura definitely did. It’s a quite remote city in the middle of the desert, but being a Sunday there wasn’t much going on in the early hours that I spent there.
The view from the bus was mainly scrubland, and I definitely didn’t feel like I was missing much
There are only night buses from Huaraz to Trujillo, so it was that, having finished our Thanksgiving dinner, I headed out at 9pm to the bus terminal. Rather than the normal ridiculousness about how I definitely couldn’t put my bike on the bus, they told me to put it in standing up and only had to take a couple of bags off so it could stand better. One thing that’s harder to avoid is paying a fee, although at least I managed to haggle the fee down. The bus would take me from the mountains