Loja

Loja

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

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Arriving in Peru

Arriving in Peru

We woke up to find that HJ had a puncture, but thankfully with a small bike shop nearby that was no problem – I wouldn’t have to repair it! While the bike was getting sorted out, we walked over to the immigration office to stamp out. The office is fairly new, and the 3 surly officers didn’t seem to want to make us feel welcome. They each fingered through every page of our passports, tried claiming there were problems, that HJ’s visa was wrong, and other bull so I started

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Bussing to Bolivia

Bussing to Bolivia

The worst bus ride in South America, 24 hours of hell, a must-avoid trip – all things that I’d heard to describe the journey I was about to take from Asunción to Bolivia. To be fair, I got off about 4 hours before it made it to Santa Cruz, but even with the bus breaking down in the middle of the night and being so tall I’ve had far worse experiences on buses.

My final day in Asunción had gone well, getting things organised for myself (a bus ticket, and my replacement tent parts

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Through sand and downpours

Through sand and downpours

I was in touch with Nora thanks to Lydia, a Warmshowers member and Peace Corp volunteer in Asuncion. She had posted a message on the Peace Corp Facebook group and thanks to that I also had another contact, Julie in the town of Alberdi, in the southwestern province of Ñeembucú. Back during the dictatorships, it had been very much against it and that could still be seen. Having pushed my bike along 30km of the seemingly endless flooded sand roads, I was wishing they’d had less fight in them

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Failing to cross a border

Failing to cross a border

Markus is out of the house by 5:45 and so I had to be too with my plan to cross the border and end up somewhere near San Francisco, where I’d be meeting Nora, one of 200 Peace Corp volunteers in Paraguay. San Francisco is about 135km from Markus’ place, so you can imagine my frustration when after travelling 207km I was 130km away.

I’d already crossed the Posadas – Encarnación border with Gaz, on our way up to Iguazu, and so I decided that I’d take the border crossing

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