I wasn’t sad to leave Ecuador. Getting from Ecuador to Peru, more specifically from Cuenca, Ecuador to Mancora, Peru, seemed pretty straightforward. A company called Pullman Sucre offered the route directly, though you’d take them to the border, switch to another bus, and continue the journey.
I opted to do the journey at night since it took 8 hours and I wanted to spend as much time in Manocra as possible.
When I got to the bus station, the guy told me he didn’t think there were seats available on the second bus from the Peruvian border to Mancora. But after a phone call, everything was fine. I paid $15, $7 to get to the border, and then $8 for the Peruvian part, and caught the bus at 9pm.
I met two other foreigners while waiting for the bus. One was a British guy who travels with a trumpet and presumably plays it to earn money? I’m not sure. And the second was an Argentinean theater actress who was performing in Mancora. But, by chance, she spent a year in Cleveland as an exchange student. Small world!
The bus ride was fine. I couldn’t really sleep though. It was really hot, the bus wasn’t very comfortable, and I guess I was excited to get to Peru! But when taking off my sweatshirt as we got into progressively warmer and warmer weather, I lost my “pillow.” It’s not a real pillow, but my sleeping bag insert rolled up.
I had one of those moments where I thought maybe I imagined that the sleeping bag insert was on the seat. But no, I totally lost it. We must have made a turn and it rolled off the seat. Of course, it was dark and I couldn’t find it. So when we got to the border, I hunted for it when the lights were on and I found it on the other side of the bus.
We got to the Ecuadoran border at about 2am and we went through immigration. No problems there. But I realized I was getting back into the tropics. There were cockroaches everywhere. Crickets and beetles too. I found this guy in the bathroom and they were generally everywhere to be found.
After Ecuadoran immigration, we got back on the bus and traveled some more. I don’t remember how far, but 10 to 20 minutes or so. Then we went through Peruvian immigration. This also went smoothly. I have a picture of a sign saying “Welcome to Country X” for each country I’ve been to so far (maybe except Mexico) and I was disappointed I didn’t find such a sign for Peru. Maybe it was there, but since it was nighttime I couldn’t find it. Below are pictures of Peruvian border control and a Welcome To Tumbes sign, the region of Peru I entered.
From the Peruvian border, it was only 1.5 hours to Mancora. I already told the place I was staying that I’d arrive early, like around 7pm. In the end, I arrived at 4:30am. I caught a Motortaxi to where I was staying and though the door was open, I rang the bell to wake up the administrator. She got up, gave me my keys, and I got a few hours of great sleep.
And then I woke up in Paradise 🙂
Peru is a special place for me. I knew almost nothing about the place before I lived in Spain, but living with four Peruvians there changed everything for me. I have been looking forward to getting to know this amazing country for a few years now and getting here is a dream come true.
Let’s see how it goes..