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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tumbes, Peru

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We had another long day today beginning with our bus ride at 7:30. When we tried to buy tickets on CIFA the guy told us no for Tumbes, didn´t we want Mancora or Piura farther south. We were totally perplexed by this, took a moment together to try to figure it out, then went back and asked again for Tumbes. He gave in and sold us our tickets, but I took this as a bad sign for our chosen destination.

We arrived at the border at Noon where it took an hour to get through Ecuadorian Immigration for our exit stamps and almost another hour for everyone to clear Immigration for entry into Peru. We think the bus driver and conductor went for lunch while we were all exiting Ecuador, but the conductor stayed with us in Peruvian Immigration.

We arrived in Tumbes at 2:30 and caught a moto-taxi for a stop at an ATM to get some soles before checking into the Hotel Lourdes. Peru is expensive! We´re paying 60 soles (the rate is about 2.80 soles to the dollar) for our room, which is larger and has hot water, but is otherwise no nicer than our room in Guayaquil. And tonight for dinner at Los Gustinos on the plaza we paid 35 soles for a rice with seafood mix which we shared. To top things off, we couldn´t finish it and were sitting there while John finished his beer when a street vendor came up and asked if he could take it for us, and then quickly sat down at the table behind us and polished it off!

This is another noisy, big city with not much to offer so we´re thinking about moving on down to Mancora, a beach resort area, tomorrow. We figure if everything is going to be expensive, we might as well be somewhere more relaxing.

Linda and John