desert 1 (to Chiclayo)

We leave Mancora a little wobbly. The night before an impressive pack of 9 Bolivian ADV riders was staying at the hotel. They were riding the coast north to Cartegena. I pulled out my Bolivia map and we talked routes. They were very helpful and the timing is great for that. We marked the routes in blue for safe and red for scary. I’m going meet them down there. Here are 5 of them. Great guys on a mix of F800GS’s, Triumph 800’s and GSA’s

We chewed a bag of this to keep our strength up. It makes your mouth numb but you can do route stuff way longer

A couple of coffees and off we go

The day’s track
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There were two options in the mid-picture. To head straight for the mountains or to ride through the dry Peruvian desert. I love desert, we haven’t ridden any since Baja, so we picked that. We’ll head for the mountains from Chimbote and go for the classic entry.

Right behind Mancora are the mud/sand hills and gorges Mancora is built on. Choss basically

Soon we hit a town and gas up. It’s our first regular town in Peru. I’m a little surprised at the random architecture. Little did I know how strange it would get

Very suddenly we go through huge rice fields

Some of the houses have their own plots

It’s all quite nice

Then, the reason for the green, a terrific river

And the green stops abruptly. We head into the beginnings of a desert. The last structures are miles of these small homes. The walls are mostly a woven material

Then a small group of tiendas by the road

Selling honey. This goes on for a while. I kept bees in my youth and wonder where the flowering plants are that support this industry. Nothing in sight

Then drier


Then dry

After about 100 miles of this there’s a desert road to a distant hill. I’m curious so head out to it head out to it but it never gets any closer

So on we go. The wind starts picking up and we go through some miles of low dunes

The wind picks up and soon we’re leaning radically into it. Not so bad as it’s not gusty. But tiring after another 100 miles. Then, the beginnings of life again

Dusty, windswept and gorgeous

And into the bustling town of Chiclayo. I really liked it. I met an English guy, Dave, on a Triumph (he loved it) way back outside Mancora at the side of the road and we meet for dinner more by luck than arrangement. He’s hurrying from New York to Buenos Aires. Amazing the good people you meet, all with interesting stories.

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