30.03.2013 - 03.04.2013
We were pleasantly surprised by Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. A Malecon was built in 2000 along the big, muddy Rio Guyas. It's a great place to walk, with playgrounds, monuments, and a tropical garden. It was full of families enjoying their Easter weekend while we were there. Only downside: no pups allowed.
Las Peñas neighborhood, built on Cerro Santa Ana, features 400+ steps, with a bar, restaurant, or art shop interspersed on most of the steps. Sunny & Cricket were champs, climbing the whole thing with us on a lively Saturday night.
Guayquil has many well-maintained, well-used parks. The most remarkable one, to us, Parque Bolívar/Parque Seminario. In the middle of a 2,000,000+ city, prehistoric-looking iguanas of all sizes roam freely. Understandably, no dogs allowed. And surrounded with all these exotic creatures, what were the Ecuadorians most fascinated by? A squirrel. As we entered the park, a guard even excitedly pointed us towards the tree where there had been a squirrel-sighting.
One of the more important items stolen in our most recent theft was the original title to the Jeep. An oversight on our part; it did not make it back into our under-seat lockbox after the prior border crossing. We have photocopies, but without the original we were dubious about getting into Perú. The Aduana official was understanding, though, and wrote us a Perúvian vehicle permit. Yay!! We kept our Ecuadorian permit, since it will still be valid when we return to that country. And we have a wizard in Asheville working on getting a replacement title to the US consulate in Quito, Ecuador.
So, on to Perú. We could not get out of Tumbes fast enough. That was the problem--we got lost and could not find our way out. Surrounded by lawless, honking tuk-tuks, it was a rattling scene to say the least. We escaped, thankfully.
Spent a night in Zorritos. Picturesque fishing town with a lighthouse. The highlight was Sunny & Cricket learning how to dig for, catch, and play with crabs. Once they discovered this new game, we didn't get far on our morning walk, as Sunny insisted on sticking her snout in every single crab hole.
Next stop, Mancora. Surfing town with a nice beach, real coffee, and my first pisco sour! ¡Me gusta!
Scored a sweet corner room overlooking the beach for less than $20. A first for us: hairless Peruvian dogs. They look like the dogs depicted in Incan art. There were 4 in this family. Sweet-natured, playful, black, adults similar in size and shape to Doberman Pinschers, and as I said, hairless except for mohawks on a couple if them. And their skin is really warm! Their person said the dogs are used as therapy for folks with arthritis.
We saw many fine surfers. What a beautiful sport to watch.
Today, we drove through the unforgiving Desierto de Sechura. It is amazing that any creature lives here, but sure enough, there are goats, donkeys, and even turkeys! As most places, it has a beauty all its own.
We have landed in Chiclayo, at least for a night or two.
Thanks for reading!