New Years Eve

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Lambayeque,
Monday, December 31, 2012

As Kory was up a lot during the night emptying his stomach of its contents, we turned the alarm off and had a lie in. By the morning however he felt much better and even managed to eat breakfast. He said he felt comfortable to ride for the day, so after a slower start we set off. It seems like we aren't going more than a week or two at the moment without one of us being ill, which couldn't be more different from in India. During our 6 months in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka I was only ill once and Kory a couple of times; I would put the difference down to one thing, which is meat! We were begrudging vegetarian the whole time on the last trip and I think that is why we faired so much better. Even when the locals try their best, they don't have adequate refrigeration equipment here and with the heat and the flies it comes as no surprise that we are getting ill whilst we are in the lowland heat. Unfortunately I think if I tried to say I was vegetarian here I would just be served a plate of rice, which would quickly become boring. Who knows though, because Kory seemed to get ill from a meal that we prepared ourselves on the camp stove, in the hotel bedroom the night before.

When we set off the sun was already high and the ground was baking.  The wind had already made it to a noticeable level but wasn't as bad as it gets in the afternoon, so we were hoping to get most of the cycling done as quickly as we could. We only had about 30km of desert left, before we would finally make it to a town again, and back to civilisation. As we cycled past more sand dunes I was happy to know that the scenery was at last about to change.

Thankfully Kory felt ok and we continued on as fast as the wind would allow us to go, which was about 18km per hour. After a couple of hours we made it to a small city, and cycled around the outskirts on the Pan-American. The city seemed similar to the one that we had skirted around before heading into the desert. It seemed like all of the roads were under construction, there was loads of litter, the streets were filled with people and there was a chaotic vibe.  Everywhere you looked people were shouting, tuc tucs were squeezing through tiny breaks in the traffic, people were blasting their horns; it was like India. As Kory spotted the first Supermarket that we have seen in Peru so far, we thought we should stop and refill our panniers for the next few days.  Kory went into the shop to pick up the usual essentials, whilst I stayed outside with the bikes. Life was in full swing and if I didn't pay attention it was going to carry me down the road with it. Vans would pull in to the street corner, where a teenage boy would yell out the destination of the van-bus and people would run from whatever shade they were hiding under to jump into the back of the van before it pulled away again moments later. They would throw their belongings in and jump in after them.  Families would go through the rubbish bin beside the road looking for something they could hand in to the recycle shop and scurry away anything they found like a prized possession. The streets were packed with people dashing about their daily lives and I just had to stand in a tiny bit of shade and make sure the bikes didn't fall over into their path.

We continued on, with even more heavily laden bikes and made the final slog to Pimentel, which we don't know much about but knew it was on the coast and thought it might be a nice place to spend the afternoon. We had planned to have the afternoon off here and cycle again tomorrow, but by the time we arrived it was already 3pm. When we arrived to the beach, the beach was full of locals enjoying the afternoon sun. The sea was filled with surfers and families playing in the waves. There were restaurants with chairs on the beach and small trinket stalls on a long walkway. It had a really nice feel to it and automatically enticed us more than Mancora had on first impression.

We bought an ice-cream from a vendor who pushes a little cart up and down the beach all day, and sat on the steps to the beach to breathe a sigh of relief for making it here finally. It seemed strange that having spent days cycling through the desert, I was so pleased to see yet more sand, but it symbolized a time for rest and relaxation.

We headed towards a campsite that the lonely planet recommended, but again it was not very enticing. There was no one there at all and we wondered if we would run in to the same problem again with a lack of water. I also wanted to stay in a place with WI-FI as I wanted to prioritize getting my journal onto my blog, so decided against staying there.

Instead we headed to a restaurant, this is how it went;

Me - “Hello, do you have a menu?”
Waiter – Yes, this way....
Me – Um, do you have a menu?
Waiter – Oh I thought you said toilet.

After a moment

Me - …, do you have food? We are hungry.
Waiter – No, no menu, but we have a set platter for two people. It's cerviche, followed by fried rice with shrimp and seafood, with chips and salad. It is 25 soles ($10) total, not per person.
Me – Sounds great. We will have that.
Waiter – Great, sit here.

Ten minutes later

Same waiter – Would you like a drink?
Kory – Can I have a Sprite please?
Waiter - We only have cola.
Kory – Cola it is then
Waiter – Would you like something to eat?
Kory – I thought we ordered food.

The same conversation occurs as above....

Waiter – So you want the platter for two people. For 25 soles total, not per person.
Kory and Me – Yes please, one platter for us both. 25 soles. Thank you.

45 minutes later Kory and I walked out of the restaurant even MORE hungry, having only had a cola and with no sign of any food ever coming. The waiter didn't bat an eyelid when we asked for the bill for the cola, and happily carried on without a mention of any food. AHHHHHH!!!!! It was like a sketch off faulty towers!  How does it happen?!

We found a place to stay, which I was concerned about as we were at the beach on New Years Eve. I expected everywhere to be full and now we needed it find a place as we didn't like the campground.  We asked at a couple of places that were fully booked but Kory quickly found a
nice place just a block in from the beach. The best part was that the lady was really friendly and was happy to start cooking us some food as we checked into the room. I had my order in before my bags were even in the bedroom. By the time we were showered, which doesn't take long when the water is freezing, we had two plates of seasoned chicken breast, with rice and chips on the table waiting for us. Life was good again.

We watched the sun set over the ocean and walked around the town for a little while. Kory was exhausted after being ill the previous night, so we we came back to the room for an early night. We have cycled some long, hard days and covered a lot of ground over our 5 days of cycling, so have given ourselves the public holiday off tomorrow to enjoy a day at the beach.

At around 11.30pm we heard music and fireworks outside, so heading out to the beach to investigate.  There were loads of groups of people, standing around beach fires, letting off fireworks.  At midnight, lots of them stripped down into their swim clothes and ran into the cold sea to see in the New Year.  There was music playing and a small stage and everyone seemed to be having lots of fun. 
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Paddy on

Happy New Year to you both! Gemma I'm very impressed you've been able to keep up with your blog. As you know, I had to complete mine once I got back home. All the best for 2013, it's shaping up to be an exciting adventurous time for you both.
take care x

Grandma on

Sounds like time for a GOOD REST!!!! Hopefully the road ahead is better. You both take care......Have a Happy New Year..... Love and hugs

karen on

FUNNY conversation with the waiter! Lol
Generally they would display that "confused" glazed over look of not understanding....weird.

gemandkory on

Yeh, usually you know that there is a mis-understanding but he seemed to walk off with our order, which considering there was only one thing available, it wasn't too hard. I just wanted to share the small joys of travelling, in case you had forgotten them - when even the smallest things are difficult sometimes.

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