From Baņos I headed into the Amazon basin and followed the road through Puyo and up over the mountains on a brand new road to Cuenca.
The first of many bridges and river crossings.
Some Black Vultures, I would see many more of these along the way
And the one and only four star hotel where I stayed in Cuenca. It was only $30.usd and had a very secure parking garage.
Cuenca Plaza, a pretty laid back un-touristy place.
The pigeons seemed to like this guy.
Impressive old Spanish architecture
A really quiet place
After Cuenca it was down to the coast through some very arid mountains.
Had a great meal, some regional dish, chopped liver and stuff! Really darned tasty! Near the coastal town of Machala.
then back over the mountains to the crossing into Peru at Macara.
It was raining and very foggy up high in the mountains, the road was under construction, it was very slow and nerve wracking riding. At times I was in first gear barely able to see in front of me! The road unmarked and constantly changing from new concrete to sometimes mud!
I found a hotel in Macara straight out off a quentin tarrentino movie. People were great, the street fried chicken delicious and the beer came in tall bottles. I was way too shattered after the ride over the mountains to get any pictures. I was in tatters.
Next day Peru!
Gasoline in Ecuador was really cheap, about $1.50 a gallon. At the border they had a restriction where you could buy only 10 gallons at a time.
These guys had been waiting since 04:00 in the morning for the station to open.
They very graciously let me cut in line.
Smile you are in Tambogrande, Peru
At this point I need Peruvian money so I head for the larger town of Piura for an ATM.
It was a hot congested busy little town, might have been interesting I did spot a couple of western tourists about. Anyway found an ATM and instead of Peruvian Sols the thing dispensed USD.
Oh well I figured the would take dollars here like they did in Ecuador.
When I stopped for gas in Olmos and tried to pay in USD they shook thier heads, fark! I leave the gas station in search of a money changer with the station owner looking admiringly at my $350 Seiko watch, my only piece of jewelry.
After touring the town of Olmos I find the bank who will change my dollars.
I go back to the gas station, get my watch back, the boss was a little disappointed to give up the watch.
I decided to stay he night there at nice motel I'd spotted.
Had a divine ceviche across the street from the motel
Ceviche the Peruvian national dish, yumm!
Northern Peru is very arid
these mototaxis were a common sight.
Then into some impressive valleys to Chachapoyas
Chachapoyas is kind of a cultural tourist gateway for Peruvians.
Some very interesting sites in the area with none of the grandiose bullshit of Machu Pichu.
lots of taters and yucca root/cassava
My hotel, it was cheap and had my own private garage!
That night I ate this wonderful goat curry