A week before Christmas we have recovered from our upset stomach and drive from Huanchaco further North.
On our way are the archeological excavations from Sipan. The grave-find in 1987 was one of the most spectacular finding for Peru since a long time. On the grave-find itself is not much to see and it`s a few kilometers on a really rough road. Therefore we directly drive to the Museum Tumbas Reales in Lambayaque which was opened in 2002 and where all findings are permanently presented as a national treasure. The museum is formed like an Adobe pyramid and a ramp leads into it. The findings and the phases of the excavations are documented on three levels. You see the replication of the grave from the “Senor de Sipan” and the grave goods. On his journey to eternity the monarch was accompanied from three main –and secondary wifes, three warriors including the chief of military, a servant and a grave guard with amputated feet (for sure that he is not able to run away). In total eight people as well as a Llama and a dog. They all ended up being killed for the funeral. For us the way of the presentation with the wonderful gold, silver, metal and ceramic works was one of the most interesting and best prepared museum in Peru. Unfortunately they don`t allow taking pictures or films inside.
We continue our journey thru hundreds of kilometers of endless desert landscape and tons of garbage all over the place until we finally reach the Northern part of Peru. 5 km before Zorritos we find the Casa Grillo a simple backpacker hostel with camping facilities direct on the beach. This is what we were looking for. Sunny and warm like in the Caribbean together with a sandy beach. This seems to be exactly right for Christmas. We stay there over Christmas and enjoy our lazy life in the hammock.
Two days before the year ends we move on to Ecuador. The landscape changes dramatically. Everything looks organized and much cleaner than in Peru and it`s tropically hot. With the last drop of gasoline we enter a fuel station but shortly after the border most of them are out of fuel. This is understandable when you look at the price of 0,22€/liter ($1/gallon) compared to $4/gallon in Peru. So MOMO must stay alive for another 50km before he gets what he needs. The landscape in Southern Ecuador is very mountainous and it goes steady up and down in sharp curves. We visit the old gold digger town of Zaruma and drive uphill on very steep roads to the center of town. But then it gets too narrow for our car and we park and go for a visit. We walk over wooden side walks like in a western movie and rows of houses which are more than 100 years old. To get out of town a friendly local helps us and makes the pilot car. I`m sure otherwise we would have been stuck somewhere.
We move on over an unpaved road thru tropical vegetation and it continues to be steep and narrow with sharp curves. We find little to nothing to stay overnight and drive via Loja down to Vilcabamba. Two days before the year ends we find a parking place at the backpacker hostel Izhcayluma which is under German management. The climate here in Vilcabamba is unique and many people are more than hundred years old. So we take a deep breath every day to get the most out of it. We celebrate New Year’s Eve very relaxed and toast with the other guests at midnight.
Unfortunately all of a sudden Manfred got health problems and we must fly to Quito for a few days and go to the hospital. Having recovered from this we visit the very lovely old town of Quito. But at 2pm we were robbed from four boys with a big knife and they took my camera. Thanks God nothing more happened and we got no injuries. However the shock is deep. The notice at the tourist police is a farce and only helps to reimburse the money from our insurance. Apart from this we are only an additional number of victims on a long list. Surprisingly we now have no patience to continue our city tour and return to the hotel. New Year did not start well and we can only hope that it will not continue like this. On the next day we fly back to Vilcabamba. I really took very nice pictures from Quito. Unfortunately we cannot present them here for the above mentioned reason. But maybe our way leads us to Quito again at some time and we can fill the gap by then.
Now we are in Cuenca to park the car and make an unplanned visit in Germany to make sure that Manfred is healthy and can continue travelling around the world. But we are optimistic and have planned our flight back to Quito for 1st of March. And then we can show you again nice pictures with the brand new camera. Hasta Luego.