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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Ecuador/Peru - 15 November, 2001



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Parador Turistico de Vilcabamba, Vilcabamba S0415.828' W07913.187' 1,597 m
Malacatos . . . .
Catamayo . . . .
Ecuador-Peru border (Macara-La Tina) . . . .
Finish Bush camp near border, Peru S0428.826' W07959.019' 466 m 231 km

Leg 1 Total:

1,584 km


771 km

Grand Total:

2,355 km


Weather: Mostly cloudy, some occasional sun and cool.



Ecuador01_Malacatos_Church_3895_Web.jpg (107501 bytes)

Today is a driving day - we want to cross the border into Peru and make it as far as possible towards Chiclayo.  We depart at 8:30 AM, but after about 20 minutes of driving we stop in the town of Malacatos - we have to check on the exhaust brake.  While Sam and Sarah get themselves dirty, we go check out the church in town. It is amazing how big the church is for such a small town.  It is brightly painted and very colorful.


We are off again after a few minutes and drive through the morning with a stop in Catamayo to do some shopping.  While the cook group shops, we wander the streets.  We find what must be the wholesale market.  Huge bags of green peppers (where were they when we were shopping yesterday?!?!), corn, onions, etc.  They also have lots of live chickens for sale.  Otherwise the town did not have too much to offer us.


After leaving town, we continued driving through the mountains.  We stop for lunch at a gas station - the only place with a large enough flat spot.  It even has a great view of the valley below.  When we leave the gas station and start heading down towards the border, the terrain starts to change.  It becomes much more arid and the trees have no leaves.  The rivers and streams are running low.  There is a baobab type tree throughout this area (we are not sure of the species, but they were similar, but not the same, as the ones we saw on our Trans-Africa).  They are cool trees with lots of character - the limbs grow in all directions and many look like stick cartoon characters.


We arrive at a military check point at about 3:30 PM - they want to come and check our passport.  This must be left over from when this was a disputed border.  Peru and Ecuador had gone to war over their border in this area and it has only recently opened after a treaty was signed.  We are hoping that we will be able to cross.  After the big, burly MP checks us out, he lets us carry on.


We get to the border at 4:30 PM.  It is quite an easy border crossing.  The Ecuador side stamps us out, we cross the river and then fill out some forms on the Peru side before they let us out. At first they told Jacqui that she needed a visa, but then they checked and it was confirmed that she did not (guess they do not get too many Malaysians through this border).  Then the National Police wanted to add a stamp to our papers, so we line dup again.  They had never heard of Malaysia and Jacqui had to explain all about it.  After less than an hour, we were across.


Peru01_Borderbushcamp_3896_Web.jpg (122398 bytes)

We drove on for a short way and looked for a bush camp - we were quite excited.  We (at least Paolo, Jacqui and Lars) had missed our camping (we have been staying in hotels so far on this trip), and were looking forward to once again setting up our tent and sleeping on our comfortable therma-rests.  After a bit of searching, we found a nice little spot off the road.  We had to drive in a bit on a small dirt trail that crossed a stream, but it was worth it.  We set up camp and took it easy for the rest of the evening.


We enjoyed our night in the tent - we had the fly on only half way so we had a nice breeze and a view.  We slept very well - one of our best nights sleep since starting the trip.


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