Sunday, October 16, 2011

Heading south: Guayaquil, Piura & Chiclayo - Ecuador to Peru

Having arrived back in Guayaquil we decided that rather than attempt to skim over what Ecuador has to offer with our remaining limited time in South America, we would instead head back south into Peru and visit all the good stuff we had heard about and gradually make our way to our prearranged flight from the capital Lima.  With it now being the 24th of September and our flight being on the 5th of October this didn’t give us long at our various stops, thus begins our journey South with three consecutive nights on coaches.  That evening we set off for Chiclayo with a connection in Piura, the hectic, dirty but in its favour remarkably authentic town where we stopped for a couple of hours which was enough time for a haircut and to try the various offerings from the street vendors.  A first for us was the sweet juice from a plant that looked a lot like sugar cane.  You could simply eat the prepared versions on offer or have it put through a squishing machine to be pulverised into juice as we did, it was sweet and delicious.  I bought my umpteenth pair of cheap sunglasses off a guy walking around with tens of them stuck to a board affixed round his neck and we waited out an hour or two until our carriage arrived.

Getting a glass of refreshing sweet juice

Haircut in the hole in wall hairdressers

Arriving in Chiclayo for our second time meant that we had the added convenience of knowing the city and we were able to locate a bus company with whom we could leave our bags and would take us to Chachapoyas that evening, a town with ruins that are apparently comparable to Machu Picchu.  This gave us time to enjoy the afternoon wandering around town.  There were many shops exclusively selling a large ‘biscuit’ although it is more of a cake called the King Kong biscuit.  It consists of two large biscuits that try their best to contain the ridiculously massive wedge of sweet and sugary fondant that resides in between them, sometimes studded with sugared fruit or nuts.  We tried smaller versions of the snack and they were quite tasty but can’t imagine anybody ever challenging the full sized versions on their own, they must be shared between family and friends like a cake.  There was time for a lovely meal before we had to catch our coach, I enjoyed a risotto-like arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood) which contained a delightful little crab buried amongst the rice. 

Signage for a King Kong outlet

The King Kong biscuits on offer

Tucking into my seafood rice

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