14 November 2012


I didn't sleep well at all during the night. Any time the road rash on my arm or leg touched the bed sheets I was awakened by the pain. It hurt enough anyway without touching anything. But I was able to prop my arm up using my ground pad and was able to sleep a little.
I went down and knocked on Mike's door after I had packed up. He was up but was not interested in making the ride to Piura. He had already done it once and now wanted to quickly get out of the desert with a bus ride to Chiclayo and then ride into the mountains.
Since we had spoken so much the night before about the thievery of Peruvians against cyclists I was feeling particularly anxious. I had crashed and now I worried my luck had turned. Mike had mentioned the story I had also heard about bands of thieves waiting at the edge of a city on the Pan American for the cyclist they had seen the day before to ride by where they would grab him and take his bike. I had some trouble understanding how this could happen since the Pan American is a rather large road, but I had heard all the stories about Peruvians being disinterested in helping anyone in need. There were stories of injured cyclists writhing in pain after crashing and being watched by the Peruvian indios who made no effort to assist them. These would only have been strange, perhaps not believeable stories to me, but from my experience so far of these people I believed them to be true.
I had only 40km to Piura. It was to be my last day on the bike. I planned to take a bus to Lima, across the desert and bypassing the cities I had seen already in September by bus, and which were also rumored to be dangerous for touring cyclists. There also was nothing more to see than desert and the trash that blew across it in the wind and the smell of human feces.
Because my luck seemed to have gone bad with my crash I decided there would most certainly be thieves waiting for me on the edge of Sullana. I decided to wear my shorts with pockets so that I could carry on my person my knife and passport and ATM card. Perhaps I would lose the bike, but I would put up a fight and I would not be relieved of my money and papers.
I said goodbye to Mike and wished him much luck and rode out of Sullana. There were no thieves awaiting me on the edge of town and the Pan American was straight and flat through the dusty scrub south. There was periodic construction on the road and unpaved rock and sand bypasses around it. But I saw that the new road was already paved and that it was rideable and so I pushed the bike across the embankment to the new road and rode down it free of all traffic.
There was nothing really to see and before noon I arrived at Piura. There was heavy traffic to enter into the city but I had ended up on a larger street I remembered from my map and after a few questions to mototaxi drivers I found the centro and took a room at a hospedaje mentioned in my guidebook.
The riding was now over for me. I had crashed the day before but the arm was not broken. I planned to rest and let my wounds heal for at least a week before I thought about what to do next. I was looking forward to getting out of Peru. I had a flight from Lima to Chicago on December 2. I now had time to kill.


Post a Comment

Copyright © S O U T H