After hitting the snooze on the alarm a record number of times, I still managed to be packed and ready to hit the road by 7am. However the hotel in Macara received many more guests since I arrived about 5pm last night. My bike was blocked in the small subterranean garage of the Hotel Katrina. So the front desk started knocking on doors waking people whose cars were blocking me. Finally by 7:30 I’m ready to go.
The two gas stations in town both had huge lines. I’d noticed this in Ecuador the last couple days. Huge lines in the morning at gas stations. And at prices that are well below U.S. prices, and far below the nearly $5 a gallon I paid in Colomibia. But both stations only had very low 86 octane fuel and not the 91 or 95 octane that Doc prefers. I decided to blow off filling and submitted to paying $4 plus for higher octane gas on the other side of the border.
Crossing the border including customs and immigration on both sides took just about an hour.
Winding down from 13,000 feet to 300 feet above sea level the terrain quckly turned to fertile arable land and then to vast desert. The northern atacama
The wind was insane. Passing through towns where housing was a mix of sticks and mud and block with corrugated metal roofs.
Winded my way through strange encampments. Then 120 miles of vast desert and sand. Flat, straight and boring. Though mother nature did manage to inject her creative endeavors through scenic sand dunes complete with geometric shapes carved by the wind.
I noticed motorcycle rickshaws. Different than the Tuk Tuk vehicles we saw in Guatemala, these had traditional motorcycle handlebars and seats with two bench seats and a canopy for carrying passengers. Many sported a luggage rack in the rear and were used to transport goods.
Then out of nowhere I found it: The cement kingdom in the middle of the desert. And the rice!
Finally rolling into Trujillo. Getting lost. Seeing the eye clinic. The $15 consultation and eye cleaning and the owner also owning a hotel just off the plaza de armas. Dinner at Romano’s.