Bike travel, commuting and more


Peru V: Chachimovic – Chimbote-Lima

Night tent

Our quiet but full of sandflies camp spot

We reached the coast and leave the mountains behind

The night in our camping spot was quiet, even though the road is on the other side of the river. The roar of the Santa made the traffic sound nearly imperceptible. We took our time to have breakfast, as usual, and started cycling as soon as we could.

Breakfast next to the river
Milk and müesli, our classical breakfast the kids love

This day should be mostly flat, the river is approaching sea level so we won’t get the help of a downhill for our last kilometers. Also, the closer we are to the coast, the warmer it gets.

Santa river valley opens up
The valley keeps opening up slowly
Big birds
Many of these big birds along the road, they call them Gallinazas in Colombia

At around 10:30 the heat starts to get unbearable, so we find cover in a watermelon roadside stall, where we all get refreshed except Thomas, that prefers to play with the local kids, apparently just drawing stuff in the dirt with sticks.

Watermelon stop
Watermelon stop
Playing with local kids
Thomas ignored the fruit and went to play
Big TV in very basic house
A populist stereotype, poor house but big TV

Not long after, just before 12:00, we arrived at the first proper village in three days, Vinzos, so Susanne stops at the first restaurant she sees. We are the first customers and the food offer is still limited, but nevertheless we get what we want. I enjoy a delicious “causa vinceña”, which is a tasty mix of spicy tuna fish with yuca all wrapped in banana leaves. Between the heat and the hot dish I drank nearly 1.5 liters of cola on my own!

Causa vinceña
Delicious break from chicken and rice
Drying corn on the side of the road
Drying corn on the side of the road

About 15 km before Chimbote, the map suggests a shortcut which is not only more direct but also avoids the highway, which we would have to take if we ride along the Santa river to the end. We take it, but it is actually a dirt road for farmers among many fields of mostly corn. Slowly the path improves to broken asphalt, and the last 8 km are in a proper road coming to Chimbote from the east.

Dirt shortcut
The asphalt ends here
Break from dust
Short break from the dust and potholes
Security barrier
A security barrier to protect the community from intruders, run by locals

Chimbote is a very non-descriptive but huge city on the coast that smells to dry fish. We had no big interest in sightseeing so we picked a hotel close to the bus station. Our plan is to take another bus for the last 450 km left to Lima, and avoid again the boring and dangerous desert coast road.

Leaving the Chimbote hotel
Ready to leave Chimbote
Zumba session in Chimbote
There was a zumba session going on across the road
Peruvian coast desert
Tedious coast desert

After the usual bargaining for our luggage, and a long journey that always takes longer than stipulated, we arrived in Lima in full late afternoon traffic jam. It’s always interesting to see the pulse of a big city from the safety of the bus, but we are a bit anxious as we have no hotel booked and it’s getting dark.

Watching the traffic
Watching the traffic
Lima rush hour
Lima rush hour… any time of the day
Bus selfie
Bus selfie

The bus station is not far from the historic center, so although Susanne preferred to go to the upscale and safe Miraflores neighborhood, I imposed my vote to go next to the old city center and we quickly found our way on back streets to an apartment where we will spend a few days in Lima.

Building the bikes
Mounting back the bikes in Lima
Hotel in Lima
Home, sweet home

1 Comment

  1. Katherine

    Ay ay ay. Gallinazos…. definitely nada placentero verlos en el camino. Casi casi que estan esperando por ti..🥴. Oh la dulzura de los niños. Siempre buscando mas niños para jugar ♥️. Que aventura!! Camping en el desierto, alojamiento en la gran ciudad. , que cambio! Pero de seguro cada uno tiene su belleza. Hasta ahora mi favorito es laguna paron! Gracias por darlo a conocer!!! Saludos a los viajeros!!👍👏

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