Monday 28th October
Ripped off over a cup of coffee. Change last sucres back into dollars.
Catch 1pm bus to Huaquiles the border town for Peru. Its a small bus and a god awful road. ±Dramatic descent down an enormous valley, tarmac surface is intermittent, mostly dirt road. Pass several abandoned buses, one still had passengers inside. drive over a couple of landslides that had been roughly levelled. Several men with wheel barrows face the impossible task of mending the road. Bridges without barriers, just logs and dirt infill only wide enough for the bus. Simple wooden crosses mark the edge of the road and presumably where some vehicle left the road forever. Yawning chasms and no guard rails. On one cross I read Rodrigo Rodriguez 25 mai 1982 hand written in felt tip. About half way down the surly looking driver's mate does a whip round. I'd hoped he would toss the money into the chasm, slaughter a chicken and sprinkle the bus with blood. But no a tawdry catholic roadside shrine, a garish grotto with plastic flowers and an iron collection box gets our money and our prayers. He sprinkled some grotto water on the tyres. My prayer was that the money would be spent on some tarmac and not line a Padre's pockets.
Suddenly we were on the alluvial plain and after miles and miles of banana plantations we pulled into Huaquiles the dingy border town. Early in the evening and the town seems full of whores and hustlers working the peruvian shoppers. Grubby little Hostal Internationale 100 S. Spend last Sucres on a bowl of soup.