Crossing the border between Ecuador and Peru

Crossing the border between Ecuador and Peru is not a pleasant thing. When I got off the bus in Huaquilla (Ecuador) about 20 men came around me trying to sell transport to Peru and offering to exchange dollars. One caught my backpack while the others fought for deciding who was going to take me. The place was horrible. It looked like with some parts of Ciudad del Leste (in Paraguay). I walked about 400m to the bridge on the border. I was carrying my backpack and always begging them to leave me alone. They continued walking with me, they were all talking at the same time and trying to sell me something.

On the bridge, I ran into a policeman and asked him there was a place to stamp the passport. I also wanted to know if there was public transport to Tumbes, I didn’t want to go to Peru with any of those guys that were harassing me. He was not precise in any of the answers. Moreover, “my friends” were talking the whole time, it made even harder to understand him. I asked the policeman to say to those men around me to leave me alone. He did not say a word to them. Just answered me: “here it is this way, there is nothing I can do”. I realized he did not want to help.

I end up getting the transport to Tumbes with one of the annoying guys, it was the only way to get ride of the others. It stopped in customs so I could have my passport stamped and drop me off in one of the bus company in Tumbes. I wanted to travel to Trujillo that evening. The problem is that normally in Peru there was not only one bus terminal with all the companies. Each company has its own terminal, generally one neat the other, but when you have to carry your backpack that could be a hassle. I bought the bus ticket in the first company I saw it. Since I only had to leave that night, I decided to visit Zorritos beach, 35km south of Tumbes. I took more than one hour to leave the city, there were protests blocking the bridge. The people had to cross the bridge walking and get a Wolgswagen van on the other side. That was a hard day.

When I arrived on the beach and saw the sea, the empty beach, the sun shining… everything was perfect, I forgot the tiresome day I had so far. The fact that almost all restaurants were closed, and I was hungry, did not bother me, after all the place was pretty, excellent to relax before catching the next bus to Trujillo.

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