Feb 15

Ahhh peruvian busses are the worst!So I got on my correct bus (at an incorrect location) last night just as it was leaving at 5, although it was a 530 bus. It was soooo hot, especially because I had the front top seat (right in front of the windshield with the sun blaring through)

I dealt with it (and ate lotsnof snacks for the 15 hour bus. In the morning we passed through Casma (the city I was supposed to get off at) without even stopping! So I didnt realize it was actually Casma until my phones google maps started working and i realized the bus passed it. Not feeling like hitchhiking in the barren desert, I stayed on until the next town, then waited around for a car back to Casma to get full. Since it was only 5 soles, I scrunched up in the trunk (it was a station wagon) with another dude and my bag, and then half way through the trip the other people got out, so I got a real seat for the same price. Anyway, I finally got back to Casma an hour ago, and figured out how to get a real bus (not one of the many 30 soles cars that I Would have to wait around forever in a hot car for) for 20 soles. So i have to wait around for 2 hours, but at least i could leave and find a half shady park to chill in. 

So far Peru is my least favorite country for transportation! I had expected it would be poor, but not this random! At most ‘bus stations’ (more like sides of street) there are just guys shouting and running around. Theres never any labled on the buses or where they are parked, and never any ticket checks when you get on. And then theres the cars and vans which are fast when you finally get going, but they usually take at least an hour or 2 of waiting to finally get full to leave. Plus theyre always very cramped, even if you dont have to squeeze into the trunk!

Well now that ive got a bus to Huaraz and getting one down to Lima should be easy, i hope that I am over the worst of my peruvian transportation adventures (more like debacles).

Woohoo! No more confusing situations! I got to Huaraz finally! I feel so much better now that Im secure. I got a nice room in a hotel/hostel and now Im getting dinner before I go have the first actual night’s sleep in a few days. 

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Feb 13 and 14

Well i feel like an idiot!!I missed my bus because I couldnt find it! It was definitly not in the olace where the lady told me it would be. I was very confused, but Im just going to spend another night in mancora and leave in the morning. 

Also another stupid mistake was getting suuper sunburnt at the beach yesterday. It makes carrying a backpack quite uncomfortable haha. 

Woops!

This morning I woke up early after a terrible night’s sleep (I stayed at this super terrible hostel – I knew it before I got it but said whatever) and decided to get a bus straight (i have to connect in a town near it) to huaraz. It was expensive-90soles- (especially after trashing 40 soles last night) but after mancora I am pretty over the beach and just want to get back to the mountains! The bus is at 5 though so Ive been chilling in the only shady spot on the beach for a few hours trying to decide the rest of my trip. But then the shade got tiny so I went to get lunch and wifi. 

Feb 12

I’ve just been chilling in Mancora for the last couple days, walking and relaxing on the beach, eating food, and walking around town. But Im pretty bored of this little town so I booked a ticket to Trujillo today and I leave tonight. Ill check out this little beach town called Huancacho for maybe a night and then get up to the mountains in Huaraz. 

Feb 9-10: Zamora Ecuador to Mancora Peru

I made it to peru finally!

Well the border crossing was as expected extremely confusing! I got a bus to loja in te morning, chilled the whole day till 10 pm for a bus to Huaquillas, a boarder town on the Ecuador side. When we got to Huquillas, it was 330 am and there was only I and another man on the bus still. The bus driver just stopped on some random street and said he wouldnt go any further. I was expexting there to be sooome sort of bus station, but nope, so I walked towards the boarder, couldnt find an immigration booth, crossed over a bridge, and asked a Peruvian police man what to do. He told me I had to go to the actual boarder crossing, a bit away by taxi. So I went back to Ecuador, got a taxi, and went to the crossing. I was assuming that I needed to first go to the ecuador booth to get my exit stamp, then the peruvian one to get my entry stamp. So I told the guy to stop at the Ecuadorian one, where the guy told me, nope, that one is just for entry into Ecuador. So I went to the peruvian one and got my passport stamped (the Ecuadorian guy was a jerk because I woke him up from a nap haha). Yay finally I was officially in Peru! Now how do I get anywhere? I got a taxi and got him to take me to Tumbes, the nearest town, where I thought there would be a proper bus station (because he told me there was one). Nope! Just a street with a bunch of 10 seater vans with a bunch of guys screaming “Mancora!” Or “Pirua!”. The taxi driver dropped me at the mancora van and I got my bag and myself loaded onto the cramped van with 6 other people in it already. By the looks of their faces I could tell something was up. They had been waiting for atleast an hour for the driver to leave because he wanted it to be a full van. After 20 or so minutes, four of the people ran out urgently and down the street trying to catch another van that had just left for Mancora. I tried to follow but my bag was on top of the van. So the three of us left waited longer. Until finally the van was full of 9 people plus the driver and a crap ton of fruits that some guys were transporting. We were on our way about an hour (out of the 2ish hour drive down the coast) when all if a sudden the whole van started shaking along with a terrible bumping/scraping noise. Flat tire! Actually not a flat tire, a stripped tire. Somehow (I couldn’t even think of what would have done that on such a flat, paved road) the outside of the tire just peeled away. After another half hour of the driver rushing to replace the tire, and then trying to fit the warped one back on the car (eventually he just shoved it into the barely existent trunk), we were on our way to Mancora again!
I made it to Mancora! When I got here i just wandered around until I got a hostel and then passed out till 4! Then I got some food at some beach restaurant and chatted with some random dudes. Then I went for a walk on the beach and ran into some super random people. I hung out with Mark and Tabita for the night and planning to wander with them tomorrow. 

    
   

Some pictures of Sacred Suenos

   
The dorm which i had all to myself

 
The pooper 

   The dorm is essentially a treehouse (minus the tree though)

 
My hammock on the dorm patio

   

 Patio outside the kitchen
Below puctures were taken by Lucien:

   

A big pasture (not Sa’s) down the hill from Eve’s house

 
‘Working’ on the earthbag hottub
  
The gang eating lunch

   
Me cutting a branch off of a pinetree to use for the green house roof


One of those awesome sunsets…

  
Watching the sunset

  
The view from the kitchen porch hammock

 

Feb 1-7

So Ive had an interesting week.
In short, I got lost in the jungle, stumbled upon a few campsites with food and a machete which were super helpful, and then finally got out and back to Zamora after 7 days of bushwhacking through a cloud forest. 
The longer version:

I got to Zamora kinda late (it was already dark) so I looked up how to get to Podocarpus from the bus station and took off walking. I reached the park after a couple hours, but fell asleep at a river bed because i didnt wana talk to the guards and people there and explain that I was trying to go out and camp in a place where people dont generally camp (luckily it didnt rain). 

I awoke to a dutch guy taking pictures around my river digs. We met and went on a short nature hike (he was a botanist!). We parted ways and I took off down a path. After thinking about it on the bus to Zamora, I decided to try to walk back to Sacred Suenos through the mountains. I figured if i could make it through the jungle and to this more alpine boggy area that I would be able to make it. I thought it would take about a week (oh by the way I had absolutely no map haha) 

I walked for a few hours on one of the worst paths ive ever hiked. Literally Every 20 meters there was another downed tree I had to climb under, over, around or through, its branches entangled with vines and bamboo stalks. I often felt like a fly in a spider web when I just got stuck in a particularly hairy mess (oh and every few steps I got a spider and spiderweb in my face). 
Eventually I found a nice (i thought at the time) river with a dry rocky island in the middle. I decided to make camp early because Iw as exhausted from the night before. For some reason I thought it would be fine to construct a makeshift canopy with my rainfly on a rock and crawl under it (I was pretty much praying that it didnt rain). Well that failed miserably once it started pouring and I managed to put up my tent on some super uncomfortable rocks and dug in for the worst night in the field on this whole trip! 
Not much that I could do the next day but walk some more, so I walked some more. I passed a cabin (which I walked by because I thought it was sketchy and like someone was living there. But when I eventually stumbled upon a tent camp which I found some cans of beef stew and some powdered soup stuff. Stoked on my find, I made a big dinner, had a super dry night (even though it poured) and then continued walk the next day. I walked allll day and into the night looking for a suitable flat spot for my tent. Didnt find one until my legs decided for me- to just pitch it on the trail. It worked and I was fairly dry, but another not so great night.
Another hour up the “trail” I found another tent camp! This one with a spectacular view (when the clouds didnt block it) and even better, lots of food! I picked up a few cans of beef stew, some pasta, and chicken soup mix. Best of all though was the machete!! It made the rest of the hiking much easier (less getting stuck in the vines and trees and more fighting them).

I think it was day 3 of hiking and it was still very early so I kept walking up the mountain, still somewhat on track to getting up to a ridge that would take me to the alpine boggy area. I walked that day until I could not find a path that I could fit through. After trying a few different vague paths and coming to terms with the facts that I had no map whatsoever (my googlemaps decided to not even tell me where I was on the map like it normally does), that my phone had died, and that  i had lost my watch on day 1 so i had no real sense of time, I accepted my failure and turned around. I had a good night at the 2nd tent camp, then another at the 1st. Then I stayed the last night at the cabin (which was not at all occupied haha). I made a nice fire and dried out all my wet stuff and cooked a whole bunch of food. Then I walked out today and found a hotel (It has its own bathroom!!) I pigged out all night on ice cream and bread and sweets and just relaxed. Ill probably do the same tomorrow and then finnnaalllly head to Peru. 
Some pictures: 

(Sorry i dont have more, my phone was dead)
   

The river bank where I spent the first night
    
   The river where i stayed the 2nd night  
   The sunset from the 2nd tent camp
  
  Stick bug! 

 
A hummingbird nest!!
  
Me 

 A nice cave where I hid from a downpour the first day

Jan 31

I came down from the mountain last night and plan to move on with my travels today! I think since I never saw actual Podocarpus I will go into the park today at the Zamora entrance today and camp for a day or 2. After that Ill finally get on my way to Peru!