Friday, May 7, 2010


As we were hitching out of Cuenca, a pick-up pulled over, with one hitch-hiker in the back already. His name was Jonathan. He had done exactly the same route as us, even starting from Montreal! As we have forgotten most of our french, we conversed in spanish(!). We decided to travel together for a bit, as none of us was in a hurry to get anywhere... After an hour or so of travelling, we came up to a road blockade, high up in the mountains. The local indigeneous community was protesting against the goverment interfering into the community´s water managment. Private companies were planned to be brought in, increasing the costs (or even privatising) the water. The traditional way of protesting in Ecuador was historically to block roads, preventing all but pedestrian traffic from passing, sometimes for days.(photo by Jonathan)
We alighted and walked to the other side of the barickades. There was very little flow of traffic on the other side, only some people going for lunch to the nearest town and taxis. We walked on a totally empty road for may be half an hour when a van stopped and took us to the next town. Then the rides came so quickly that we did not have time to even make a couple of steps of our own. By the end of the day we covered more than 200 km, way more than we usually do, and that including the road block! Jonathan definitely brought us some good luck!
We got into Loja just before the sunset and got to looking for a campsite straight away. Jonathan asked some señor if he would know of a campsite nearby, in return to which he pointed to an abandoned construction site. The four storey appartment building was perched on a hill overlooking most of Loja and facing directly west. We occupied the central living room and discovered that we are facing a small-scale version of St. Basil´s Cathedral.The sun set behind a furious storm-cloud and we went to sleep.
In the morning Jonathan´s luck only increased. As soon as we walked to the spot, he flagged the very first car down, and his fenominal thumb worked wonders the rest of the day, getting us to the border 8 hours later.There we camped behind a gas station and crossed into Peru in the morning. As we were taking breakfast, Jonathan noticed a truck pulling out. He quickly ran over and got us a ride straight to Piura!The truck was delivering a sort of humanitarian aid to the local population, and in the middle of the ride we unloaded sacks of rice and boxes of soya oil into another truck, heading the opposite dirrection. We hope the aid reached the people!
We find ourselves now in the hot and dusty city of Piura, on the northern edge of the Sechura desert. We only have to cover 6 kms to get to the desert´s edge from here, so we think we´ll stock up on fruits and water and go camp in the desert for the night.Photo by Jonathan.


  1. That's really nice, guys :) Say hi to Jonathan :)

  2. Wow! What a ride!

  3. Feel so jealous!!
    I love Ecuador, I miss specially the Galapagos diving cruise! It was one of the best things I've done ever! Have you done this?