The previous evening, Ken, Chip, Ward, and I had gone out for dinner and had a great time. Phil was a no-show, he and Ward having gotten separated at some point. He did not respond to messages, however I saw that he was online so we knew he was okay. We retrieved the motorcycles from the parking lot shortly after Ward arrived from his hotel. On the bustling streets in front, people gawked at the bikes as we packed them, and that it wasn't long before the hotel staff were outside photographing the bikes and taking selfies.
The destination for the day was Chimbote. Saying goodbye to the boys, Ward and I headed off to find a gas station and work our way south. My bike has been pinging on every grade of gas since I left Texas, so I decided to splurge and fill up with 98 octane fuel available to the tune of $5 per gallon. Unfortunately the wind was so strong in in the noise in my helmet as we traveled that I couldn't tell if the pinging had gone away. No matter what, that was the one and only time I would spend five bucks per gallon.
The coastal road South was a continuation of wind and sand, but the landscape had a certain epic quality to it, with distant dunes and mountains protruding from the plane. After a couple of hours we pulled off for a butt break and some coffee at a roadside restaurant. We are only been there a few minutes when I saw Ken and Chip come rolling up. They we're making good time on the DR 350's. Pretty soon the coffee break turned into lunch when we saw the fried chicken coming out of the little house.
Ward hung back with Ken and Chip as the road continued towards Trujillo. At the bypass I pulled over to wait and in a few moments they arrived, heading for the center to find some gasoline. The one thing I love about the GSA being a supertanker is the ability to ride almost all day without refueling. Ward and I teamed up again to go ahead, but my slow running GPS caused us to miss a turn in have to retrace through an area, ending up directly behind Chip and Ken in the heavy traffic. I chuckled inside at the incident, because I think they felt like we were determined to ride with them.
In trying to get through Trujillo, I was almost hit head on by a bus trying to pass another in the tiny streets. I had been warned about the horrific driving in Peru, and faced it directly. The worst and most dangerous drivers I had yet encountered. I have been through some insane traffic in many countries, but mostly it's a dare game. Not in Peru, where they don't seem to care whether they kill you or not.
After the incident, Ward had pulled up next to me in a traffic circle with a big grin and showing about 2 inches between his fingers as how close I’d come.
Once back on the highway I nailed it for the small hotel we had pre-booked for the night. One thing about Peru that has been interesting has been the curiosity about the bike, with people honking and smiling. I have to admit honking seems to be the national sport here however. The congested cities and even roads are constant noise with the sounds of horns being tapped. One never knows if you're being honked at out of warning or out of excitement or out of anything, but they live on their horns.
Here and there along the route of blowing sand across the highway one could spot glimpses of the Pacific. The sand and wind gusts were constant, even the sugary sand clinging to my visor in the wind. Eventually Chimbote arrived at the end of the day. The long day of wind and sand and left me with a sore throat and a bit of fatigue. I rode the bike to the waterfront and sat on a bench looking out across the harbor towards all the fishing boats anchored in the distance. After all the emotions and stress it felt good to just stare across the water at the pre-sunset sky.
When I finally hit the hotel, the guys had arrived a few moments before. That evening we strolled in the darkness to a local restaurant and had a meal of fried fish and cerveza.