Going from Guayaquil to Mancora
It is 4 am. The CIFA buscompany opens its offices at the Guayaquil bus terminal. I arrived here at 2.30 am. After a 1h30 wait, some snacks of which i had no clue what they contained and playing a gew few brainless games on my smartphone, i am ready to buy my ticket to Tumbes. In 45min i will step on the bus which will make me say goodbye to Ecuador and welcome Peru.
Just a few hours ago i was riding a mountainbike at the amazing waterfall route in Baños. Togehter with my Canadian pall, who ll i probably meet up with later in Peru, we went for some ziplining, a few hikes down the waterfalls and an ice cold swim in the river. I took the 19.15 pm bus from Baños to Guayaquil, hoping there would be a direct connection towards peru. As i only had to wait for 2 hours, you could say i kinda got my smooth connection i was hoping for. From Guayaquil i will go to Tumbles, the first bigger city when you cross the border from Ecuador to Peru. In Tumbes i ll get a connection, that one should be a bit faster, to Mancora. I wasn't planning on visiting Mancora, but as i have heard lots of other backpackers talk nothing but good about it and it happens to be on my route to Chicama, i might aswell spent a night (and day) here.
advice on taking the bus
My advice for people travelling from Ecuador to Peru would be to get a bus (11$) in Guayaquil that will take you over the border and straight into a major city in Peru. I wouldn't recommend to try and cross the border yourself as apperntly it is not the safest of border to cross in South America. You could aswell get a flight from Guayaquil or Quito straight into Lima. But you ll easily pay over 300$ for that and would miss out on visiting the northern part of Peru.
I arrived in Tumbes, a shady town mostly know for its connection busses towards Ecuador. As I step out of the bus, 2 man start fighting over my attention. One is offering me a mini van ride to Mancora, while the other offers me a tuktuk ride into the town center. Only the tuktuk would put a price on the ride. Thats a big hint. If they say "we ll discuss the price later" you know you ll get rolled. Their fight went from verbal to physical as they were now both pulling my backpack. I told them both (in fluent Spanish) " not to fucking touch my backpack"! They almost got into a fist fight when I stepped into the tuktuk.
Then I had to change my Ecuadorian dollars (they r actually American dollars) for Peruvian Neuvo Soles. The rate is somewhere around 2.5 sole for one dollar. But I have no Internet so I can't really check it out right now. I went for the bank to get some soles out of the ATM, but apperently there were some issues with the ATMs as their were huge lines in front of all of them.. great. So, as I don't like to wait for hours in the sun with my backpack, I got in to one of those shady changing offices, where I changed my remaining dollars for soles.
**As you read.. you better go from Ecuador to Peru, cause otherwise you would have to change your "sole(s)" for dollars. Sounds exactly like what the devil would do :) **
For about 12 soles (around 4 dollars) I took a minivan (as this appears the normal way to travel to Mancora from Tumbes). I share the backseat with a breastfeeding mother with 3 kids.. But then this is what I love about traveling. Those moments. You have to embrase them. This is what makes me grateful for having my own car and motorbike back home. For the comfort our public transport offers. We have it good back home, we just don't always realise it.