Since Chachapoyas and Kuelap discovered the ruins of a pre-Inca civilization in a beautiful nature …
I leave Francois to his shamanic experiences in Lagunas. We will meet in a few days in Ecuador. I take the boat for Yurimaguas. This time, I’m almost the only European on the boat. Many Peruvians come to talk to me. They like to discuss politics here: “Let tal Sarkozy, muy malo no?” On arrival, I meet a Chilean and a Frenchman who, like me, go to Tarapoto. The Frenchman takes a bus. With the Chilean, we take a collective taxi, faster, to chained directly to Chachapoyas. With the rain, there was a lot of bumps on the road. At the turn of a curve, we find ourselves face to face with a huge block of stone plant in the middle of the road that we have to circumvent. To top it off, we are entitled to a CD of Dr. Alban thoroughly on the road.
Arrive Tarapoto, we just have time to eat a piece and we leave directly by bus. Christian, the Chilean tells me that he finishes a tour of the Amazon by boat, in two weeks! I go down to Pedro Ruiz in the middle of the night, impossible to go further today. I find myself a small hotel here and leave next morning by taxi collective for Chachapoyas. The road is under construction because the rain has damaged it. We have to wait an hour before we can continue our journey.
Finally I am in Chachapoyas. The city is pretty. The Plaza de Armas is nice and the surrounding streets have kept the Spanish colonial style. The next day, I leave with a group for the pre-Inca citadel of Kuelap. I find the French boat that arrived here a little later than me. We spend several hours visiting the huge ruins of this peaceful civilization that was conquered by the Incas. Unlike Macchu Pichu, the site is still covered with plants and trees on which wild orchids grow. It makes the athmosphere more “Indiana Jones”, especially since the citadel is far from being invaded by tourists and the landscape around is beautiful.
In the evening, with the other members of the group, the French, a Preuvienne and two Chiliennes, we go to drink a few glasses in a dancing bar. I am entitled to a special lesson from Merenge. I’m not trying to Cumbia, it’s beyond my means! The next day, I leave with Tania and Andrea, the two cousins Chilienes, because they also go to Ecuador. We chained two shared taxis that we share with a super friendly Peruvian lawyer. When we tell him that we have not yet tasted Ceviche in Peru, he insists to invite us to the restaurant to make us taste the specialty of his country before we go. The waitress brings us a huge dish of raw fish cooking in lemon juice with vegetables and another of seafood sauce, all sprinkled with a bottle of Inca Cola.
With Tania and Andrea, we continue our journey towards the Ecuadorian border. We spend a night in the small town of San Ignacio, a few kilometers from the border, before taking another collective taxi the next morning. Finally we are there! The border post is tiny … and empty! We ask a lady who is holding the shop next to the station. She advises us to knock on the door of her house: “It’s the one with a red roof. “I think we had to wake him up. He arrives a quarter of an hour later and stamps the passports. We cross the bridge that separates the two countries. We are in Ecuador.