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Life Lessons in Peru...
From Peru to Ecuador...
Piura, Peru is the ideal spot from which to enter Ecuador, especially if you want to visit Vilcabamba. On the independent traveler circuit, word is that the crossing via La Tina/Macará is less of a hassle than at Tumbes (a more frequently trafficked border post). Although no travel guidebooks that I have read mention this, there is a bus run by Chiclayo Transportes (across from the Ippsa bus terminal) that goes from Piura to Loja, Ecuador through La Tina/Macará. I experienced no problems: I got off the bus on the Peruvian side to get my passport stamped, then walked across a bridge to the Ecuadorian side, where the bus was waiting for us to reboard. There are a number of buses leaving from Piura daily, but times vary, so check at the office for details.
Julia, London, England
Check out Chulucanas
If you end up having a day to kill in Piura, go out to Chulucanas to see and maybe even buy some of its famous pottery. If you traveled through Peru, no doubt you saw the dark-colored ceramics of roly-poly people, dancing, playing, and selling chicha beer, among other poses. Chulucanas is the home to these. A number of shops around the main plaza sell this pottery. Sometimes, if you buy some pieces, the potter himself will give you a personal demonstration of his craft. Chulucanas is about 2 hours away from Piura and is accessible by frequent bus service.
Julia, London, England
Perfect money in Peru...
Remember this when preparing cash for your trip. If your bills look old, torn or damaged in any way, no one, not even banks will accept them in Peru. So, ladies, make sure that you leave home with "new" money only.
What she wore in Ecuador...
When I was in the Amazon lowlands in Ecuador, I wore grey long tights to protect my legs from insect bites. These take no room to pack, will not wrinkle, and double as sleepwear in the significantly colder climate in Quito's high Andes. In the Amazon, count on getting your clothes really dirty because of the daily rains and all that mud. The mud was invisible on my heather-grey thighs. I took old T-shirts and sneakers too and left all that behind. (It is a good idea to pack old clothes and leave them behind or you can trade them for crafts with the locals.) Also in the Amazon be sure you've got a waterproof watch and Tevas or other sandals that can get wet. For protection against the rain, a poncho will always work better then a raincoat because it also covers up your daypack and luggage (by the way this same clothing advice worked very well for me in the Galapagos Islands).
Erika, Spokane, USA
What she wore in Peru...
On my visits to Peru I always try to fit in by wearing jeans, tennis shoes and t-shirts (but no name brand stuff) and I don't wear a lot of make up.....that's all I can say. People out there were really nice to me and I never had any trouble with anyone. I loved my visits to Peru.
Julie, Houston, USA
Best Black Forest Cake in Peru
Feel like pampering yourself during the rigors of travel in northern Peru? Make sure your journey takes you through the city of Trujillo, and don't miss a visit to Cafe Romano. An oasis of fine food and attentive service, it's almost worth the trip to Trujillo just for their selection of deserts; including the best black forest cake south of the Panama Canal!
Daisy Kunstaetter, Quito, Ecuador
Carry your passport in Ecuador...
This is an important piece of information for JourneyWomen travelling to Ecuador. Did you know that you are required by Ecuadorean law to carry your passport (not a photocopy) with you at all times? Failure to do so can result in imprisonment and/or deportation. Don't take any chances.
Footprint South American Handbook 2002
Women Take Taxis in Peru...
I enjoyed my time in Peru but I want to pass this important tip along to other JourneyWomen. Whether you're travelling solo or with a friend, my advice is never to walk anywhere in Peru after dark. To avoid being mugged, take taxis even when the distances are very, very short. Ask your driver to watch that you make it safely into your hotel, restaurant or anywhere else you're going. I walked (with a man friend) and we were both mugged!
Rhona W., Toronto, Canada
Women-only "Sleeps" in Quito, Ecuador...
If you're looking for economical hassle-free accommodations in Quito, Ecuador, check out 'Hostel Eva Luna' on Calle Roca 630 near Avenida Amazonas, Tel: 234-799. This hostel is for women only and the modest price of US$5/night includes use of kitchen and laundry facilities. It might be worth looking in to!
Daisy Kunstaetter, Quito, Ecuador




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