Peru 9: Through the Cañon del Pato and along the coast to Zorritos


The Cañon del Pato road runs through the tunnels originally dug for a train track. Driving it today is an experience of a different kind.

Diese Strasse bietet genügend Aufregung: schmal und durch etwa 20 Tunnels direkt in den Stein gehauen. Nichts für schwache Nerven-es fällt steil ab und Gegenverkehr in den Tunnels veranlasst plötzliche Bremsmanöver. Trotzdem sollte diese Strecke gefahren warden, den sie ist landschaftlich spektakulär.

We left Caraz and took the road known as Cañon del Pato. It leads through many short tunnel sections, which were originally dug for a railway line. The dropoff into the Rio Santa is at times deep and steep but scenic.

A private toll road of the Projecto Chavimoche shortens the distance to the coast considerably and is in good condition.It helps to skip Chimbote on the coast and ends on the Panamericana Norte. We passed Trujillo and camped next in Huanchaco at the Huanchaco Gardens RV Campsite where overlanders meet.

It has a pool and clean ablutions inside a room made available to the campers. Along the beach and pier there are many restaurants and the traditional fishing boats made of reed can still be seen (Caballitos de Tortora).

The pier reminded us of back home in Namibia, Swakopmund. In one of the many seaside restaurants we had a good meal of prawns and calamari.

Next day we were back on the Panamericana Norte. Originally we intended camping in Bayovar, decided against it on gutfeel and ended in the Estuario de Virrilá where we wild camped and which has an enormous amount of seabirds, the town’s light visible across the estuary. At these beaches sea turtles lay off their eggs.

The route then took us to Piura with a shopping stop at PlazaVea and on via Mancora to Zorritos on the coast where Bernd and Marion Frauendorfer were patiently awaiting us to continue joint travels into Ecuador.

At Zorritos we camped at Swiss Wassi, where Jaques and Melba run a very nice overlanding stop and Melba makes a mean Pisco Sour on request. We also booked her for a lobster meal one evening in their house-delicious!

Also meet Colossus, the naked Peruvian dog.

This blog covers period 11th – 15th August 2016

Author: Dieter

A passionate traveller and photographer with an urge to share the beauty of our planet.

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