From Lojas there are 3 possible crossings to Peru: one was recommended by Rafael from Freedom Bikes in Quito. It would be the most beautiful but also the one that would take the most time.
A direct route would take us directly into a desert in northern Peru.
The option we would take was to go to the coast. We figured we had enough cold days and wanted to have a nice coastal road. So we drove to the boarder crossing close to Tumbes.
The ride was amazing. The whole day curves. First on a large road with nice long curves that were very nice to ride, later on a smaller, but still very good road down from 3000m to sea level. The air became quickly warmer and the more humid. The vegetation changed from green grasslands to more exotic banana plants.
Christy’s riding improved noticeably during this day, with the hundreds of curves giving her plenty of learning possibilities.
The road was very nice to ride, but you had to be very concentrated. Not only because of the curvy road, but also because of obstacles like cows, cars, donkeys that just stand around on the road. Sometimes parts of the street were missing due to landslides.
We made it to Huaquillas, the boardertown, at around 4pm.
Originally we wanted to go to the city and get money for the crossing, but the road goes around the city and so we ended up at the boarder. It took us 3 hours to cross (including returning to the city to get money and go to customs, which is actually 5km before the border).
So we entered Peru at 7pm, one hour after it became dark. The next hotel was 35km away. So we did what we always wanted to avoid, riding overland in the dark. We took our time. It was still difficult and we were super concentrated. The driving attitude dropped once we entered Peru. Cars pull in without signals, cars overtake in the most ridiculous situations, people cross the street without looking and worst are the little 3-wheeled taxis. They turn in the middle of the street and move left and right with no warning. We made it into Tumbes which turned out to be a very chaotic and loud city. Maybe it would be really nice and vivid if you were in a mood for it, but we were just tired. So we parked the bikes in the Costa del Sol Hotel, had dinner and went off to bed without even having a little walk into the city.