Back to Tarapoto, Peru and then the mountains

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Peru, South America

I had to wait for about 8 hours to catch the 7PM bus to go back to Tarapoto. I saved a few $$ by paying the driver directly instead of buying an actual ticket. From the outside, the bus didn’t look too bad, but inside it was OLD, and there was no legroom. The suspension was done and we had a few hundred km of bad road ahead. The whole bus ride took 23 hours. We even had one tire that blew and afterwards no more reserve tire. They moved some tires around the bus as they were all old and worn so the driver was really scared that we might have another one go and then without a reserve we might be stranded in the middle of nowhere for a couple of days.

Here is the type of Ferry used for river crossings.

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But we got to walk on an old bridge that was hardly standing.

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The bus somehow made it across ok.

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Back at the Hospedaje Misti, my bike was waiting for me still in one piece and well cared for. The lady in charge only charged me 10$ for the 2 weeks of keeping it safe. Super nice people working at the hostel. I highly recommend it!

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From Tarapoto I had to take the same road down with the bike as I did with the bus going back. A few hundred km of dirt and bad rocks.

On the way I stopped in a small town to buy a cool drink and talked to the owner who was drying up cacao. Here is how they dry it up. The selling price is about 4$ if I remember correctly for 1KG of pure coco.

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He even had a cute pet…

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Here I am crossing the same rivers we did with the bus but backwards

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And shortly after the few hundred km of dirt, the mountains started…

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I don’t remember the altitude here, but I was pretty high up. Somewhere around 3000m I think?

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And then I got to this park. Some really cool rocks. It’s on a side type of road going towards Lima. The main road was closed anyway and the traffic on the 2nd road must have been aweful. So I took the 3rd one and it was a great choice.

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The paved road soon became a dirt road but in good condition.

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I felt a bit high…

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And so did they…

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These 2 cars you see below are a couple of families I met at the entrance to the road. They told me they always come through here because it’s the nicest road to go to Lima. Besides them, it was only me and mining trucks.

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Hopefully no cars coming from the front?! There is hardly enough room for one car.

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Beautiful, isn’t it?

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Snow?

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Now that you have seen the beauty of the mountains, time for the bitter! This part of the mountains, although it’s one of the most beautiful sights in the world, it’s also one of the most polluted parts as well. You wont see the pollution, you might not even smell it and god forbid if you try to taste the water in the lakes, you might not even taste it. I have passed quite a few mines and had to go around huge mining trucks all the time. The whole region is just filled with mines. I found out a few days later that it’s one of the most polluted regions of the world.

The sad truth is that it’s not even local mining companies. If they were Peruvian owned, I might understand that the technology used might not be up to date… BUT they are North American owned, Chinese, Japanese… etc. These large companies that you know so well locally in your own countries go out internationally and in order to save MILLIONS of $ they cut down on filtration technologies which in return destroy the same planet we all live on. How do they do it? Really easy… with little corruption $$$. No need to name any of these companies, just look at the larger names out there and you will find them down here. If I were to go and take a big stinky poo in your back yard, you might come out angry at me, right? Well, that poo will be washed off by rain, biodegrade within days and fertilize your plants, while the pollution these guys are causing in the backyard of Peruvians will last thousands of years destroying their water, poisoning their animals… and lets not forget that waters connect this planet and these chemicals will be part of your beaches in your own countries. Think about that next time you buy something made out of gold… 😉

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