Desert Update – A couple of days into 204km

So after the rather gruelling 4 days through the desert to Chiclayo I am back at it again but this time covering the 204km of desert to Huanchaco/Trujillo. After the shocks of last time I am trying to do this stint in a slightly more sensible fashion.

Yesterday I left Chiclayo and hit the highway south. After a couple of days recovery my stomach was nearly back to 100% but certainly not back to normal. I suppose I could have spent more time recovering but truthfully I just get frustrated sitting in one place with nothing to do.

The desert immediately south of Chiclayo is awesome to run through. On your right there is flat yellow sand as far as the eye can see. on your left the desert stretches to rocky mountains climbing out of the desert floor. The wind blows off the Pacific and creates flowing carpet of sand blowing over the road. Luckily it is very controlled and doesn’t whip up into your face but just make the whole run feel more adventurous.

After 40km I arrived in a small town that would be my base for the night. I popped to “Mister Fish” (who doesn’t serve fish) for lunch and then set about doing an hour long yoga session in my room. Due to the lack of places to eat I set up my little Trangia and whipped up some pasta with ground sardines and tomato sauce for dinner (Yum Yum).

This morning I was up early and on the road by 7.30. My original plan was to go to a small town called Pacasmayo which was 64km away. The road was nice and flat and the sky overcast providing perfect running conditions. The surroundings started with farm land on each side of the road and slowly melted back into desert. I was keen to get a healthy slog of the running done by lunch. I would set myself a target and then when I arrived I would change my mind and push for the next town. After doing this and covering 40km I arrived in the surprisingly nice town of Guadalupe. I had a great lunch in a restaurant in the central square which was made even better by the owner piling on free chocolate ice cream.

During lunch I checked the map and found a cheeky little short cut that headed straight to a town called San Pedro and cut off about 20km and skipped Pacasmayo. The road was smaller and passed through some smaller time. The intrigue of leaving the Pan American got the better of me and off I went and I am so glad I did.

By being away from the Pan America it also meant I was away from the lorries and buses. It also meant I got to have a little more interaction with the locals – this included helping a family push their tuk-tuk down the road. The scenery was also amazing with pancake flat crop fields running to the bottom of craggy mountains with sand dunes nestled in between crevices. The closer I got to San Pedro the more the desert took over the horizon.

As with every day the final job was too find a bed. I walked through the centre of town asking people where hostels were. I got a couple of suggestions but then for some strange reason took the advice from a taxi driver. So tonight I am staying in Hospedaje Delicias. Definitely an establishment which people normally spend an hour with their loved one… It’s pink, my room has a huge mirror next to the bed and the receptionist didn’t know how much to charge for a whole night… but its clean and located next to the highway which is convenient. The only downside is that there are no restaurants so noodles and tuna for dinner toni

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