Quito to Naranjal, Ecuador 19 Jan 2012
Left Quito and immediately started descending to the coast through the mountains, cold with the occasional shower for the first 3 hours then sea level and hot. Good road lots of slow trucks (50kph), villages and speed bumps meant slow going.
The road opened up into a 4 lanes at one point for a few kilometres, I think the police funded this expansion because after about 2k’s radar speed trap, 100kph limit everyone getting pulled up and given a ticket, I was doing 110kph, did my usual no Spanish routine and they shook hands and let me go, there did not seem to be any bribery going on, stopped for the night at a small town called Naranjal, 473k’s in 8 hours.
Naranjal, Ecuador to Piura, Peru 20 Jan 2012
Left early and arrived at the border after 2 hours at 0915, for all you overlanders, there is a new highway going to the border which bypasses the old crossing at Huaquillas and Zarumilla, a brand new complex on the Ecuador side for Immigration and Customs and 2 k’s further on is Peru Immigration and Customs, took all of 1:10hrs to get through both no problems at all.
After that a magical change occurred and the landscape changed from tropical to desert with the coast on one side. It also appeared poorer with brick buildings replaced with sticks for walls and thatched roofs, the road paralled the coast with beach towns for a few hours and then turned inland, this could be the Middle East or Africa, stopped for the night at a big town called Piura, 470 k’s in 7:45.
The first thing you notice are the millions of Chinese autorickshaws with thin tall spindly wheels instead of the Bajaj autos from India and there were two Chinese guys at breakfast and other signs of Chinese influence.