Casma via Pato Canyon
|Trying to get Bon's pack back has become a very stressful ordeal. We called fJuan (he was not willing to talk - tired from arr late last nite), Isabella said they'd expect us tonite around 8:30.
Bus to Chimbote thru the Pato Canyon left at 11:15 and entered the canyon about 3. This was truely a fantasmagorical ride with stupendigerous views the whole way!!!!!!!!
The road was rough gravel, single lane with 2-3' betw side of bus and drop off 3-400' down into canyon and River Santa most of the way. Every once in awhile the road was washed out and tires came w/in a foot or less of edge, ha!!! Exciting!!! Went thru 50-60 rock tunnels w/ barely enuf room on each side (single lane only). Unfortunately, I had not been able to download enuf from camcorder so by the time we got to the really good stuff the camcorder was full!!! No pics. But ya gotta see it to believe it anyway. Definately a not-to-miss experience, one which is right up there with China/Nepal ride!!!
Got to Chimbote by 7 at a main terminal (very few in Peru), where Cruz del Norte line was willing to take us to Casma - bus was headed direct to Lima. We thot it was leaving around 7:30 but no one got on til close to 8 and we finally pulled out at 8:30 pulling into Casma 9:30. Girl we'd never seen before was at the Alas Peruiana office desk and she said Juan wasn´t there but that the pack still hadn't come. She suggested we return in am about 7...we'll see!
Luckily, Gregori Hotel had a room and we crashed. Bon was very disappointed - she really expected to see her pack tonight!! Manana!?
Went to Juan's office at 7:30 and still nothing - he said we needed to wait until the street contact guy showed up (about 9). Then I asked if it would be possible to meet w/ the people who have it directly. In explaining that maybe they were afraid of the police, etc. it came out that the street guy never had the pack AND the thieves had it and were still on the street! We thought they had been arrested. Bon was in tears because this is not at all what we had thought. When the street guy showed, we (mostly Juan) spoke w/ him. We discovered that last nite, the thief was caught stealing a cell phone, FROM A COP!!! He was in jail. We went to the police HQ w/ Juan who spoke to the chief and explained everything...he then sent out a squad to round up all the stolen stuff in town, mainly just from the street guy we had spoken with (I think this was more a display than anything effective). Also, said he sent 2 plain clothes detectives to watch the house where the thief lives w/ woman and kid. Juan went home to get his cell phone, we went to lunch...I had ceviche, a Peruvian dish, fish, small clams marinated in vinegar sauce. Very spicey. Nothing more happened w/ the police. Juan and I bought beer and we watched World Cup most of the afternoon and talked. Juan then took us out to dinner atPicanteria Parrilladas but this was REAL ceviche! I mean it was very good, served w/ Leche del Tigre, an aphrodesiac drink, very spicey, strong, Ha! Just what I need! A huge portion, a mountain of fish w/ yams and yucca on the side, plus a huge pile of the little clams. Bon had fish and salad, which she said was the best she´d ever had! We met the cook/owner, Martha Huayaney Salas, and Juan translated our praise which she appreciated very much. Juan was very proud of their service and food, 'The best in all Peru!' he said. I can honestly recommend this place very highly!! End of day we returned to Hotel to stay another day at Juan's suggestion...he said now it would be resolved on Saturday, since at the police dept he discovered the Captain was a relative (Juan's son in Lima is married to the Captains sister) and as Juan put it 'Now this is a family deal, he's got to solve this for my satisfaction and name!'
The discussions w/ Juan over beer revealed: 1. Juan's real business is buying American cars, shipping them here, and selling them in Trujillo 2. He lives in Chimbote,but he is building a Hotel in Trujillo which is to open next month. 3. He friends w/ President Garcia of Peru. 4. When he lived in Lima he was in a rock band as a singer some 30+ yrs ago. 5. He sponsored 10 cadets from Venezuela while in Lima, who lived w/ him one of whom was Chavez, President of Venezuela, still a friend who told him in '84 he'd be president one day. 6. In the 12 years he's lived in Casma never has he seen as much thievery as he's heard about/seen in the last week here. Lucky us!!!!!!!!!
Nothing happening w/ Bon's pack. I went to police station w/ Juan, but the Captain (his relative), said they had no leads, nothing had turned up! Bon has resigned herself to the loss and we bought tickets for Lima leaving at 8:30 am tomor. Internet here is sh---ty! Cannot get anything done it is soooooo slow.