The bus from Loja to Puira takes Forrrrevvvvver. I am totally caught up on the new seasons of Scandal and Parenthood. 7am - 6pm on the bus to Puira.
The route must be new because it is completely unpaved for much of the way, and straddles a craggy cliff you constantly worry about falling off. So many people were crossing themselves and praying that I thought maybe I should be doing it, too. Luckily, or unluckily, depending how you look at it, the bus only drove 17 miles an hour.
The border crossing itself was a breeze, once we actually reached it. The only real problem was that we had limited access to food and drinks until supper. The only food I was able to get was a bunch of bananas that I acquired by hanging my head out the window and begging a lady on the street to sell me some as we were slowly passing by. Again, no one came onto the bus to sell things, save one guy who was selling ginko pills, which Nikky bought!
Nikky is a new friend who was staying at Izhcayluma and was also traveling to Huanchaco the same day as us. She is super friendly.
In Puira, we were starving, so I told the taxi driver to take us to the reliable Rocky's for dinner. We almost got conned into taking a taxi to Chiclayo for "30 soles," but by now I have learned to get multiple second opinions before making a big travel decision like taking a taxi instead of a bus. When we asked advice at Rocky's, they said that sounded like a scam, and a better option would be to take the 9:00pm Transportes Chiclayo bus. We followed their advice, and I quickly remembered how drastically different buses are in Peru as compared to Ecuador. We upgraded to cama (bed) seats for an extra dollar, and were living in luxury. While Peru has double decker buses with plush seats and footrests, Ecuador only has go-cart buses with scratchy seats that barely have any space.
We had planned to go to Trujillo, and had booked a hostel there, but after a much longer travel day than anticipated, we opted for a 3 hour bus to Chiclayo as opposed to another 7 hours of travel. So, unprepared and without having researched a nice place to stay, we were stuck in another bizarre Lonely Planet suggestion (Hotel Sican) for the second night in a row. The beds were a bit nicer, but the three beds were crammed into the room. My bed was actually touching the other two beds. It wasn't ideal, but since we were so exhausted, we all slept well enough.