Day 109 - November 19th

This was our last travel day with Johanna! Starting in Chimbote, we left the smelly fishy town after a quick breakfast, nothing special. The drive today was once again super uneventful, with more coastal desert and more interesting drivers. We did meet a local mechanic on a motorbike while we were stopped who seemed pretty cool. After about 5 hours, we made it to north Lima. Made pretty good time! That was where the fun started.

It all started when the Panamerican hit the city limits. The two lane highway expanded into 2, 3, 4 lanes each direction, and at slow intersections, that meant upwards of 6 or 7 cars wide (or basically as many as would physically fit). The merging at intersections was all force based, meaning whoever was more aggressive won. It was sheer chaos. I probably honked my horn more in that hour than the past month combined.

The highway also varied in traffic speed a lot. Near intersections, the average speed was probably 5km an hour, because that's as fast as you can go without plowing into people. On the other hand, the straight stretches between merges was a flat out drag race with average speeds well over 100km/h. It wasn't so bad, until the pack catches up to the next merge area and everybody rams the brakes and comes to a dead stop. Ideal.

In this hour stretch of road, there were only two real incidents. One was just after Dave changed lanes during the drag race section, just before the group stopped suddenly. Because of just changing lanes, his balance was still slightly off kilter, and the quick stop caused a bike drop. Luckily, the van behind us was nice and stopped to help us pick it up. The other good one was when Trevor was hit by a taxi going less than 5 km/h. He decided that he didn't like the fact that Trev was in front of him, so he decided to put the front corner of his car between Trevor's front wheel and his bins. Trev had probably a half centimetre of clearance to get by, which he started to use, when the taxi chose to just drive into his bin. Awesome. At that point Trev didn't care about hitting him more so he just dragged his side bin along buddy's headlight and front corner of his car. Lovely.

Next, we managed to get onto the autopista, which in this case meant a major highway right through town without lights or anything. Perfect... Except motorbikes weren't allowed. Oops. A couple cars driving by wagged their fingers at us telling us to get off. Not worth it... The autopista was so much faster and people were even staying in their lanes! We didn't want to go back to the pandemonium so we decided to risk it. Good choice. We didn't get caught!

Finally we arrived at the hostel. After convincing the nice lady to let us stash the bikes in the garden, we were all settled in. Now it was time to splurge on a really good meal, instead of the continuous chicken and rice from the last couple weeks. We went to a super fancy looking place and spent almost $15 each on food and beer! Pretty classy eh?

That night at the hostel bar was weird. We started off playing pool with an Argentinian dude who seemed super chill. Next we met a couple consisting of a big Russian dude and a Latin American girl. He was telling stories and showing photos of how he used to party with Sidney Crosby, and she was telling stories about all the girls she used to fight. Then they proceeded to warn us about people stealing our kidneys. The Canadian bartender also agreed it was super weird... We also introduced Johanna to a prairie fire shot, which she absolutely hated. Fair enough. After one beer two many, we called it a night.

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