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Tumbes, End of the Road

PERU | Monday, 31 May 2010 | Views [813]

Magnificent frigate birds, Puerto Pissaro near Tumbes

Magnificent frigate birds, Puerto Pissaro near Tumbes

The overnight bus from Chiclayo left nearly on time and we arrived in the dusty town of Tumbes around seven on Sunday morning.  We are just a few kilometers from the border with Ecuador and this is our last stop in Peru.  The sole reason we are staying is to visit Peru’s only mangrove swamps and the dry forest nearby.

We found a hotel, ate breakfast and boarded a collectivo to Puerto Pissaro where we hired a boat to take us into the mangroves.  We preferred to go in the evening but the tide was dropping quickly and the mangroves would soon be a vast mud flat.  We saw a few new species of birds endemic to the area and a rufous-headed chachalaca, a rarity in this area.  I took some great photos of the magnificent frigate birds with their inflated crimson pouches.

After lunch I bought bus tickets to Cuenca, Ecuador for Tuesday but in retrospect we should have gotten them for today.  None of the tour companies listed in LP that visit the reserves around Tumbes are still in business and our plans for today have been dashed.  But the hotel is ok and it’s a good chance to catch up on the journals.  I did manage to get a haircut, though.

We tried birding along the river this morning and were picked up by the police.  They said we were in a very dangerous area, “muy peligroso,” and drove us back to the safety of the plaza.  The last thing they wanted was an incident involving gringo tourists.  We will be out of their hair by tomorrow.


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