From the depressing town of Chiclayo I took a day bus to to the (arguably) less depressing town of Piura (journey time 3 hours). Piura is a small transit town; adequate for an overnight stop, prior to the border crossing into Ecuador, but nothing else.
The worst travel stories you get to hear about are thankfully isolated incidences. I had read and heard horror stories about the border crossing between Peru and Ecuador. Stories of people getting mugged or being forced into paying exorbitant bribes to unscrupulous taxi drivers. Despite the low risk, I was full of apprehension. I wanted to play it safe and the safest way was to take a direct bus. Loja International bus company offers such a service – between Piura (Peru) and Loja (Ecuador). It wasn’t a flash bus but it was clean, reliable and safe.
During the border crossing process I met a delightful Tazmanian/English couple and a young German lady. We got on well and agreed to meet up that evening for a meal.
Loja looked a nice town, sadly I didn’t get chance to see much of it as next morning I was climbing aboard yet another bus.
Next stage: Loja to Cuenca.