With visions of Endless Summer, we descended from the Andean heights with blind ambition; or perhaps it was the headwind stirring the arid earth and the poorly maintained engines spewing black exhaust that blinded us. Either way, we plugged on - heads down, teeth clenched, eyes squinted. After two days of desperately clinging to our rolling jackhammers, we came rattling onto the beach, high on oxygen after losing 4000 meters. For the first time since leaving Miami and Amsterdam, we felt the density of the cool, coastal air, clearly reflected in our uninterrupted sleep that night. Sadly, our overnight comas ended before dawn due to a nasty rumor we had heard about the upcoming stretch.
Apparently, the route approaching Trujillo is laden with ladrones known to target touring cyclists. Bias aside, I think they´ve chosen their victims wisely. No one could be more vulnerable and valuable than disproportioned cyclists carrying their worldly possessions on a easily-approachable vehicle. Their action tactics sound efficient as well, merely veering their moto-taxis into the shoulder and ramming the cyclists with their three-wheeled weapons. While the spandex-clad victims are down for the count, the ladrones gather whatever goods appear valuable and casually motor down the Panamericana, loot in hand. Thankfully, we heard about these events before we had to experience them, and in preparation for this potential thievery, we equipped ourselves with defenses.