Many BikeTravellers know that Paijan, in the North of peru, is a dangerous spot. Not just for cyclists by the way, as many cars and buses have been shot at and robbed as well.
On the south edge of town, there was a police checkpoint. Not really a checkpoint as it turned out. The cop, a woman, was warning us and even the locals in their motor vehicles not to stop in Paiján under any circumstances. I didn’t follow everything that was said, but clearly Paiján is being treated as a zona roja (“red zone”). So it’s not just bad for cyclists anymore. The latest specific incident was a carload of tourists passing through at night and getting their tires shot out and then their stuff stolen. (Jeff Kruys)
But since the ‘ladrones’ of this dusty costal desert town have learned about the long line of BikeTravellers that do the Panam route, they have been focused on cyclists specifically. The chances or robbery are high and the danger is real, see below some comments and stories from the Panam-riders:
On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 8:11 PM, Pedaling South wrote:
1. Is the Sechero Desert a nice place to ride, like the desert in Baja California, Mexico? If not, is the 1B that goes around (east of) the Sechero a viable cycling route? Any tips welcome. We’re headed toward Trujillo (duh) from the North. Right now in Riobamba, Ecuador.
2. Anyone ridden through Paijan, Peru lately? Is this really the black hole of bike touring, i.e. robbers waiting for cyclists to pass through? Sure we don’t wanna get robbed but people have been saying “you’d be crazy to ride through XXX” since we started out from Anchorage. So, can you ride THROUGH Paijan?
Hope yr all good!