Pedro Ruiz is a town in the mountains of Northern Peru. It’s a stop somewhere along the way from Chachapoyas to Iquitos, deep in the middle of the Amazon basin in Peru and we only ever saw it in the dark. My husband and I were slowly working down our way from Ecuador through Peru and we had stopped in this region to explore the beautiful Chachapoyas and were making our way towards Iquitos. This journey itself took us a few days. There would only be a bus a day and it would depart at its own leisure and on occasion, not show up at all! As a traveler, you prepare yourself to be stranded somewhere for a day or two. The route from Chacha to Iquitos looks somewhat like this:
- Chacha to Pedro Ruiz in a collectivo/van – about 4-5 hours
- Pedro Ruiz to Yurimaguas in an overnight bus
- Yurimaguas to Iquitos via ferry where you sleep overnight in your own hammock
We took a detour to a national park along the way to spend 4 days in the Amazon forest through a guided tour we had booked back in Yurimaguas.
Now, back to vegan food! When we arrived at Pedro, it was dark and we had determined that we would have to wait for the bus for at least an hour – this was iffy and somewhat unreliable information, since it could also mean two hours or three or more! We were hungry and I was starting to feel hangry that I wouldnt find anything to eat. I was in the middle of nowhere and wouldnt have asked any questions about ingredients as long as it all looked like plants. My husband, ever the optimist, decided to ask a random chap sitting on the sidewalk with his friend if there was vegetarian food nearby. I nearly balked at this approach – what are the odds that the random person even knows veg food and this middle of nowhere town will actually turn up with something?
My pessimism turned to shock and then disbelief when the guy nodded his head and pointed us vaguely down the road. Just sort of waved his hand and said “that way”. I thought to myself, “no way this guy understood Swami’s spanish. He is probably thinking of something else”. But hope reluctantly bloomed and we walked and walked for a good 20 minutes. I was starting to get anxious that we were too far away from our bus stop when I nearly shrieked in delight on seeing this board ahead: “Restaurante Vegetariano, Monte Sinai in Pedro Ruiz, Peru”.
There is no way to describe this joy in words, but it was just a mad dash from then on. We ran in and ordered food, and were served up an excellent meat free lomo saltado, which I can still remember, to this day. I was sad to leave, knowing that I’d never be back this way, probably in my lifetime. I also have no other picture to share, but I guess some memories are just meant to be cherished in quiet contemplation!