I got the night bus to Mancora from Lima with 2 Ozzie friends, Pep and Melinda. We decided to get one of the more luxurious buses, 'Cruz del Sur', where we had our own tv screen with numerous movies and got to play a game of bingo with the whole bus! A entertaining way to pass the 18 hour journey. As soon as we got off the bus in Mancora we were instantly approached by hoards of tuk tuk drivers shouting "Loki, Loki". This was the hostel we were booked into and it's also renowned for being the party hostel in Mancora. We got the 3 minute tuk tuk ride to the hostel, unfortunately we only realised the short distance after we paid the driver!
Mancora felt a lot like a South East Asia beach town. Warm and humid, very sunny with tourist shops and restaurants lining the road that leads to the beach. Loki party hostel was more like a hotel than a hostel. We were greeted by the huge swimming pool and the white stone building with crescent balconies similar to architecture you would find on Greek Islands. The warm climate and the feeling of being on holiday definitely got us excited. The last beach I had sunbathed on was 4 months ago in Rio!
We soon got into the holiday spirit playing volleyball in the pool, drinking beer by the poolside and partying until the early hours. Mancora definitely lived up to its reputation as a party town!
I spent most of the days chilling by the pool, reading my book and dozing in the many hammocks scattered around the hostel. Me and Sam went whale watching one day as it was the humpback breeding season between June and September. Unfortunately, because the sea was so choppy we didn't get up close and personal with the whales but got to see a family of 3 from a distance. We also got to see giant turtles and sea lions which made up for the lack of whale watching.
With all my spare time I eventually finished the book 'Marching Powder'. It's a true story about an English man who got caught trafficking drugs out of Bolivia and was sentenced to 9 years inside the infamous San Pedro prison in La Paz. The prison isn't any ordinary prison, the inmates have to purchase their own room, it's full of restaurants and corner shops as well as a cocaine factory. Until a few years ago, "gringos" were able to visit the prison and spend the night there. They are also making a film based on the book which I think is due out next year. I'm now reading 'The Gringo Trail'. Another topical true story about 3 backpackers travelling through South America. It goes into a lot of detail about the pre Hispanic periods and the Inca Empire as well as their comical stories throughout the continent.
We soon discovered our "First World" problem at Loki, every happy hour at 3pm the vodka slush machines were never frozen so instead we had to settle for vodka and juice. It became quite amusing that it was the only thing we had to worry about each day. It was also one of the Loki lies that was written on a blackboard next to the bar:
I am not going out tonight
I am not drinking today
I love you
The slush machine will be ready in 5 minutes
After 6 days of sunbathing and snoozing Nick arrived after his amazing mountaineering adventure in Huarez. I booked us into one of the more upmarket resorts which was 1.5km out of town. The resort was pure bliss and well worth the money. I was glad to have my own room again as I had been sharing a dorm with very loud and chatty Israelis! We soaked up the sun, lazed by the pool, drank lots of cocktails and enjoyed the luxury of a hotel for a few days. We ventured into town one night via a rickety tuk tuk and went to a quaint, shabby chic style restaurant called La Siren d'Juan. The food was incredible, it was mix between local tastes with an Asian infusion. We had excellent ceviche (Peru's national dish of raw fish), tender baby goat and tuna passion. Their house wine was also from Trapiche winery, one of the vineyards we visited whilst in Mendoza, Argentina.
Now into Ecuador, our 7th country! Adios Peru, you have been a blast.