• Day16

    Máncora, Peru

    April 25, 2018 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    New country, more incredible sunsets, beach time and friends.

    Our overnight bus direct from Montañita had us reaching the Peruvian border around 4am which meant we had to get up and clear customs for each side. Once upon a time this border was not overly safe or straightforward, but now it has been simplified to the point that the Ecuadorean and Peruvian border security is all in the same building, just a desk apart. The whole process was very smooth, taking a mere 20 minutes for our entire busload to cross into Peru. It was definitely one of the more relaxed border crossings I’ve done, especially considering we didn’t even have to get our big bags out of the bus. I guess they’re going on trust that you’re not bringing in anything you shouldn’t be?!

    Máncora already had much more of a relaxed vibe than Montañita. One main street that stretches for a couple of kilometres parallel to the beach, mostly consisting of restaurants and stalls selling the usual junk clothing.

    Kit, Bronte and I had already booked a hostel we’d been recommended but it ended up being at the complete opposite end of the beach to the surf and all the restaurants and the like so we ended up swapping hostels to one with our other English friends which was more amongst the action. Loki hostel could have been mistaken for a resort in Greece - huge multi-level white buildings surrounding a swimming pool with loungers. Definitely out of place from anything else we’ve seen recently and a mere 10 steps from the beach too. There were a few times we got sick of the place though as it became a bit of a forced party hub each evening but it was still a good time.

    We filled our days here mostly with beach time, pool time, surfing, paddle-boarding and watching some more incredible sunsets. One thing I love about travelling is having the time to appreciate such things. We did intend to go and see some turtles or go fishing down the coast one of the days but this happened to coincide with some of the local fishermen striking about their pay, which meant it was impossible to hire a boat due to them blocking the bridge we’d be required to pass through. Not to be, clearly!

    For our last night in Máncora we ended up getting an Airbnb just a little out of the town with other friends that we’d met back in Montañita. With the strike from the fisherman happening on the bridge near our hostel, we had to walk through some of the protest to get a tuk-tuk from the other side to the Airbnb. Thankfully everyone was cooperative enough! It was really good fun and nice to have a break from hostel life and have a sense of normality staying with a group of mates at our own place, similar to a New Years vibe at home. Kit, Bronte and I only stayed one night as we needed to keep moving but I definitely contemplated missing my bus to stay an extra night with everyone else. However the following day I would have had nothing to do all day until the night bus as the others were leaving early morning so had to cut my losses and continue on!

    Typical we left the Airbnb with plenty of time to get back to the city to catch the night bus south to Huanchaco, only sit on the curb for almost an hour and a half waiting for said bus to turn up. Joy. I think we’ve well and truly overstayed our welcome here!
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