Country number two, Peru. Our first stop would the rambunctious surf town of Máncora. Popular with travellers and Peruvians alike for day after day of cloudless skies, night after night of beach parties, and wave after righteous wave to slash barrels with your bros before hanging ten, yew! (Am I doing this right?)
Ecuador was nothing but good to us but nonetheless we were ready to hit the beach (and the bottle) and for a change of scenery. Aka after a lot of “us” time we were itching to mix it up and chill out in a more social atmosphere.
We knew we were in the right spot when we checked into our hostel early in the morning after the night bus and almost immediately were greeted by smiling faces stumbling from their rooms still tipsy from the night before.
The next 5 days don’t make for much of an enlightening read so this update will be brief. We entered into a daily routine that was scheduled around the hostels two happy hours from 3-4 and 8-9. Thanks to the delights of 10 person dorms we were always up early to relocate to the hammocks, away from the snoring and smells of 10 drunks in a poorly ventilated room. A few coffees and a recap of the night before with the usual suspects would be followed by a walk for ceviche from the street vendors. As our new Ecuadorean-German friends taught us, the spicy lime ceviche juice is a hangover cure known as levanta muertos, to raise the dead.
We’d rot on the beach or poolside until it was happy hour again and then we’d get our physical activity in, competing in the daily events held poolside.
Only managed to surf one day which is a little pathetic but when the weekend came Mancora was hosting a national surfing competition. The tournament officials didn’t want me making the competitors nervous so they asked me to refrain from surfing alongside them.
When we were sufficiently sunburnt it usually meant it was time to hike up to the lighthouse or point to watch the sunset on another productive day.
Our hostel threw a themed party each night, and by theme they meant if you dressed up or painted your face you’d get double happy hour. Who’s gonna say no to two hours of 2×1 drinks?
Once our livers threw in the towel we put Mancora in the rear view and zipped down the coast to the next beach town, Huanchaco. We spent two more days on the beach, getting some exercise in and enjoying the coastal views.
For all the bird lovers out there, and don’t pretend that it’s just me, as we rolled into town we were greeted with a display straight out of a Planet Earth episode. Thousands of birds had gathered along the shore and were dive bombing for fish en masse, all you’d be able to see is flocks of birds and violent splashes as they went head first into the water.
We wondered how they could withstand the repeated impacts…turns out not all of them can and a few dozen were washed up on the beach the next morning. Woo Nature! We learned from some locals that this wasn’t a regular occurrence so we considered ourselves lucky, and decided it wasn’t worth hanging around to try and see it again so we donned our packs and beetled off to the Andes. From sea level to the town of Huaraz at 3,052m in an 8hr bus ride with more hairpin turns than some of our stomachs were up for.
I promise the next week will be more interesting. Nothing but treks and climbing in the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera de Huayhuash mountain ranges for the foreseeable future. ¡Chau!