Our first stop in Peru. The accommodation is basic, there are 4 of us sharing a room, the weather is hot and humid, and there is very little to do. We have 2 days here, I wish we had only 1 day here, and an extra day in Cuenca. I think many others agree, though there are a few who prefer the beaches here.
The town is beautiful, though small, straddling both sides of the Pan American Highway. As said there are only 2 things to do in the town, sunbathe or surf. I have had enough of sunbathing, spending a large proportion of my time on the beaches whilst on the Galapagos. Thus for me the only other available option was to surf, I came, I saw, I fell. I only managed to make it up on the board once and actually surf. My remaining times were spent either in the water or only half standing on the board. Even so I had a fantastic experience, and as usual when near water burnt my face slightly. Though compared to some of the others I was fine. Gemma for example is in deep pain after getting burnt whilst learning to surf, and yes like me she applied plenty of sunscreen before hand.
The bus ride and boarder crossing from Ecuador into Peru was again another experience. On the first bus we had seats, and the journey was comfortable. We were however dropped off on the edge of a round-a-bout in the middle of know where and told to wait for a bus which would be along shortly, which would take us across the boarder and into Mancora. We waited, 5 mins, then 10 mins, then finally in the distance we saw our bus, there was only one problem. It was full. Our seats were occupied, meaning we had to stand for the next hour as the bus drove to the Ecuadorian Immigration Office. This did not bother me, yet others who had only a day before arrived in Cuenca in style, felt that the mode of transport was unacceptable. I loved it though, its all part of the experience in my eyes, even if I was standing next to an old man who kept spitting out his food onto me. Its another memory of a great adventure.
Once at the immigration office we departed the bus, and waited to be stamped out of the country. We were then left in no mans land again waiting for our bus to pick us up and take us across into Peru, where we would again depart the bus, stand in the heat, filling out forms before being granted entry into the country. Wooohooo though as after an hour or so we were able to again board the bus and begin the final leg of a long day, heading down the Pan American Highway to Mancora.
Once there we boarded the classic Indian mode of transport (the tuk tuk) and headed for the hostel, our home for the next 2 nights.
The currency of Peru is the soles, so before we could embark on any activity, we had to first either withdraw some of the local currency, or head to one of Jesus’ "friends" who would convert our dollars into soles.
Mancora is a touristy place, and not for me I felt, so on the second day I spent my time relaxing at the hostel waiting for the night bus to come. I thought I would be cheeky and use the free wireless internet to add a new album to my iTouch. At the time it was a good idea, yet the end result was not. After downloading the album, my iTouch choose to wipe all my other music clean off. This is bad VERY BAD. I need my music, without my music I could go insane. But that night there was very little that could be done. At least I had 13 tracks to listen to on the 7 hour night bus ride to Trujillo, stop number 2 in Peru.