Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 394-395 – Peru – Mancora

I slept quite well for semi-cama owing in no small part to having scored the front 2 upstairs seats allowing us to prop our legs up better than the average passenger. We arrived a lot later than we expected to but immediately reserved our onward travel to Ecuador on Saturday morning to get that out of the way. The comically persistent tuk-tuk drivers reminded us of Thailand but these days prove far less intimidating no matter how boisterous or insistent they get.

We hopped on one at the price we wanted to pay and found that our hostel was close to half an hour out of town proper. This wasn’t a problem as given that we were only here for a few days we had little in the way of aspirations beyond ligging out in the sun. Ferocious wind put paid to that but our pad was perfect – an isolated beach bungalow complete with en-suite and sure-to-remain-unused kitchen with the main restaurant / reception over the other side of the road and contactable for room service via nifty walkie-talkie. They sure took a while to rustle up lunch but when it did arrive it was great. We treated ourselves to room service dinner too later on and just enjoyed the pad.

I woke early and took a wander down to the beach. After a great deal of self-deprecation I managed to force myself to take a very brief run up and down it. Hopefully every little helps. For my troubles I got to watch cormorants dive-bombing into the sea while fishing for their breakfast, passed a washed-up dead puffer fish (just shy of a foot in length) and a 4 inch dead seahorse. On my return journey a vulture had taken up residence alongside the fish to claim ownership. The coast was teaming with huge seabirds soaring with precision millimetres above the waves. There are worse ways to start the day.

I returned and got cleaned up before setting up on the porch with the laptop and getting on with some work. We called in walkie-talkie room service breakfast which was delicious and then pottered about for the morning after making plans to hit town for lunch. When we popped over to the hostel proper it took a while but we eventually got our bill and the tuk-tuk driver arrived to spin us into town. We covered almost every inch of the town in an attempt to find a well-hidden recommended restaurant – even almost venturing into a no-go area but for the kindly locals warning us.

We gave up and found a beach front place with huge prawns in a rice dish. Feeling far too full and somewhat annoyed with the town itself we took off back toward our private beach front property to escape the usual hullabaloo of tourist trade we’ve seen spoil too many seafronts on this trip. Can’t blame them really but it’s anything from relaxing. Our evening played out much the same way as the night before as once the sun goes down there’s little else to do.