Christmas in Mancora, Peru

Trip Start Nov 20, 2012
Trip End Feb 15, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Piura,
Monday, December 24, 2012

It has been a long road getting to this point, but now that we have settled into the beach side town of Mancora in northern Peru, we couldn't be happier. To feel the sun on our skin and be able to jump in the sea is an amazing feeling after so much coldness for the last month. It also is nice to be on the beach for Christmas as it feels a bit more like home.

After recovering from our 25hr jeep ride and the stress of the landslide and then the multiple 3 hr hold ups on death road because of road works, I decided to stay at a small hotel across the road from our normal hostel in La Paz. The entrance was directly opposite Wild Rover, so I was able to be with all my friends, and I did spend most of my time at the hostel still. However the hotel just have me the option of a long, hot shower, tv in my bedroom and the lack of stress about locking my belongings. After such utter exhaustion, I needed some luxury We all slept for many hours the night we got in from the jeep and then had one more night in La Paz before heading off on a bus ride to Mancora.

It was another car ride of pure hell. Our first bus to Lima was 28hrs, including the border crossing from Bolivia to Peru. We had an hour and a half in Lima where we managed to book another over night bus ride, this one for 19 hours, straight to Mancora. So all in all, with the classic South American delays, we were on a bus for 50 hrs. By the end of it we were sleep deprived, smelly, starving (vegetarian and gluten free meals aren't an option on busses) and busting for the toilet as per usual.

When we got to our hostel, Loki, in Mancora we weren't yet able to check in so we hung out at reception hoping to use the Internet to let family know we were alive but alas, the Internet was down. So we thought possibly we could swim in the amazing hostel pool that friends of ours had raved about but alas, it was empty! In maintenance until the new year (just after we leave, excellent...) we ended up walking around the town to find food.

In Mancora there is a seafood dish called ceviche which is typical of the region. You can get it in other parts of Peru but it really is best here as the fish is so fresh! It consists of some corn kernels, banana chip, roasted jungle and sweet potato and then a huge pile of chopped up raw fish. The fish is then soaked in lime juice and red onion and he acidity from the lime cooks it. It sounds strange but it is absolutely delicious and all the flavours and textures really work together! It's perfect for lunch or dinner or the hot days here... When hungover though, cold fish salad tends to make you want to spew. There is lots of other delicious meals here as seafood is so fresh and tasty so it feels good to have my appetite back (I lost it quite dramatically in cusco and la Paz because of the altitude).

The town of Mancora itself reminds Kel a lot of Thailand. It's quite small, no post office even, and has a very relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Our hostel is on the beach and there is a little surf break directly in front of us so you can hire boards, kayaks or stand up paddle boards. The beach obviously has nothing on Australian beaches but I was suprised at how nice it is none the less. The water is a really perfect temperature.

Now that we have recovered from all our travelling and have managed to make this place feel like our latest home it does feel really great to be here. It is Christmas Eve today (and I think it may have just become Christmas Day in Aus) so we are doing our last minute preparations. With a few of our friends here we've decided to do a secret Santa so we're about to go to the markets now to buy little gifts. While we are trying our hardest, I must admit it still doesn't feel like Christmas. Maybe I'm just feeling a tiny bit homesick at the moment but it would be really nice to be at home just for tomorrow to see the fam and play with floydy!

Still looking forward to a relaxed day tomorrow and then off to Quito in Ecuador on Boxing Day. I'll try put up some photos of our latest escapades if I have time, and the Internet is working, this arvo. But for now, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Xxx
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