Surfers paradise in Peru!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 16, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

After our stressful border crossing we needed to time to relax and restore our faith in humanity and Mancora was a perfect little place to do this. Within the first few kilometres after leaving Tumbes we started noticing a drastic change in the landscape. The lush green mountainous environment had changed to a dry, hilly and dusty landscape covered in patches of scrub brush. 
Mancora is a popular holiday destination for Peruvians and foreigners alike and has a few dozen hotels and hostels dotted along its beaches. It's also famous for its waves which draws thousands of surfers each year and even a few big surfing championships. When we initially planned to visit Peru we never expected that we would find beautiful little beach town like this and to us it felt like a mix between Thailand and Dahab, Egypt.

Since we had not arranged any accommodation before arrival we took a chance and made our way to a hotel suggested in the Lonely Planet. We had no problem finding a room and were escorted to a quaint little room with an unobstructed view to the ocean. Although a little expensive we felt that not once on our trip did we have a room this close to the ocean let alone a view like this. We had initially only planned to spend two nights in this little surfers paradise but after spending only a few hours in the town we decided to spend an extra night and skip a night in Trujuilo.
Each day in Mancora was a carbon copy of the previous day. Each morning we woke to clear blue skies and a calm sea with the tide pushed out exposing small rock pools and a small break just off the rocks perfect for an early morning surf. By mid morning the tide would start pushing in and soon the wind would pick up drawing out the kite-surfers and by late afternoon both surfers and kiters would out making the most of the wind and waves. The weather was fantastic with not a cloud in the sky which was a pleasant change after having almost two weeks of rain.
Much of our time was spent soaking up the sun and catching up on some reading but with such great surf on our door step I couldn't resist getting my toes wet. I signed up for a one hour surf lesson which was more a refresher since I had tried a little long board surfing in Cape Town a few years ago. The waves were perfect for beginners and I was up and surfing at my first wave and by the end of the hour was feeling quite confident. It was a great way to exercise and loads of fun at the same time. It was a good thing we still had two full days of this!
The other big surprise about Mancora was that it was packed with great restaurants most of which specialised in fresh seafood. For breakfasts we found a lovely little vegetarian café that made their own whole grain breads and served delicious fruit smoothies and huge bowls of fresh cut fruit. For dinners dined on deliciously spicy Mexican food, fresh tuna steaks and scrumptious pizza. Mancora sure had it all!
We could easily have spent a week here but needed to start making our we towards Cusco for the Inca Trail that was kicking off on the 9th. So on the last day I managed to fit in a morning of surfing, Inge-Marie finished off a book and got a bit of Christmas shopping done.
The buses in Peru seemed to be in a whole different league of luxury compared to Ecuador and even offered 180 degree flat beds! We checked the budget and found we could upgrade to a first class flat bed overnight bus trip to Lima. We weren't quite sure what that meant but we'd find out soon enough.
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