Sunset on the beach of Mancora.
After our Galapagos tour we spent a couple days relaxing in Guayaquil. Until fairly recently Guayaquil had a rightly deserved reputation as a very dangerous ciyty. The government has since started to clean it up and make it safer for travelers. The Malecon 2000 was built- a long water front promenade with shops and restaurants and lots of police patrol making it completely safe. The Parque de Bolivar is just a few streets from the Malecon. We sat and watched iguanas stare down at us from in the trees above us.
Then it was time to move on and head into Peru. The first thing we noticed entering Peru is the lack of trees. Everywhere is bare and flat enough that one can see for miles. Our first stop, and pretty much every other traveler it seemed, was Mancora. Mancora is a small, touristy beach town with year round sunshine, surfers and lots of time to chill. Our arrival in Mancora coincided with the celebration of the towns birthday which was celebrated with fireworks we watched from the deck of our hostel, Loki. Loki is a brand new hostel with swimming pool, rowdy bar, and ocean views. Days were spent suntanning,
Fireworks in Mancora Peru.
nights eating and drinking. One day we were relaxing on the beach when a huge wave rolled in on us. Surprised, we jumped up and tried to grab the sandels, books, chapstick, hostal key, suntan lotion, wraps and assorted clothing items that were floating away. We managed to gather everything up and were pretty happy we didnt lose anything. Ryan took our sandy clothes and wraps to wash out in the ocean. . . and came back minus my dress. One point, sea. 0 for us. Nice chill few days though.
Then it was time for our first overnight bus of this trip. Mancora to Lima. Slpurged and went for the Cama class seats that almost completley recline, on the top of a double decker bus that serves food. My only problem with the bus is that they choose to show the movie Human Trafficking! A violent and very graffic movie about women that are sold and traded around the world. Why choose to show this to a bunch of travelers on an overnight bus?? Anyways, we arrived safely and almost on time into Lima. We stayed in the Miraflores area, one of the safer neighborhoods. Walked about 15 minutes
Another Mancora sunset.
to the oceanside and found the most American mall we have seen yet. The mall is set high above the ocean so it offers great views up and down the coastline and includes restaurants like Tony Romas, Starbucks and Hooters! We only spent one night in Lima and then moved on to Huacachina. Surrounded by huge sand dunes, Huacachina is a very small town situated around a lagoon. The town is on the back of the 50 Soles bill. Straight away we set about arranging a dune buggy and sand boarding trip. We ended up going through our hostel as they gave a discount on accomodation if you booked through them. We climb into the dune buggy, strapped ourselves in and we were off! Nothing like jumping right in, we were zooming up and down the dunes, screaming as we plunged almost straight down the sides of dunes. We stopped at the top of one of the dunes and it was time to sandboard. We waxed up our boards, laid down, and flew down the dune collecting sand in our mouths as we went. So much fun! As the tour went on, the dunes got bigger and the ride got
Above the water in Miraflores, Lima Peru.
more thrilling. We parked at the top of a dune for sunset and watched as the sun disappeared behind the dunes. A couple of cervezas topped off the fun!
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