mancora - sun, surf, great crowd and a hotty

  • overturned truck
  • waves finally
  • the beach bar
  • sunset of many
  • webbed feet sunset
  • romantic sunset with brahma beer and drunken kid
  • drunken surfer kid, graham and pedro
  • graham at his last sunset - wasted
  • anna and me - i need to wipe that stupid grin off my face
  • me and graham at his leaving drinks
  • dave and graham
  • the lighthouse
  • kite surfers dropping in
  • grambo helping out with the shoveling for the high tide
  • grambo and el dubo
  • our sunset bar balcony
  • crowds crowds and more crowds
  • nice left
  • lucas wanting to hump a sand sculpture
  • luca, grambo and the very evident P on my chest
  • bono the dog/walrus and p-dog
  • clearly unaware of this photo
  • leonard and a local hotty he met
  • beer century night
  • ruth giving grambo a farewell bite
  • the best looking hostel ever
  • drinking babies
  • lucas with his great tattoo
  • ruth ready to do unspeakable things to dave
  • the P-dog at the P party
  • the worst toilet in mancora

It's been ages since I've written on here because frankly, Mancora, on the Northern Peruvian coast has taken over my life completely over the past 2 weeks that I've been here. This place has had it all - great partying, amazing sunsets, good surf, a brilliant bunch of lads and an absolute hotty.

I arrived here on Monday the 20th of July after a tiresome mission that consisted of cancelled buses on the Sunday night, a night in a hotel that could easily have been a brothel, followed by 3 diferent buses starting on the Monday morning. The last leg of the trip was done in a private taxi as all the big buses coming up this way were fully booked. Pretty much all the way here it was overcast and I was wondering if it would just be like Huanchaco or Chicama, but about 2 hours from Mancora, the blue sky came out. About half an hour outside of Mancora, through winding roads, there was an overturned trucked on a hairpin bend. The local highway patrol guys were trying to roll it over again but to no avail. Eventually they had to give up and let the traffic through because people were getting ansi.

On arrival, I checked into a quiet hostel, hoping to get some work done and then go for a surf in the morning. But, 2 problems: the bed had fleas in it, and the bar across the road (which now I have frequented on several occasions) was pumping out music for ages. I worked through half the night and the next morning got up pretty early to go for a surf and get the hell out of the hostel.

I then checked into the type of hostel I've been avoiding all along - a party hostel called the Loki. And man oh man, what a good decision that turned out to be. After checking in I went for another surf and after the surf decided to get a cold beer and sit round the pool to make a few friends. The group of lads I sat next to have now become what I consider really good mates. They are Leonard (first name Dave), Dave (both from Ireland and travelling for the past couple of years) and their travel buddy Lucas from Australia, and with whom I happen to have a mutual friend. We hit it off pretty well and after a relatively boozy afternoon we partied late into the night. The next day I also met Graham from Canada, and who has to be one of the funniest dudes I've met. Hit it off well with him too and for the past 2 weeks, the 5 of us have hung out loads and partied really hard to the point that everybody has aged about a year. We've also surfed quite a lot together when we're not getting waves stolen off us by the locals. That there is actually the biggest drawback of Mancora - the lineup is terrible and people just drop in all the time. These guys come charging out you not giving a shit if you're first on the wave. One day I left the water in absolute frustration after 3 diferent guys colided into my board.

On Saturday evenings the hostel has a theme party and the first Saturday here was a "P" party - dress in anything that starts with a "P". I told the lads I would go as myself, Pedro, or P-Dog as the lads have started calling me. Can't remember which of them came up with it but the rest also have nicknames. Graham being Grambo, David bein El Dubo because of the Mexican wrestler outfit/alter-ego he often gets into after having a few beers. Leonard is mostly just Leo, or L-Dog, and Lucas is just The Creep - cause of the way he creeps on girls round the pool. Anyway, back to the party, the guys thought that me coming as me would not be much of an effort so one of them suggested - while we were having a couple of cold ones - that I shave a big P on my chest. I thought it was a brilliant idea and the night of the party, organised some hair removal cream and did it. It was a pretty good success - although now I'm stuck with it.

We also had an 80s party the following Saturday, but this time I didn't do anything long lasting. Instead we all put on adult nappies and went as 80s babies. We even had some brown facepaint to add to the nappies for that poo-stained effect. The photos are somewhat disturbing and I've decided to leave a few off here because frankly I don't think anybody needs to have those visuals engraved in the back of their heads.

Leonard, Dave and Lucas have been playing pranks on eachother pretty much since they've been travelling. On meeting Dave I thought there was something weird about his face and then realised he only had one eyebrow - the result of Leonard and Lucas applying some hair removal cream to it one night. Dave vowed revenge and eventually one night when Leonard had had quite a few and fell asleep, he too qoke up only one eyebrow. But they eventually got Lucas back too. One night when Lucas had a particularly boozy night they tattood the words "I LOVE COCK!" on his back, with Henna ink, which lasts anything from 1 to 2 weeks.

The past week has been Peru's independence day and what seems like half of Lima has shown up and taken over the streets and the waves. The streets part is not a bad thing as this just means the party atmosphere has been spectacular. Another positive about this mass influx is the awesome "scenery" on the beach. The 5 of us have strolled this beach several times a day with our violators on (Graeme's name for sunglasses because they allow you to just perve without being bust). I am now convinced that Peru, or more so Lima, has some of the most stunning women in South America. The big P on my chest has also been quite the conversation starter and I've used it to my advantage, telling the locals I did it because I love their country so much and wanted to celebrate their independence day - they love it!

One day after coming in from a surf, I walked by 2 girls from Lima and they started chatting to me. After a small chat and a few drinks that night I arranged to meet them on the beach the next day. It was an excellent day I sat and spoke to Fiorella (a lawyer from Lima) for about 5 hours, in Spanish. It felt great to just chat in Spanish for a change and it was also good to see that I'm finally at the point where I can actually hold a conversation in Spanish. Unfortunately the next day when I met them on the beach again, Fiorella's ex-boyfriend had rolled into town and the situation became somewhat uncomfortable, so I let things be.

As in most hostels, the company you have, either make or break the place and here has been no exception. The people here have been brilliant and particularly the lads I've been hanging out with. We all came here for just a few days and have stayed this long. As I mentioned earlier, Graham is one of the funniest guys I've met and here are some of the lines he's come up with:

 

  • When spotting a girl he thinks is hot he says he'd like to take her to Grambodia
  • He also says "Pedro, you gonna take that girl to P-Town"
  • P-dog, you're going back to the dog kennel? (my hostel room)
  • "That guys is nuttier than squirrel shit"
  • "I think it's time I inhale this water and get back onto the booze train"
  • One day, about 20 minutes after Leonard, Lucas and I paddled out for a surf in the early morning after a relatiovely big night, and Grambo said he wouldn't come out surfing, we suddenly heard "Here comes the drunkest man in the pacific ocean" and turned round to see Grambo paddling through all the locals with a massive grin that only a semi-drunk dude could have. I laughed so hard I flipped over off my board. Ended up being a great surf session
  • It aint rocket surgery guys!  

There are countless more that I want him to write down for me.

I've also met 2 very funny Irish girls called Ruth and Iffa - the 2 together are known now as Reefa. They're complete nutters and I'm looking forward to meeting up with Ruth in South Africa when she goes travelling there.

A few days ago, I also met the stunning Anna Rubycz, from England, and her travel friend Nadia also from England. The day after she arrived some dude in the hostel offered to take her out for a surf lesson. I knew straight away that the he was sleazing on her because I had just been checking the waves and the sea was absolutely flat. And when I mentioned that, the guy looked at me with a "Don't ruin this for me" look. So, when they came back about 15 minutes later with Anna looking a bit weirded out I knew I had not been wrong. As soon as they got out into the water the guy hit on her with the classic "Wow, you have such a great body" and she says it creeped her out a bit.

That night at one of the parties I got chatting to her and kissed her and, was for lack of a better description, pretty stoked. The next morning, Lucas, being the ultimate prankster put a note on her bed with a flower, the note read something like "Dear Anna, It was amazing meeting you last night and how about for your birthday today we go watch a pacific sunset. Love Pedro". Fortunately Anna realised I wouldn't be that cheesy, and we turned Lucas's prank round onto him. She told him she thought it wasn't funny at all and didn't accept his appology, and I told him I was well pissed off with him because he had ruined things for me because now Anna thought I was a knob. He felt so bad, he went to his room cause he didn't want to be around us. After he had suffered a while we went in and told him we were only messing. Poor bastard looked like he was on the verge of tears. Also, the irony was that later that afternoon Anna and I did end up watching a pacific sunset for her birthday, from the sunset bar balcony where I've watched the sun set with the lads and a beer every afternoon. We spoke for hours 'til way after the sun had set, and Anna had to walk back to the hostel, quite tipsy, in her bikini bottoms - to the delite of the locals.

Over the coming days I think we became pretty close and I took her out for her first non-sleazy surf lesson - although by then it was okay for me to sleaze on her jokingly. Funny thing about teaching somebody to surf is you both paddle the same board meaning the instructor pretty much has the student's bum in their face. "Thanks for not farting in my face Anna!". The girl is an absolute natural. First wave that we paddled into, she popped and rode it for a good while. I've been to surf lessons before and hadn't seen somebody do that on their first go. There's no denying that I'm quite smitten with her and the last few days in Mancora were great, eventhough the sea flattened and I couldn't take her out for more lessons, or go surfing myself, I still walked around with a real cheesy grin the whole time - this got mentioned to me a few times by the lads and Nadia. On the second last afternoon, we sat on the beach for the sunset, and what seemed like was going to be a perfectly romantic sunset, was comically interrupted by a local surfer kid who had been boozing for hours, and sat in front of the sun munching a burger and flexing his biceps for Anna. It was hilarious! But even funnier was when he then got up to leave and proceeded to run on the beach all Baywatch style (yet with a drunken stagger), and tripped over a heap of sand for an excellent faceplant. We cracked up and then he turned around and gave us all the finger. Good kid though! The next day I saw him on the beach and he couldn't remember anything.

I left Mancora on the evening of 4th of August and saying goodbye to the lads, and particulary saying goodbye to Anna, was probably the toughest goodbye since I've been travelling. While travelling, as much as you try just live for the moment and enjoy it all and not think about what the future holds, it's really hard when reality kicks in and you realise you may never see a lot of these awesome people again. Hopefully everyone I've met takes me up on my offer of a place to stay in South Africa - of course considering I'm gonna be living in my parent's house for the first few months, I may have to run this by them.

As the bus pulled out of Mancora, I plugged my ipod in, found and appropriate soundtrack and stared out the window, cheesy grin still going, just thinking about all that's happened over the past couple of weeks and trying not to think too much about real life and the future.