lima, mancora, ecuador
The bus ride to lima suckeddddd. It was about 21 hours total. We picked the front 4 seats on the bus because those tend to be the best ones.... of course the one time we actually get them they turn out to be literally the worst seats. Reclining the seats made the bottom of the seat slanted so it was really uncomfortable, and the whole drive was windy because it was through the Andes. Didnt matter to the bus driver though apparently because he was whizzing around the curves. But we finally made it.
We only spent one night in Lima. Maddys friend Amanda is studying there so she and her roomie showed us around. Star and I were still recovering from the busride basically the whole time we were in Lima. The others went out in Barranco, we slept for like 12 hours. They ate delicious ceviche, we ate kinda gross potatoes and chicken. They went to a water fountain garden, we watched TV.
Next stop was Trujillo, a beach city like 8 hours north of Lima. We got there early morning and took a taxi to Huanchaco which was a sleepy little beach town about 10 minutes away. Great place, really relaxed, literally all there is to do is go to the beach. Our hostel was right across the street from the beach so we dropped our stuff there and spent the rest of the day at the beach. And taking pictures with people who were fascinated by us. Met some pretty cool people, including a couple from Cape Town who had some great travel stories. We only spent one night at the hostel, but it was pretty much our base the whole time we were there. Watched the election there with the receptionist who was wasted and freaking out about Obama losing. Then left our stuff there and went to camp on the beach. Right after we set up our tent a po came by and told us we couldnt camp there and we had to go to theend of the beach, so we literally just pickd up the tent and walked ten minutes with it to where we could camp. Woke up and got surf boards from the hostel, but it wasnt very successful. The waves were way too powerful.
We went from Trujillo to Mancora (took a while to find a bus though, almost had to spend the night in Trujillo), which was AMAZING. It was actual paradise. Beautiful weather, incredible hostel literally on the beach. So much fun it was hard to leave. Small town otherwise, basically one main street. Really chill vibes. We were there for 3 nights but we didnt do too much besides sit by the pool during the day and go out at night. Literally every day we said we were going to do something, go see the turtles, go surfing, go to the lighthouse to watch sunset, but none of those things ever happened. We were toooo relaxed. The hostel we stayed at was really nice, it was only 12 dollars a night but would have been at least 50 or 60 in the states. The people there were cool too so overall it was just a really fun time. Best story was Maddy and a homie getting encountering police on the beach that made them pay 100 soles (like 40 bucks) only to find out after that they werent real police. Michelle made friends with basically all the artisanas there. Lots of cheap beer and delicious cheap food. My nose ring fell out. Star and I dominated at beer pong. That pretty much sums it up our time there.
From Mancora we took a 16 or so hour bus to Quito. We stayed with Mich and Stars family there for a couple nights. Awesome people, great family. So generous and kind, they treated us too well. Made us so much good food... arroz con leche, plantan chips, soup, ceviche, empanadas. We stayed with their tia, who lived below their prima and her family. Every night their tio Hyme would come over to hang out and be on his blackberry. We went out one night with two other primos which was a lot of fun, besides the creeper who would not stop bothering me. Quito is like a big version of Cusco, definitely has more ofa big city feel. So much traffic. It was beautiful though. The weather was so unpredictable. there was sun, clouds, rain, thunder and lightening, humidity, the works. We spent the first day just chilling at the house. Next day we went with their tio washington and tia judy to the thermal baths. Or at least thats where we were headed, but the road was closed so we went to el mitad del mundo instead (3rd unsuccessful attempt to go to thermal baths, clearly we are not destined to go). The equator was cool, but it wasnt the actual equator, which was interesting. The real one is apparently a lot less touristy. The third day we were there we explored Quito, went to the Presidents Palace, wandered some of the craft markets and went to la ronda to drink candeleza, a warm drink which was interesting. We had hot wine later that night which was delicious.
Now we are making our way down the coast. We are in Atacames now, got here last night. Checked into a hostel acros the street from the beach. There are bars/cabanas all along the beach. Constant loud music, huge beach, lots of people. The water is soooo nice, we went in last night and it was legitimately warm. It was a fun but long night, we didnt wake up til 2 today. Went straight to the beach to get ceviche which was so delicious. And now Im here. Its so hot. Its not that sunny, just hot. Gotta get off the comp, been on for toooo long. I cant believe ive been here for 68 days. Time is flyinggggg