Two days in Mancora

We had only planned for two days in Mancora therefore we wanted to make the most out of them. Although we had a difficult crossing and a hard night, we made sure to set up our alarm and wake up very early. Most and for all, we wanted to beat the crowds.

I didn’t know what to expect. It had been 6 years since my last time in Mancora and I had heard horror stories about the locals and crowds. Luckily, we were early enough to have it all to ourselves; 4 to 6 feet waves, glassy and fun. The water wasn’t too cold. Mick was surfing only with board shorts and I was wearing a spring suit; it was beautiful weather outside. We left right before it started to get crazy. And it did get crazy.

The main change I noticed in town was the boom of surf schools. I must admit I thought it was really clever what the locals were doing and how they were teaching the classes. Because the wave at Mancora is a point break, it is usually hard to teach a surf lesson to a beginner. A point break is usually harder to paddle into and the way the set up is in Mancora, there are not many sections to safely divide the experienced surfers to the beginners.

That’s why, the surf instructors are actually taking their students on their big Malibu boards. They wear flippers, sit on the back of the board kicking while the students lay down on the board and wait until the instructors tell them when to stand up. It’s a really good concept, because you get 90 percent more chances of standing up and having fun.

But I have to say, it’s complete madness being in the water once the surf schools paddle out, because most of the time they really don’t care if you are already surfing the wave, they just go and it really gets messy.  That day we stayed long enough to experience a bit of the crowd but we were happy that we had an hour and so to ourselves.

Mancora has grown a lot but for me, it has grown in a good way. In the past, I didn’t really like Mancora that much because I thought that the highway crossing right in the middle of the town, ruined the vibe a bit. But now, it’s actually ok. There’s so many nice restaurants, so many options of different cuisines, great places to stay and a fun atmosphere. I did think the bars that are right next to the beach are a bit too much, each of them playing different music one louder than the other. But there are options for everyone’s taste.

We had a great time in Mancora. We ate some great food and were excited to know that we could eat cheaply like in Ecuador. In Peru you have the option of the “Menu” it’s like a set meal for a very cheap price. I love Peruvian food, if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it!

In the afternoon of our first day, we decided to go for a walk to the pier where all the fishermen were. On our way back, we were a bit hungry so we stopped in town for a bite to eat. While we were on one of the side roads we saw a little dog limping. It looked like his legs were paralyse or not responding. He also looked like he wanted to vomit all the time. An old man saw us watching this poor dog, stood next to us and said: “You should take him to a vet. He’s not well. I think he must’ve eaten a fish bone and he’s chocking to death”.

Dear me, that old man, had found the right girl to tell all these things too. Immediately, I looked at Mick and he knew, that one more time, he needed to support me on my crazy rescue missions. (Yes, this hasn’t been the first one!) So, on we went. We took a moto taxi and told the driver to take us to the nearest vet. “It’s ok, little guy, you’ll be fine.” I whispered to the dog.

Five minutes later, we were at the vet’s door. It was a nice young lady and she asked us to come in. She seemed very calm and collected. I explained to her the situation and told her we were really worried and wanted to help him.  She had a good look at the dog, and then looked at us and said: “This is not the first time this dog has been brought here. He’s fine. I think this dog , in the past, has suffered from tick paralysis and that’s why he’s the way he is. But he’s fine. Look at his fur, it’s all shiny and clean. He must even have an owner now, because I see him better than before”.

Mick and I felt relieved but also a bit silly. We thanked the vet and jumped back in the moto taxi with the dog. On the way back to town, we kept imagining what the dog must have been thinking. How many times, concerned tourists must have brought him to vets around town. If the dog could speak he was probably saying: Not again! Leave me be. I’m fine! I just want to get some food from the streets!. We left the dog where we found him, and went on and got something to eat ourselves.

The next day, we woke up early again and the swell had picked up a bit. We couldn’t believe how good the waves were and we were this time the first ones in the water. We had a blast, surfed until we were hungry enough to go and get some breakfast at the hotel. The rest of the day we spent it around the pool at Kimba’s Bungallows (beautiful place to stay at!) and in the afternoon, we packed and got ready to get our bus straight to Lima.

If you ever do the trip from Ecuador to Lima I really recommend having a stop and breaking the trip up. Twenty four hours on a bus can make anyone go crazy and have a sore bum at the end!! Being honest with you, it was a hard enough 18 hours on the bus from Mancora to Lima, but we slept a lot and watched 10.000 movies. Some of the movies were in Spanish, but lucky for Mick, the steward was really friendly and he managed to find the ones with subtitles on.

We arrived safely to Lima. We were a couple of hours late so we took a taxi and went straight to my friend Sandra’s house. Once we got there, her mother told us, she had left to pick us up from the bus station. We’d miss her!!! So we called her and let her know we were already at her place. Half an hour later I was reunited with one of my best friends in the world, my sister from a different mother, who I hadn’t seen in 5 years. During these 5 years, she had become a mother so for the first time I was meeting her beautiful two year old son, Kailani. Moments to cherish forever!

Author: Isabel Romero

founder of Mingas por el Mar

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