The next day we got up early and were ready to head north in search of a moist, green, tropical getaway from the dry, strange desert dust. We meandered from Lobitos to Talara where we found the EPPO bus terminal and purchased cheap tickets to Mancora, a beach-party town on Peru’s north coast.
The water in Mancora is a clear and bright cerulean blue with some cool patches from the Humboldt current. The waves were head high & there were maybe ten people out surfing. Most people huddled in circles on the beach passing around various objects such as tiny monkeys and smoking things. The hierarchy of dogs is also a big part of the town’s social dynamic. One daddy behemoth mixed monster mutt ran the beach. His offspring were his obedient and mischievous minions. He looked like a Saint-Bernard, Mastiff, Rottweiler & Great Dane mix with droopy eyes. His paws were like that of a bear; you could have ridden him around like a horse if his hips didn’t appear so unstable.
We grabbed some nachos and burgers at this joint, Aji. The Rolling Stones were playing in the background; how refreshing! This delicious food was not only a morale booster, but also fuel for Logan’s surf session. I watched from a rock wall on the beach as he scored several long lefts. An afternoon maracuya (passionfruit) gelato was in order to beat the heat of the searing afternoon sun.
The next day our bus would depart for Guayaquil, Ecuador. Our final meal in Peru was a leisurely breakfast at the Birdhouse shopping center at Green Eggs & Ham (a restaurant owned by some Alabama folks). We sat on a second floor deck overlooking the main break. The surf was fat & crowded, the pancakes light & fluffy.
Tick, tock. Roll, rock. Makes not a difference where the hands lay on clock. We wait to open the door that leads to Ecuador.
We waited many hours for the bus, meeting cool people along the way. Many Brahmas were consumed, frosty and bubbly beers with a mild coconut aftertaste. The time we had been waiting for finally made her appearance— time to get on the bus. Easier said than done. An intricate puzzle unfolded as we discovered that there was no room for our stuff in the cargo hold. After coughing up 15 nuevo soles to get our stuff squeezed in we were ready to kick back and do some border crossing.
We woke up many hours later and found ourselves somewhere over the rainbow in lush, green & vibrant Ecuador!
Terrestro Terminal, the central bus station in Guayaquil, is a sight to behold. It is the third biggest bus terminal in South America, or maybe the world? It has the feel of a large airport, full of shops and restaurants, bustling even at 5:30 am. We purchased our tickets at the CLP station for $5.50 per person; back to the land of the USD! $$$ We quickly found ourselves waiting again, at an upstairs terminal. There was a vendor selling amazing ham & cheese sandwiches for .50 cents. They were served on warm, crusty bread and paired with a Cifrut citrus beverage. What a nice first meal in Ecuador.
The bus ride to Montañita took about 2 and a half hours. The roads were spectacular and the sun was shining… finally!
We finally made it to Montañita, which was all I could have ever dreamt it to be… exotic & moist with green rivers & blue seas. The technicolor landscape made me feel like Dorothy entering the Land of Oz. Logan, we aren’t in Virginia anymore.