Never have I ever… been this lazy. Beach, sun, the sound of the ocean and nowhere to be. I had been longing for the beach and bikini weather so bad that after my jungle adventure I decided to skip most of Peru and fly directly from Cusco to the north coast and Mancora. And to be honest I’d reached the point of being a little tired of the constant overnight busses. So when a generous Christmas donation came in from my mom, I swiped that credit card and got myself to the north coast within a couple of hours.
Arriving in Mancora, the reputable Loki del Mar hostel seemed to be the only choice. A big hotel-like hostel with a pool right on the beach, what’s not to love? On my budget it’s the first pool I’ve seen in South America, so it had me convinced no matter the lack of air circulation or noise at night.
Mancora itself isn’t really exciting, so with a pretty decent point break, and cheap surf board rentals, my plan was to spend most of my time in the ocean surfing. Well, that didn’t really happen. I went into the water once before getting sucked into the all-service hostel trap like in Bolivia. I mean, the hostel had a pool! And a poolside bar. And loads of drinking games…
Further north, across the Ecuadorian border, Montanita is a bigger more touristic surf town that was rumoured to be absolutely crazy for New Years. We arrived a couple days before Christmas and in true Christmas spirits, we went for a feast that lasted at least a week. Eating in super touristic restaurants and ordering too much food. This was the perfect holiday within the vacation I’m already on. A day would consist of going for a huge breakfast at our regular breakfast stand, preferably Nutella pancakes, then lounging on the beach, getting a bite to eat, taking a shower and get ready for dinner. After dinner it was cocktail time. And if there is one thing Montanita knows, its how to make delicious fruit cocktails. The town has even devoted a whole street for this purpose, “Calle de Cockteles” or Cocktail-alley as we called it. Here the stalls are packed next to each other, serving blended fruit with booze for $3. Personally, I fell in love with the Pinapple daquiries.
Best pancakes, best cocktails!
It seemed like most of the middleclass kids of Ecuador had made their way out to the slightly overpriced Montanita for New Years. The streets were packed. But that also meant that the town would put on a show. Different theme parties including a full moon one a couple of days after the actual full moon, kept the pyro performers busy for the holidays. For New Years eve everyone would gather on the beach, sending up fireworks or lanterns and lighting cardboard figures on fire. The surfers would compete on getting the final and first wave of the year, but most spectators had forgotten about the competition by the stroke of midnight.
New year’s parade down to the beach
After ten days in Montanita, I didn’t really have much to show for it. Every day was the same, eating and lounging. But it was perfect. Its funny though how the days where you don’t do a thing seem to take forever at the same time as their flying by. The two first weeks back at the coast felt more like days, but I’m getting used to this comfortable lifestyle and I’m quite happy about not having to give it up any time soon.