For our first stop in Peru we went to the beach town of Mancora. Mancora is Peru’s most popular beach town with sun and 30 degrees all year round. We arrived at 5am and could check in to our dorm at Loki Del Mar, with the sounds of parties still going strong from the beach. We managed to get about 5 hours sleep that night once the pounding Reggaeton had finished, ready for our first day.
Having arrived at night, what we saw when we woke up came as a massive surprise. To our left we had the Pacific ocean and all the other sides were desert. Having only travelled 7 hours south from Ecuador this came as a shock. Needless to say this added to our excitement and after some breakfast at the hostel we made our way down to the beach. We spent the whole day chilling and swimming with some lovely lunch on the beach at one of the many restaurants and bars there. That evening we joined in with everyone drinking and partying at the hostel, it was after all a party hostel. We’d almost forgotten what a hangover felt like after several weeks of being sensible. That morning was a sharp reminder of what they are! We spent the rest of the day either relaxing by the hostel swimming pool or by the beach.
Before leaving Moncora there was 1 activity we really wanted to do. That was to head down to the turtle conservation area and go swimming with them. This was such a surreal experience. There were over 10 turtles swimming around the pier with a small area you could go swimming off a platform. The turtles were certainly not shy, they came up to you, touched you and were not afraid at all. Despite being just off the desert the water was not warm so after about 20 minutes swimming with our new giant friends we made our way back to our taxi to head back to Moncora for our last afternoon and evening.
Next up on our trip in Peru was a small town called Chiclayo. We mainly came here as a stop over before going to Chachapoyas to break a super long journey up into two. After arriving late afternoon we got to our hostel and went out for dinner. We walked past the Plaza de Armas, the name given to the main squares in every town and city in Peru, with the cathedral next to it and they were both very beautiful at night with plenty of lights illuminating the square. Unfortunately that was about as good as it got for the town itself. There was an insane amount of traffic for a small town, not much to do at all and overall pretty disappointing- this is the first time in 4 months of travelling we’ve said this.
The next day we did leave town to go to a museum about 10 miles away from Chiclayo. To get there we jumped in a collectivo car (not a van for once), paid about 1 pound between us for the journey and arrived. The museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan. The museum is about the Moche archaeological site uncovered in Sipan and specifically about the Lord of Sipan and the findings that came with the discovery. These included ceremonial vessels, necklaces and items of jewellery. It was actually really interesting and Stu did his best to understand and translate the Spanish only signs. The rest of the day was dedicated to writing in a coffee shop before getting our business class overnight bus to Chachapoyas- this bus was insane as we could fully lie down and were served food! Stay tuned for more articles on Peru.