Hangovers in Huanchaco

After a night bus to Huanchaco we arrived spaced out and sleep deprived. So now starved and needing a coffee hit we headed off in search of somewhere to fit the bill. Some fruit and coffee later and we decided to head to Chan Chan an archeological sight near by. Safe to say it was not our cup of tea and without a guide to explain what we were looking at we ended up just discussing in depth what out next tattoos would be whilst wandering aimlessly and taking funny photos.

Which was not a good idea and just ended with us being escorted out.

That night we were surround by pissed up surfers and decided if you can’t beat em join em… this was a bad idea as hours later after rounds of blind Jenga we were loaded in to a taxi by a rather sensible 18 year old who wanted to make sure we got home ok. Despite this we only managed to stay in the taxi for a few seconds before we bundled out horrified by the price. And opted for a stagger home instead only stopping to devour burgers with the locals looking pretty classy with mayonnaise down our chins and Daisy’s bleeding knee. The next morning feeling like I had just been dragged out of a lamas arse and with a serious case of dry mouth I just about managed to drag myself out to the balcony. So I could die with a nice view at least.

That day was spent staring off at the walls of various cafes as we ate like bottomless pits, swearing we will never drink again.

Next stop Huaraz for some mountain treks!

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Mooching in Mancora

Our flight back to the mainland was a turbulent death trap most of which was caused by our coffee shakes. The flight operated like a bus where once at Guayaquil we disembarked with only half the passengers as the others stayed aboard for the next stop Quito. We got straight on a night bus to Tumbes Peru and against all advice crossed South America’s most dangerous boarder at night. We hopped off the bus at immigration where there was a power cut and we stood in the dark the only light the bored staffs phones illuminating their faces as they scrolled social media, until the systems rebooted. Finally we were cleared and got back on our bus and drove through a refugee camp with Venezuelans sleeping rough and in tents. The boarders all over South America have seemed overwhelmed with refugees. We swapped busses in Tumbes and boarded the only bus leaving at this time of night. A bus run by some very obviously coked up men. At least 5 of them were wedged in the cockpit chain smoking and aggressively chewing on god knows what! So 2am tired and pissed off we arrive in Mancora with nowhere to stay.

Mancora is the Peruvian equivalent to Palomino (Colombia) but minus the power cuts. It has a laid back hippy vibe that bubbles over in to a party town at night. The beaches are long stretches with only a scattering of bodies.

There are plenty of food options and we have tried the £2 set menus all over town. Whole bbq fish, Chinese inspired Peruvian classics and ice cream coffees to die for.

We’ve spent our days lazing on the beach soaking up the sun or covering ourselves in mud at the mud baths trying to calm the sunburn. This being the only time it is acceptable to roll in the mud sober.

We have leisurely nibbled our way around town enjoying the slow paced lifestyle after our jam packed Ecuadorean escapades. In the evening we have enjoyed a few beers or pisco sours watching the town come to life, but quickly sneak off to bed before our minds become hazy. Being the good girls our friends back home didn’t think existed.

Throughout our stay I have been discussing ideas with a local tattooist and tonight before our night bus my ideas shall come alive.

Glorious Galápagos Islands

Well what can I say the Galapagos are everything I thought and more. I constantly feel like I am staring in a nature program but I have yet to perfect my David Attenbourr voice.

The early boat was like a giant sleepover as we were lulled to sleep by the calm of the ocean. And within minuets of stepping off the boat here you are surrounded by sunbathing sea lions and crabs and lizards by the dozen. In the bay the odd penguin pops up to say hello.

The lonely planet describes the Galapagos as the only place on earth you can have a staring competition with wild animals and loose and boy were they right. You are so outnumbered by fearless wildlife you feel exactly as you should, a visitor.

On Tortuga beach the sand is white and the sea a clear blue as the waves come out they bring with them swarms of baby sharks in water no deeper than my ankles. Turning to face land you see proud iguanas parading down the sand unfazed by our presence. The rocks are covered with bright red crabs and there are sea lions on every bench peir and empty boat throughout the islands.

A trip to a lagoon and you watch birds soar on the waters surface to catch their prey as the fish dance out of the water taunting them.

Snorkelling in even the closest bays and you come face to face with giant sea turtles gliding along elegantly so close you could touch them, and sea lions playfully pivoting around the piers.

Waves crash against the majestic remains of volcanoes out at sea. The water trickling between the cracks and flocks of birds rest here between meals. Every glimmer in the ocean has your head snapping round as you catch a glimpse of a rays signature wave or a turtle rising for breath.

Under every rocky cave lurk schools of sharks. The penguins dart through your line of vision teasingly too fast to keep your eyes on. It feels like a scene off Finding Nemo as the colourful fish go about their day seemingly unfazed by our presence.

Pelicans sour above us at all times and these animals can all be found side by side looking like the oddest gang you’ve ever seen. The island itself looks like something straight out of a cartoon with dark volcanic rocks, mangroves, huge cactuses, lava tunnels and craters the size of entire towns.

The cars slow down and drive around the giant hundreds of years old tortoise, giving them the respect they rightfully deserve.

Patty house the cheapest accommodation we could find is just out of town but Patty herself is lovely and like a kind aunt she advised and arranged our days for us, sending us off on her selection of death trap bikes. We must be known on the island as the two blond boy racers always cycling in circles on squeaky bikes calling for directions to town… again.

In the evening a street not far from town is teeming with life as the restaurants join their tables and chairs together in two long columns occupying the whole road and dish out some of the best seafood! Entire fishes, giant paella’s and mountains of shellfish at decent prices mean we have dined like kings and every day here feels the luckiest on earth.

We have only been here four days and we haven’t wanted to even blink scared we will miss something incredible.

Cruising in Cartagena

That nights sleep was awful as two Asians came in at 1am talking in their normal daytime voices, rudely awakening us two old ladies who enjoy our mornings far too much to abuse the routine imposed by our former jet lagg. As if that wasn’t bad enough they then woke up at 6am only an hour before our designated wake up time stealing our last precious hour of sleep. Throwing around their clothes, muttering to each other, going in and out the room, dropping various items from the top bunk on to my head and being a general nuisance. Now I like to think I’m a very patient sane person but at this point I fully wanted to loose my shit and was mentally composing all the different abusive sentences appropriate for this situation, but instead opted for seething silence with the odd sigh and angry glance. Finally realising it was better just to get up, have breakfast and head off early to our planned boat trip to Playa Blanca. The thing was a shambles from the get go as we waited at the harbour no idea which of the many boats was ours, turns out the smallest most pathetic looking boat with the broken life jackets was in fact ours. Proving sometimes your better off just paying the extra £2.50! But even so we naively piled on with the local Colombian tourists happy to have saved some change. A pervy looking guy clambers on saying hello to me and Daisy. I indiscreetly ignore him and turn to Daisy saying the word creep. Meet our tour guide, full of cheesy jokes and lingering stares. So first stop on the agenda some islands about an hour away, the journey went seemingly well lulling is in to a false sense of optimism! When we got to the islands we were informed that we had two options, pay £10 and enter an animal prison/aquatic show or go snorkelling which was not free as we had been led to believe. We chose the second option and reluctantly paid up. We drifted about in the waves with a horde of distressed excited Colombians all pointing awe struck at the few fish we hadn’t scared off. A pile up back on the boat and we headed off to Playa Blanca. This is where it all went tits up quiet literally as we felt like we were on a scene from titanic! A child sat right behind us screamed continuously the entire 40 minuet journey, the woman in front of us threw up over the side of the boat whilst me and Daisy exchanged disgusted glances and winced away our mouths pressed firmly shut! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse the boat slammed down on a huge wave and the old lady up front fainted causing a wave of panic as the surrounding passengers squirted water in her face. Another child then decided this was the perfect moment to start being sick too! Arriving all in one piece Playa Blanca was beautiful but overcrowded to the point of being uncomfortable. The trip back was even more turbulent and the whole trip felt overrated and a waste of a tenner. Once back it was a rushed trip to the bus station where we inhaled some cheep food and bought the cheepest bus tickets we could find. Which meant we weren’t sitting together, we sat together anyway causing us great anxiety the entire 15 hour journey as we expected to have to move. We finally piled off in Medellin sleep deprived, with crooked necks and starving but having avoided any confrontation regarding the seat! Winner!