My bus from Guayaquil to Mancora in Peru was uneventful aside from the border crossing which took 2 and a half hours just to get our passports stamped. It’s been a while since I’ve done a land crossing, and I missed the efficiency of those that I went through in Europe and the US without a need to even speak to a real person.
I arrived in Mancora on Friday evening and just like that my time in Ecuador was up. After three excellent weeks I was moving on and I hadn’t really given it much thought. With my time in Guayaquil I felt as though I wasn’t even traveling anymore and had forgotten that I was about to move on to a completely different country, subtly relieving me of my normal sentimentally sad feelings of leaving. It helps that I know I’ll go back one day. My time there was packed but I barely scratched the surface; there is so much beauty in that country for people to see that you could spend months there and not get sick of it.
Mancora was a town on the beach much like Montañita. I hadn’t booked myself a room but was able to find one pretty easily on arrival and then headed out for dinner, attempting an Asian food place where I was pleasantly surprised. On Saturday I had no plans and was way too excited about it. I got some exercise done on the beach in the morning, caught up on my writing, finished my book and got some Spanish revision done as part of my Spanish online lessons that I’ve started. Not knowing Spanish doesn’t make traveling here impossible, but life would certainly be a lot easier if I knew more than I did. All this was done from the comfort of the beach, or the cafe looking over it. It was more beautiful than the beach in Montañita, though I think the fact that the sun was out and the clouds were not had a big impact on that. I was also able to find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the view whilst getting a bit of sun, though the fact that it wasn’t a holiday weekend also probably played a role in that.
I boarded another night bus after what was an excellent day and made my way to Trujillo, risking another town where I would make my hostel booking on arrival. I had to walk a fair way with my backpack to get to the hostel I had heard about but somehow after sitting on a bus for 9 hours I felt pretty happy to be getting some exercise, despite the cold, miserable day I found myself walking through.
My day was far less exciting than the previous day in Mancora. Trujillo doesn’t have much in the way of sights to see, and not much beauty going for it within the town either. I had to force myself to go for a walk and managed to make it longer by navigating myself to the wrong bus terminal to book my ticket to Huaraz for the next day. I managed to get a bit more life admin done again, as well as some more exercise so I made it feel a bit more successful than it seemed but still, was glad to have very little time there and looked forward to my bus the next morning.
The bus was even better than expected, giving us magnificent views of the mountains around us once we hit the halfway point. It was mostly desert, making the snow capped mountains in the distance that much more breathtaking. The rest of the journey went by quickly, providing me with some entertainment as I sat upstairs right at the front window, watching as cows and sheep were directed down the road and rushed off at the approach of the bus.
We slowly got higher, and it was a surprise that I realised once we had hit the 3000 vertical metres mark. Despite sitting and doing nothing on the bus, it hit a point where my breathing got more difficult and I found myself almost running out of breath if I didn’t focus on it properly. It was such a strange feeling, especially while I was doing absolutely nothing. It definitely heightened my fears for my day hike in Huaraz, taking me up a tough, steep hill to 4800m in a couple of days.