Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Adv #7 Continued: Done with Peru, and now in Ecuador

Finally here in Ecuador! Just left Máncora, Peru today after 14 great days on the beach...

It’s been about 7 weeks since leaving Santiago, and a great trip so far. Had a few mishaps that led me to delays and searching for new tires and such, but it’s funny how those bumps in the road can lead you to new and interesting people.

Through some of my contacts in my work, I was in touch with Luis Deza in Lima, a fellow KTM rider and extremely generous guy. After helping me track down the right tire (a tire that even motorcycle tour operators in Peru swore was not available) Luis invited me to stay with him and his family in Lima while I spent a few days freshening up my motorcycle. What a great treat that was, staying in an actual “home” for a change, and not to mention his sister Carmen Rosa’s cooking non-stop everyday for us! As good food and hospitality seems to be tradition in the Deza family, I was welcomed and enjoyed a great visit with my new friends, Luis for sure being a guy I'll be in touch with for a long time.

After leaving Lima, I headed up the coast and actually met Luis’s brother, Carlos in Trujillo. Had the chance to visit the beach town of Huanchaco, the Sipan Museum in Chiclayo, and eventually made my way here to Máncora, just about 2 hours before the border with Ecuador.

I’d heard about Máncora from a few friends and random travelers along the way, and figured I’d spend at least 3-4 days here to relax, take some time off of the motorcycle, and just enjoy the sunshine and beach. Those 3-4 days turned into 2 full weeks, as I absolutely loved Máncora!

Not that it’s the most beautiful of beaches, or towns for that matter. But when you combine the weather, location, activities and pricing….it’s a place I just adored. Upon arrival, I learned that a major tourism factor here is the kitesurfing, and that Máncora is considered one of the Top 3 destinations in the world for this growing sport. As kitesurfers search strong steady wind, the right wave situation, and hopefully warm water and nightlife, Máncora is definitely a great combination for a large portion of the year.

The authority on kitesurfing in Máncora is definitely Skip from www.perukitecamp.com. I was introduced to Skip through Canadian Honeymooner’s Neil and Lindsay whom I met on my first night in Máncora, after which I quickly found myself bouncing through lessons, kitesurfing, and a daily routine that was so much fun!

Along with all the other kite surfers including Mike the Free Swede, Nadia the Swiss Chick, Bill from Australia, Doug “Stingray” from Calgary, Marina and Holt from California, and a handful of other people who circled throughout from day to day, it was so much fun to have a regular crew to run with. We started at about 10am for breakfast, overlooking the beach and early morning surfers. Then around 11am, we’d gather around Skip’s shop on the beach just to take it easy and make some rough plans on where to go for the day. Fresh empanadas and treats are always circling around us as locals make themselves plenty available.

(Above, Neil and Lindsay spending their honeymoon with all the kitesurfers....great! They've kitesurfed Vietnam, Venezuela, Brazil, and quite a few other places around the world.)

Usually by around 12 noon, the decision is made if we were going to stay right here in Máncora, or head down the coast a bit where the wind might be a bit stronger. If traveling was necessary, we’d pack up the 4x4 van, crank up some Warren Zevon, Rolling Stones, or Led Zepelin, and head down the coast to pick the spot for the day (usually a small beach called Los Organos.)

And the kite surfing begins! A steady 25mph wind seemed to be offered every day, as arid inland areas heat up and suck in the cold air off the ocean. From about 12:30 to 4:00 every day, it’s a smooth pulling wind just perfect for learning this sport. The experienced riders were twirling around in the air, and the rest of us just tried to perfect the part on the water. The whole time, Skip walks up and down the beach giving lessons with his beach dog, Rubina always by his side.
(Mike, El Sueco Libre above, and Nadia the Swiss Chick below. Everyone developed a simple nickname pretty quickly.)

(Above, one of Skip's instructors, Alexei shows off above, and there I am below!)

(Doug, above we easily named "Stingray" because he stepped on one and got stung the first day. Below, Skip works the barbeque situation at the end of the day. What a great time we had!)

I would have gladly spent another few months (seriously) there in Máncora, but my plans are still to be in the U.S. for the holidays, so it’s time to move on. Here in Machala, Ecuador, heading further north tomorrow, I’ll try to post news more often.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Kiteboarding is something I've always wanted to do too. Good job man! You're livin' the dream, and don't forget it.