"Forgive me for not being all there, my mind has discovered a place called ELSEWHERE..."

Sea, Sand and Sun
So I get back to Quito and have decided that it is finally time to start making my way south. Here's where I made my first mistake. I decided that I was well traveled enough and only had one bag, so it should be simple to take the public transport to the train station rather than pay the $10 for the taxi. Of course I did it, I'm me! But the amount of trouble I went through was not worth saving the cab fare. Already armed with this quite large appendage that claimed to be only thirty two pounds but was undoubtably lying like a teenage schoolgirl, I entered an already overcrowded bus and experienced hell for approximately an hour and a half. Not only that but I also had to make a rather confusing bus switch at one point that truly tested my Spanish skills. Lesson here: take the freaking cab!!! Mistake number two was that I still didn't quite understand how the buses worked, and that paying an extra $15 could be the difference between a fluffy reclining chair and 90° upright sleepless torment. The latter option was my nine hour bus ride to Cuenca. (I'll write more later on how to choose your busses!). So I pull into cuenca around 10:30pm, exhausted. Here I was suddenly faced with two options: I could walk outside and find a taxi to take me to some random hostel and go through the annoying process of arriving late without a resi. Or, I could take the bus 10ft away, get a really rough nights sleep but wake up on a Peruvian beach. I chose option #2. So sadly I did not experience the wonder that is Cuenca (for another day).

I arrived at about 5:30 am in Mancora, tired and a bit out of it. The first thing that happens as you step off the buss is a bombardment of taxi drivers yelling of the names of different hostels. I had arrived without a reservation, so I ask one to take me to a good hostel. This was mistake #2. Taxi drivers get a commission from crappy hostels when they bring new customers to them, so I end up with a crappy hostel without many of the necessities and no locker for my things. But, it had a bed. So I gritted my teeth and geared it for the first night, and the next day immediatly switched hostels. In Mancora, if you aren't staying in a private cabana and are on a budget, the place to stay is Loki del Mar. First, let me warn you, it is a party hostel. But, if you can out your prudish sensibilities away, you can have a fantastic time! Security at this hostel is the best in the town, as they have guards at all the gates, the beds are comfortable, and it has a beach entrance. Loki is known for their fantastic parties with a full stocked bar in house, so for anyone opwanted to go out and see the seaside nightlife, you had best stay at Loki because that is where everyone else is. Warning! The hostel. Is very popular, so book on hostelworld in advance! 

Finally, about Mancora. This has to be the prettiest, least crowded beach I have ever been to! The ocean was the perfect temp and felt fantastic to swim in, and you are located right next to a premier surf point. I spent three days more or less laying in the sun and swimming. 


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