…… Beach and Culture. Stunning drive through rocky passes and sand dunes to our coastal destination of Mancora, actually we are staying a couple of miles down the road at the lovely relaxed Punta del Sol as Mancora is a bit of an 18-35 party town in the evenings. We are here for 3 nights, there are plenty of touristy activities in Mancora but we are happy to spend the time chilling on the beach and relaxing after a hectic period. Most of the group are camping on the beach but the usual suspects including us have opted for an en-suite room – bliss.
A number of the group took surf lessons in Mancora and we went along to watch via tuk-tuk to the main road and then taxi to the centre. We met up with Pete, Kirsten and Rogan for a drink on the beach whilst the surfing group donned wet suits. We then spent a pleasant half hour watching them fall off their surf boards; in fairness all managed respectable rides by the end of the session. We had only brought Karens camera but managed to get one decent shot of Vanessa in action which she was delighted with.
There were some seriously good surfers at play weaving in and out of the numerous learners. We felt exhausted after all this exercise so retired to a local hostelry for some refreshment.
The rest of the time we just chilled, wathed the locals go about their business including the fihermen some of who use hand built rafts and some use the Aladdin slipper shaped reed boats as they have done for centuries.
The taxis in South America are interesting varying from country to country but nonetheless similar. Peru for example has the tuk tuk’s little motor cycle based trikes. Then there are taxis and “collectivo’s”, taxis are as we know them and collectivo’s are basically mini-buse’s that tout for business on the street. So we were the first passengers and then we went up and down the street till we had 10 passengers. The advantage Taxi 25 Soles versus Collectivo 5 soles per person.
Karen had a slightly upset tummy but was feeling much better so ready for Pete’s farewell bbq on the beach for which we were cook group, have to say the man does an excellent bbq – at least for carnivores. I had collected photos of Pete from everyone and put them together with music – Africa by Toto as he is South African which went down well.
Rogan organised some beach games, Limbo which was hilarious as people hammed it up, I reckon the winner – Keith – managed 4 feet, I subsequently googled the world record – 9 inches ! The other game was picking up a box with your teeth without touching the ground with knees, arms or hands.
The box is trimmed a couple of inches each round, Karen did really well until her effort ended by spectacularly planting her nose in the sand when losing her balance. Game eventually won by Sue picking up what was now a flat piece of cardboard from 2 inches below ground level. It was a fun game which we will try with the family when back home. Rogan says he has seen previous winners, all female and much younger than our group, pick them up from 6 inches below ground level.
After the beach chilling time for some more culture and on to Huanchaco the site of the largest ancient adobe built city in the world; Chan Chan.
We had a guided tour with Eduardo who had the most spectacular sombrero and a passion for his subject as he had been doing it for 15 years.
Chan Chan was built by pre-Inca Chimu civilisation as an imperial city, constructed over 20 sq km and housed approximately 30,000 people. It was built around AD 850 and lasted until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470, it is also the largest adobe city in the world. They Chimu had no written records so there is no certainty of the purpose of many of the buildings but is believed the Chimu is a civilization which grew out of the remnants of the previous Moche civilization.
We then visited the temple of the Moon built by the Moche in 300 AD. When a king died a new temple was built on top of the old, at least 7 generations of temple have been discovered. It was buried under the sand for centuries so is well preserved and some of the tile work and decoration is stunning. Work has ceased at the moment but more layers were unearthed in the last five years.
Next stop Huarez. More Moncora and Huanchaco Photos here.
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