May aswell change the name from Mancora to Loki.
Taking the short trip across the border of Peru into Mancora, I knew exactly what I was in for. I’ve heard about these two words months back, Mancora, Loki. A crazy, messy party place that backpackers whisper throughout the trails. Arriving at night Mancora looks pretty run down. Waking up in the hot coastal sun, the place fills up with life. The stalls are out, countless tuk-tuks and the sun making the huge complex of Loki hostel stands out like the Taj Mahal does in Agra, India; in what else would be a small beach destination.
Loki pretty much is Mancora. If it wasn’t there, Mancora would cease to exist unless for people passing through, or avid surfers. I’m not for one normally to rave about party hostels, condemn them or spend the majority of my time in them, but this time was different. It’s easy to sit in a hostel and get wasted. It’s one of the easiest, less nerving things you can do travelling. However, with that, Mancora is that now with the introduction of Loki. Loki has many rooms, a pool, activities, good food and drinking games. It attracts all kind of backpackers, especially your young Aussies or Brits.
And in the first 3 days, for me they were a write off. Not going into details, but many blood bombs and drunken debauchery were present. It was a blow out really. I had knew what this place was about, and although I did have good intentions to Scuba, Surf and Yoga, it all went out the window. In all honestly, I wasn’t guilty about it either. I had needed this. Little had I found in South America a place similar to SE Asia in the social and party scene. Attempts had been made, and comparisons also, with Montanita coming close. However, the energy of Mancora was electric. It had a real good vibe where everyone got on with everyone. The bar staff were awesome and there was no degree of separation with them. Sometimes when you know people at hostels, backpackers who are working there, even though they are the same as you, a degree of status’s come into play. The worker and the customer. I think that’s more created over ones willingness for power. Experiencing that in previous countries, in Mancora, there was none of that, and thats what I loved. To be honest, that’s how it should be. I was immediately found of all the workers and there antics, and haven’t met a better bunch to date. They created to buzz about the place, they encouraged everything suggested and pretty much ran the place.
I realised that okay I wasn’t doing anything productive, as most backpackers naturally have a sense of guilt for. But then I realised, when you are part of a group of people, happy, relaxed and sociable, you have to take advantage of that. When there is a real energy to be around each other and just let go of any expectations of backpacking, not live up to any self proclaimed ego’s, the atmosphere is incredible. There is no better feeling when backpacking I don’t think. The social side of it can be insane. South America is just starting to provide me with that.
So after 9 days of Sun, 78 purchased blood bombs, a lot of new friends, as much I didn’t want to go, my time was limited in South America. 6 Days originally than I had planned, but an incredible time with a bunch of people whom I had travelled with, reunited travellers and new travellers, I reluctantly continued my journey through Peru to Lima.
When you are part of a group like that, you do realise at the time, that this really is a once in a lifetime thing. Each and every one of us, will never be here, in the same place, again. Forget what you have planned, or what seems good in your guide book, when you are part of something, embracing that is what backpacking is all about.