It’s best not to chose accommodation when you’re deliriously tired, sweating profusely, and emotionally fragile. At that point, anything would do. The price was good, and a gentle breeze soothed my sunburnt skin from a third story balcony overlooking the two main surf breaks in town. My weary mind overlooked the fact that the room was little more than a small wooden cell with a chip board door hiding a miniature bathroom with leaky plumbing, giant spiders, and no light which to see said spiders in the darkness. I happily collapsed onto the cigarette burned green sheets and fell into a deep sleep.
The twenty hour bus ride from Trujillo was a revolving door of people getting on and off in the blackness of the most obscure areas in the Sechura desert throughout the night. I lost track of how many new seat companions I acquired as I slipped in and out of a blurry state of consciousness. As morning light revealed a harsh landscape of crumbling rock cliffs and sandy riverbeds interspersed with dry sticks of trees, we veered towards the coast. Finally, the bus pulled into the seedy little town of Mancora on the north coast of Peru. Empty bottles and plastic bags lined the streets as random partiers stumbled home from another big night of drinking and drugs. At this point, all I wanted was to get to the hostel I had booked on another travelers recommendation.
The sleazy vibe continued as I pulled up to the misfits hostel a few kilometers out of town. The place was burningman-esque with teepees and brightly coloured huts scattered haphazardly around the sandy acreage. Poncho clad partiers were passed out in hammocks and even face down in the sand in the intense morning sun while a few hearty souls were still going hard under a sand fly infested lean to. This boozy, drugged out atmosphere was not what I had in mind, so I dragged my exhausted, glassy eyed self along the beach, back to town.
After a few rejections with no vacancies or prices too expensive for my meager budget, I wandered towards the centre of town looking for breakfast or just somewhere to sit in the shade for a few minutes. As I passed a four story cinderblock building, young boy ran up to me and asked if I was looking for a place to stay. At this point I would take anything, and this was that anything. The open air front desk and wooden exterior balconies were clean enough and I accepted my ocean front room with the best view I could ask for of the monotonous, banal coastline and of course the waves I came here to surf.
The bass started around 10 pm. What appeared to be a boarded up restaurant a few hours ago was actually one of the main night clubs in town and the sound system was just a few metres below my bed. I haggled the owner down a few dollars per night in exchange for paying for five nights up front - a decision I was now regretting as sleep was improbable for the foreseeable future. It was some time around 3 or 4 that the club finally shut and I managed a few fitful hours of sleep before my alarm went off at 6 am. Every part of me wanted to stay in my tattered bright green sheets, but I forced myself up to at least have a look at the waves. I scanned the serene orange and purple pastel coloured bay and watched as flawless sets gently caressed the anchored fishing boats minutes before peeling flawlessly along the rocky reefs, tickled by a light offshore breeze. Pelicans dipped and effortlessly glided along the faces of the waves and, once again, everything was alright - at least until nightfall...
- January 2015