Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.


Inserting yourself blindly into a new town is one of the most difficult travel experiences – Who will we meet?  What should we make time to see or do?  Where do we eat?  Particularly when staying in group/hostel arrangements, the choice of where you stay is key to the kind of experience that you will have.


We pulled into Mancora (Sea level, ~5000 people) just before dusk onto a noisy and dusty main street.  After brushing off 10 other moto-taxis, we ended up jumping into one because we couldn’t identify where the “place to be” really was.  Our first stop was a very upscale European hostel chain called Loki.  Beautiful, but full.  Next, to the “eco-lodge” on the beach…$55/person/night is not exactly budget travel.  Then Edgar dropped us at another hostel just off the beach which he said was very clean and nice.  Exhausted, we dropped our bags in the room and Holly ran off to make the arrangements.  Yet, as I sat in the windowless room and watched the bugs swirl around the light, I thought, “If this is what I have to put up with to make this travel thing work, I’d rather punch myself in the face.”  I ran out to the entry as Holly was giving our passport numbers and said I was terribly allergic to something in the room (i.e. the room) and we had to move on.  Pissed (momentarily), The Sister gave apologies and we mounted up (again) and walked across the dirt road to a beachfront place that our driver had recommended against.  In retrospect, it is clear that these guys all get a tip for bringing touristicos to certain places and they won’t take you to the places that don’t tip them.  Edgar did leave us his cell number in case we wanted some coke later.  Very kind.



The wide and open beaches here are absolutely breathtaking.  You can’t help but wonder how much it would cost to plant a stake in the ground.



It turns out that PK’s hostel (Edgar said it was “VERY dirty.”) absolutely made our stop in Mancora.  For 15 Soles/night (around $5/each), we had a beachfront place with a pool, a deck, two decent beds and a “private” bathroom.  (A 3 foot pony wall doesn’t normally count as privacy, but my standards have changed pretty quickly.)  And it proved to be a turnstile for new and interesting characters.



First, we met Tom, a 19 year-old Brit who REALLY wanted to get to know The Sister better.  (At one point he even asked my permission.  I told him I didn’t really think it was mine to give.)  Our first night, Tom brought home 2 British girls to our place to party by the pool and then he went out to pick up 3 others at Loki.  They entertained the shit out of us, but poor Tom ended up 0-5 on the night and was visibly distraught.  (Maybe I need to cuddle with him some morning and share The Knowledge.)


We learned many things from the girls that first night, including that if you eat more than one egg per day, you are likely to end up “eggbound” (or also possibly “trumpy”).  We also were told that “if you don’t give me lick outs, I’m going home,” and “I’ve not pissed myself.  I’ve just gone a little wee in my pants.”  Not bad for our first 6 hours in town.  We got so high that Sweet Ellie asked me, “can I take a sip of that?” and I handed her my cigarette.  Seemed logical at the time.


We also met Piter, the crazy genius of German descent who spent way too much time in Santa Monica to be considered German anymore.  He’s been on the road for 32 years and had much to contribute.  We spent about 6 hours by the pool our second night discussing everything from the oil spill (“it will change life forever as we know it”), coconut water (“very useful as a substitute for blood plasma”), UFOs (“absolutely yes”), and the end times that are just around the corner.  Better to suffer through them in Mancora, I assume.


Ken’s British wit was so dry, that Holly thought he was a real dick until she got to know him a little better.  Then he suddenly became her favorite character in this chapter.  Funny how those things turn.  (Also funny, Ken, that your country’s goalie missed a ball that a grade schooler in the US would have stopped.  Can’t wait to see you again and enjoy that tequila you owe me.)


There was also the French guy who had no language in common with me, but we always seemed to carry on a conversation.  At one point, he had determined to tie a lead to a horse, have his girlfriend ride it along the beach, and pull him on a surfboard.  I asked him to roll another one for us first.


We spent 2+ days hanging out with Miriam from Germany who is scrapping her prior schooling to try and become an actress in Berlin.  That’s the stuff.



There was a large contingent of French folks staying with us by the time the France v Uruguay game came around, so we had a nice World Cup party out by the pool to celebrate.  This being South America, the game was tied into the 82nd minute and then the power went out.  (And still hadn’t come back on by the time we got on the night bus 8 hours later).  No matter.  I know a French guy with a bottomless stash.



The great thing is that almost everyone we met has either been where we are going (and can provide recommendations), or they are on the same path and we can meet up with them down the road.  Our hostel unexpectedly became home for 4 nights and 4 days (originally scheduled for half of that) and we made friends that will most certainly last.  It wasn’t just a great party (it was that too), but I think we learned something about ourselves and opened the door a little more to the experience.  One of those places I will always remember with a smile.


3 Responses to “Mancora”

  1. Stephanie says:

    hey! do you have PKS information, tlf number or something like that ??? thanks a lot

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, please tell us the telephone number! =) thanks

  3. Santa Loves You says:

    Sorry, Santa has no information on PK's. I know, from the main highway through town, you take the only paved road down to the beach and then turn right once you reach the water and it should be the first hostel there.

    Or show up and just ask a moto-taxi driver?

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