Máncora, mangrove, Tumbes and Ecuador

Having had one day to fight the hangover, it was time to go discovering again! At 09h00 we were picked up by our tour guide Paùl and his assistent/translator. We drove North, for about two hours until we stopped in a kind of shopping street. Not with shops, but with a kind of market stalls left and right. Loads of people in the street, very busy. And suddenly we walked under a huge sign “Welcome to Ecuador”, so without any checks we had left Peru and were in Ecuador! We didn’t see very much of the country, we just walked a couple of streets and then found our taxi again. Paul asked for the money for the taxi (S/.300) as the driver needed to tank. Suddenly we stopped in an enclosed little area and we realized: this is an illegal tank station! With a full tank (with cheap Ecuadorian fuel) we drove via the highway back into Peru, to Porto Pizzaro where we boarded our little boat at the harbour. Before reaching the boat we watched some fishermen washing and sorting the fish that had just been taken from one of the fishing boats. Our boat sailed from the lovely port filled with pelicans and took us to a kind of recreational island with some restaurants on it, where we had lunch. Since we had to wait for higher water before we could continue, Oliver and I made a walk around the island, admiring the patterns in the sand made by crabs.

Then it was time to get on board again and sail to the mangrove swamps. Being there was really impressive, seeing it all for real, and so close by! We sailed for about 20 minutes and then stopped again on a sandy shore where got out. We walked for ten minutes through bushes that were swarming with mosquitos everywhere, they stuck to our clothes and even attacked Oliver! After the walk, we reached a crocodile farm. Loads of crocodiles, but poorly maintained and no visitor information. Just outside this farm there were some stands with souvenirs and we both got one from our guide Paùl, which we found very nice.

So, we moved on and got on the boat again to sail for about 30 minutes to an island full of mangroves which were literally packed with birds and their nests. This was an awesome experience to see them so closely! Exotic Peruvian birds, some of them in beautiful colours, were nesting, hunting, feeding and watching us. Paùl gave us really a lot of info about the birds, but most of the names I don’t remember.

We got back in the taxi that now took us to Tumbes for a small walk through the city. We quickly visited a church and were once again amazed by how Peruvians like ugly Jesuses in their churches. After the quick walk, we got back in the taxi that took us back to our hotel in Mancora in about two hours. It was a lovely day!!

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