Máncora is a popular beach town on the Pacific coast of Peru, known for its warm water, ample surf and great weather. Following another night bus, we arrived in the wee hours of the morning and willed ourselves to navigate to a proper bed.

We collected our bags from the bus and piled them onto a moto-taxi, asking the driver to take us to the La Posada Hostel International. My excitement of getting to ride one of these flimsy looking three-wheeled contraptions faded quickly as the driver lied through his teeth in an effort to convince us to stay at his hostel. He told us that La Posada would charge USD $20 per person; our double room with private bath ended up only being $7 each. He also tried to charge us an exorbitant amount for a five minute taxi ride which we flatly refused to pay. I’m used to being lied to by cab drivers but at three in the morning I simply didn’t have the patience for it.

La Posada was a nice hostel at the end of the strip that has a refreshing pool which we made good use of. The only downside was the infestation of invisible mosquitos that had us itching our legs while we attempted to cook in a seriously understocked kitchen.

In Huanchaco, we’d visited a colourful vegetarian restaurant called “Otra Cosa”. Aside from serving amazing veggie dishes and selling a locally produced homemade peanut butter, the restaurant also has a decent book exchange.

In anticipation of our upcoming travels through Medellín, Colombia, I picked up Mark Bowden’s, “Killing Pablo”, an engaging work of non-fiction that tells the unbelievable story of Pablo Escobar, the infamous cocaine-trafficker and pseudo-philanthropist whose empire and ruthless tactics made him one of the world’s richest men and most notorious outlaws. The book tells the story of Escobar’s rise to power, his voluntary imprisonment in El Catedral (a lavish castle-prison he built for himself), his eventual escape and the ensuing man-hunt that eventually gunned him down.

Calina found the gem, “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, a story about a book that is repeatedly burned for mysterious reasons, set in a darkly gothic Barcelona.

Máncora gave us ample relaxation time to devour our new books on the beach. It was nice to have absolutely nothing better to do but read and swim. Esta es la buena vida.