As you come to Mancora a first glimpse reveals a buzzing fleet of taxis swarming the streets. These are not your standard yellow cabs however. They are motorcycles with an apparatus built onto the back. At a glance, these resemble old Model T Fords from their shape. The retro-fitted canopies provide shade and cover and are often emblazoned with custom monikers like a batman shield as the back "window". Because you can easily walk the entire town in a half hour the excess of taxis becomes curious. Although it is nice to get a 3 minute ride for $.80 after a stretch of walking it doesn't take long to see that the real industry here is drugs. Being a fellow draped in dreads, the taxis circle me like vultures over a dead cow. Their first pitch is an obvious one: Taxi senor? Then, without even enough pause to wait for my answer the real pitch comes: marijuana? Cocain? I was just offered 5 times by the same guy who stalked me as I walked to the hostel. I'm not sure what part of no was confusing to him, but he was persistent. I should hire him back home.
These taxis are fairly representative of industry here though. There is a sense of hustle (by which I mean they hustle their money). Most encounters seem to be attached to business at some point. I think this is the reality of a vicious business world where civilization is not fostered by shared burdens.
I like this little town though and will miss it. I'm leaving tonight, returning to Lima where I will meet my nephew. I'm excited for this chapter of the journey.
Viva mas amigos!