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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mancora and New Year's

Mancora is a small town by the sea which is about 1200kms north of Lima, rather close to Ecuador. Back in October of 2006 Antonella, my sister and Gus (her now husband) got married there. A little over 100 guests experienced an amazing ceremony and an amazing celebration afterwards. Several of us stayed in Las Arenas, a really nice, cozy hotel over there.

Earlier last year Anto and me decided that since we were both going to be spending new year's together in Peru we should do it "in style"...so after some chats we agreed that we should do it in Las Arenas. We both talked with our friends and somehow some initial plans were put together. We talked with Las Arena's manager and we booked 15 out of the 19 bungalows in the hotel.

Towards the last 3 months of 2007 Anto and me were rather busy with this organisation. All done virtually...after all, that's how we had organised her wedding too. Anto from the States, me from the Netherlands...we exchanged several back and forth e-mails with our friends in Peru, our friends abroad, Lima, Mancora...It was quite some organiation and logistics, but we LOVED every single moment of it. Negotiating rates, tax free deals, new year's party, food, tickets... However all our efforts were totally worth it: New Year's 08 has been one of the best celebrations I've ever been to.

We were 30 persons, we flew from 7 different countries (US, Netherlands, Austria, UK, Argentina, Spain and Peru)and we had a blast. Not everybody knew everybody but once there....just spending all the time together: in the pool, at the beach, by the fire at night, having dinner in town, playing games, dancing, drinking...we just had so much fun together. I'm not sure if it's Mancora, or the holiday atmosphere or we were just the right combination of people, but the whole time there felt a little magical.

There's so many things to talk about...but of course I would bore you with all the details...I'll just choose some of the most memorables:

Our second night when we borrowed some iPOD speakers and somehow we were all in total party mood and we danced and danced and danced. Peruvians teaching foreigners...not only dancing the current dance hits, but us remembering the songs that were popular when we were little kids. Oh it was so much fun!

Or how my European friends, Italo, Javi, Moni and me celebrated the European new year's at 18:00. At that time, which was 12:00 CET we all jumped into the pool and wished each other a happy new year, we danced, we had some cocktails, we fooled around. It was just so nice!!!

Or going into town to surf ;-) ok some did I just got rather tired and worked on my tan. And going into town to buy beautiful beachy souvenirs (nice jewellery), buying booze for the evenings...having dinner.

Or just the chilling out by the fire in the evenings. How everybody was with "la chispa". How we chatted and laughed and laughed and teased and just had fun with each other. It's somehow very hard to put into words those 5 days. So you can check out the embedded photos just below (you can click on them and the Picasa window will be launched).

And of course finally New Year's eve. The decoration and the set up was unbelievable beautiful. Several round tables with yellow, red and orange table clothes. All decoreated with beautiful candles and grapes. A nice round bar, a beautiful fire and overseeing the sea and the swimming pool. A great sound system...what else could we ask for?

There must have been around 70 persons in the party...which meant that we were almost 50% of the party people...and of course it was us who totally ruled the dance floor ;-) We had organised some party hats that we took with us in a big suitcase and definitely brought some extra colour to the party.

We had a really yummy buffet at around 11pm and then following the Peruvian tradition we had some "aguadito" (some veggie soup which is great when having had alcohol) at 3:30am and then at 5:00am we had some cebiche (another Peruvian tradition- spicy marinated fish in lime).

We danced and danced and danced...some people were thrown into the swimming pool, other people voluntarily jumped into the pool naked ;-)...some people were carrying each other...there was some strip tease, some lap dancing.

Do I need to go on or you get it that the party was amazing? By 7am when only some of us were still up we decided to finish the party in the pool. All fully clothed and just having fun...so you see, I started partying at 6pm to celebrate the European new year's and then I ended up in the swimming pool at 7am...not bad, I was partying for about 14 hours...I hope this is an indication of the amount of energy I'll have for the new year! ;-)

Right now, Anto and me have already been approached by different people for the coming new year...they want to make it an annual event. What can we say...we are definitely thinking about it! And it will involve warmth and beach...so stay tuned!

Below...New Year's party photos...enjoy.

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