“LOKI LOKI LOKI!” someone shouts as we all raise our glasses.
“Oi oi oi!” we respond in Aussie fashion, slam our glasses down on the bar, and proceed to chug our Blood Bombs. A Blood Bomb consists of a shot of mostly vodka with a few drops of grenadine dropped into a half-glass of Red Bull. Totally beneficial for your heart and brain; it’s the signature drink of Loki Hostel.
We first heard of Loki from a Couchsurfing host in Ecuador who recommended we stay at the Máncora location. We ended up staying elsewhere, but we remembered him raving about Loki as an awesomely fun party hostel with opportunities to work and stay for free. We wanted to try a different volunteer (not WWOOFing) opportunity, so we decided to give Loki Cuzco a try. As soon as we walked into the bar and offered our help to the manager, we were given bartending jobs and asked to start the next night!
Loki Cuzco is the original of the four Loki Hostels (the others are located in Máncora, Lima, and La Paz, Bolivia) and was opened in 2005 by a group of backpacker friends. It’s a HUGE hostel (capacity over 200) in a 500-year-old amazing historic building. The owner and staff are all friendly and bilingual, and the hostel includes free breakfast, a book exchange, a full restaurant and bar, a tour booking office, and daily activities and parties. It basically has everything you could ever need so that you don’t even have to venture outside if you don’t want to!
All of the bartenders are volunteers at Loki. We worked four shifts a week (either 1-7pm or 7pm-2am) in exchange for a free dormitory bed, one free meal a day, and 40% off on everything at the bar/restaurant. It was definitely an awesome deal, and we had a lot of fun. The bar staff during the four weeks we worked at Loki consisted of travelers from Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and a few more of us from the U.S. We all got along great and every night was a party. Working behind the bar is not really work; it’s more like serving some drinks while drinking some drinks. By the end of the night there were always people dancing on the bar, and most of the staff usually went out dancing until the wee hours after our bar closed. Highlights of our time at Loki included dancing like crazy on the bar at Groove Nightclub, going out for pizza for Zach’s birthday, and all the random hilarious conversations in the staff room. Being at Loki was kind of like living in a college dorm again, except with the added fun of people from all different countries and none of the hassle of class!
Before you judge us as nonsstop-partying alcoholics, please wait for tomorrow’s other-side-of-the-coin post: WE HATE LOKI