• Day12

    Montañita, Ecuador

    April 21, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Switching up mountains, hiking and altitude for some beach time and some proper warmth! The tan is definitely in need of a top up and the lungs are ready to not work so hard.

    We’re back to sea level after being 1800-4700m for the previous two weeks. The ease of breathing is something you take for granted until it’s taken away from you that’s for sure. It came at the cost of a 9 hour night bus from Baños vía Santa Elena though, and all of us having horrendously sore ears throughout the ride from such a drop in pressure after so long.

    Hopping off the bus to immediate warmth and beach town vibes was enough to put any bad vibes quickly in the distance though. Mark was one happy chappy, back in the place where he’d recently spent two months volunteering at Kamala Hostel which is situated just outside the main town. Unfortunately being the weekend, it was booked out so we stayed at another hostel in town instead. This hostel turned out to be a bit strange and didn’t live up to its good reviews so we definitely tried to keep our time there to a minimum!

    Montañita is a strange wee town. It can be quite relaxed and chill during the day, with people making the most of surfing and tanning on the beach. The evenings are a completely different vibe, depending on which day of the week it is. There’s a street that comes to life in the evenings, lined with trolleys selling street food and shacks selling cheap cocktails on the appropriately named “Cocktail Alley.” To be fair these cocktails we had off the side of the road for a mere $2.50 USD were some of the best cocktails any of us had ever had! There’s also multi-story clubs which continue on until all hours of the morning so it’s definitely not somewhere you need to stick around in for too long.

    Much of our time in Montañita was spent at the beach relaxing, cruising the town eating some of the street food, surfing, a couple of big nights out, hanging out with friends and watching some incredible sunsets.

    The first day we were there we went to a pool party at Kamala hostel where we ended up meeting lots of people, including a couple of kiwi guys who were volunteering there for a couple of weeks. Always nice to meet fellow kiwis and of course we got on easily! In some ways I wish we had been able to stay out there as it was a fun vibe and was run by an Australian couple so the food was good too. Thankfully it was easy enough for us to go and hang out there a few times even though we weren’t staying there. There’s even two resident donkeys that just roam freely through the complex, mostly trying to get into the bins to get food. Too funny.

    And with that, it’s Adiós to Mark who is finally going to stop backtracking with us and head to Columbia, but it is also my last stop in Ecuador. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this country, it’s been somewhat of a pleasant surprise in a number of ways, particularly as it wasn’t part of my original plan to come here. Incredible scenery and a lack of obvious tourism has meant that it’s definitely become a country I would recommend to visit and a perfect way to kick off my time in South America.

    Hasta pronto Peru!
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