Isla del Plata (Silver Island)February 15, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C
After our unscheduled stop in Guayaquil we hightailed it to the coast, along with every Ecuadorian - little did we know this was the start of 'Carnival' a big holiday and everyone gets Monday and Tuesday off, mucho drinking ensues!
We were a little worried that everything would be full but when we got to a gorgeous little campsite called Jardin Suizo in Puerto Cayo we were the only campers. The Swiss owner Sam welcomed us and as we settled in a German couple Monica and Florian arrived so we had a few beers.
We absolutely loved this campsite - beautiful gardens full of birds, a great hangout area, fast wifi, an honor system bar and a well equipped kitchen. To top it all off Sam was a wonderful host, such a kind man who was always bringing out fresh juice, watermelon, cheese and even Cuba libres one night. It was a pleasure to talk to him and hear all about his travels as he worked on big ships for a lot of his life.
We sat out most of the Carnival at Sam's, although we did go to the big concert by the apparently famous Argentinean band (forgotten their name!). Everyone was pretty hammered and spraying foam about, but it was all in good spirits (apart from the policemen who were obviously a target for the subtle sprayer!) .
We eventually tore ourselves away and headed down the coast to Puerto Lopez, where you can do a boat trip to Isla de Plata, known as the poor man's Galapagos. As we approached the island our boat made an abrupt u-turn and suddenly we were cruising amongst a huge pod of 100+ dolphins, right beside the boat and the young ones were playing and jumping right out of the water! On the island we were lead hiking by a naturalist and got to see blue footed boobies, including their fluffy babies (which don't yet have blue feet - that takes about 2 years to develop!) and frigate birds some of which were courting so the males puffed out their huge red chest. The sun came out and back on the boat we were amazed to have turtles surround us before we went for a little snorkel to cool off. I'm sure it isn't a patch on the real Galapagos (definitely a tiny fraction of the cost) but we really enjoyed our little taster and we felt satisfied that we had done Ecuador really well - next stop Peru!Read more