Ecuador, Week 6

This will be a short post because all we did all week was: walk on beaches, swim, eat, drink and relax.

On Saturday, Feb. 20 we arrived in Canoa, one of Ecuador’s premier surf beaches. Our bus ride north was uneventful; just sitting back watching the changing landscape and various beaches go by. One of the buses was a bit different in that there was no partition between the driver and passengers, so I got to photograph the driver and his conductor at work…

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I think his eyes were open as he rounded the cliffside corner!

Saturday night and Canoa was rockin’. I went for an evening stroll while Sue rested. The beachside bars were starting to hop and the big speaker boxes were out, blasting music into the night. Canoa isn’t a very big town but unlike Puerto Lopez most of the action is beachside and there wasn’t a fishing fleet anchored offshore. What I didn’t realize until Sunday morning when we went to the beach was that most of the weekend visitors were Ecuadorians, many out from Quito. The beach was packed right in front of town.

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But the beach is also long and we easily walked away from the crowds and into solitude. Just us, the sound of the surf and the birds. Plus a gazillion seashells. Have I mentioned yet that we have found some amazing shells? The hardest part is culling them as we only have so much room (and if every tourist collected all the shells they loved… there’d be few left).

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What else can I say about Canoa? It was fairly mellow during the week even though it does attract a number of surfers. But everyone spreads out and the weeknight bar scene didn’t seem to get too crazy. There are lots of little craft shops and stands but the people aren’t pushy.

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The surf wasn’t too huge and, depending on the height of the tide, the break didn’t make it too difficult to swim. I did notice one day I was getting moved down the beach by the current. It was educational watching fishermen launch into the surf. In the photo below note how he’s turned his outboard so the prop is at right angles to wave; less wear when it hits the sand.

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We also saw our first stand-up paddle boards out in the surf at Canoa.

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When did we leave Canoa? Ahhh… yes… Wednesday. Day just seems to stall when you’re beached. We caught a series of buses to Mompiche. This is a view out the bus window at one of the small town stops. Although the scenery gradually altered many things stayed the same including moto-taxies delivering people and goods.

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Mompiche is another surf spot, although it’s more of a point break than a beach break and the waves weren’t that big when we were there. Which did mean more floating and less plunging.

We had an amazing room at La Jungla. This is our view from our second story window (below us was our hammock zone and outdoor bathroom).

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The view from the garden out front looking back…

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Kind of like a tree house complete with a hatch in the floor.

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Once again another huge beach with miles of walking, swimming space.

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The colours and textures of the sand were amazing at all the beaches we visited.

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However, each beach (Puerto Lopez, Canoa and Mompiche) had its own vibe. We’ve spent some time discussing which was our favourite and we couldn’t reach a decision; each had its own redeeming features and drawbacks. But, really, any time on the beach is quality time. And a big part of our travel experience is seeing and meeting the locals and finding out about their lives.

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And we really do enjoy being close to nature and Ecuador has such diversity.

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Time moves along though and it was time for us to have our last swim in the Ecuador’s Pacific, watch our last sunset over the water and start back inland.

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